Canada’s online legal magazine.

Successful Party Recovers Full Amount of Legal Fees in Arbitration

A recent decision in British Columbia supports the proposition that, in commercial arbitration at least, the successful party may expect to fully recover their reasonable legal costs and expenses. Do recent changes in the B.C. Arbitration Act reinforce that principle?

In Allard v. The University of British Columbia, 2021 BCSC 60, Madam Justice Karen Douglas says that “the “normal rule” in arbitrations is that the successful party is entitled to “indemnification costs unless there are special circumstances that would warrant some other type of costs.” [Paragraph 78]

“Indemnification costs” are a party’s actual legal costs and expenses, and contrast . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Changes
Neil Guthrie

The meanings of words change over time. A nice example is condescending, which not so long ago meant something along the lines of ‘being gracious to the underlings’ (the King James Bible, Dr Johnson and Lord Byron use it in this sense). Since the later nineteenth century, it has meant ‘patronising’ (in a bad way; that also once had a neutral or even . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. The Docket  2. Le Blogue du CRL 3. BC Provincial Court eNews 4. The Lean Law Firm 5. À bon droit

The Docket
Prosecuting the Victim

I have never been so mad. So mad that I might have forgot to turn on the mic, so apologies if

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

COVID-19 International Trade in a Time of Crisis: Pandora’s Box Revisited, Part I

The spectre of “vaccine nationalism” is one of the recent challenges that the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought us. The immediate and primary focus of governments has been the serious threat to the health of their populations. The resulting economic challenges have been “game changing.”

At the end of January 2021, the European Union became the first major trading power to introduce export controls on COVID-19 vaccines.[1] Other countries have considered export bans. In India, the domestic Serum Institute has been directed to prioritise the needs of India.[2] The U.S. and UK governments have signed contracts . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PROFESSIONS : Les défendeurs — Maison Jacynthe inc., Actumus inc. et un naturopathe — sont déclarés coupables d’avoir agi de manière à donner lieu de croire qu’ils étaient autorisés à exercer la médecine, en violation de l’article 32 C.prof.

Intitulé : Collège des médecins du Québec c. Limoges, 2021 QCCQ . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all Appeals, Oral Judgments and Leaves to Appeal granted from March 15 to April 9, 2021 inclusive.

Appeals

Constitutional Law: Carbon Tax; Division of Powers
Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11 (38663)(38781)(39116)

Parliament has jurisdiction to enact this law as a matter of national concern under the “Peace, Order, and good Government” . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

How Major League Baseball Could Transform Lawyer Development

Spring is here, so allow me to introduce you to Joshua Palacios, a young outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays who has something to teach us about the development of new lawyers.

Josh, who is 25, made great strides last summer at an “alternate training site” that the Blue Jays created for their young players when the pandemic forced the cancellation of the minor-league season. And during spring training in March, he tore the cover off the ball and made spectacular defensive plays in the outfield. Combined with strong character and leadership skills, his new productivity made him a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Employer Cannot Turn Blind Eye to Employee’s Disability

By Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

A recent decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta, Kvaska v Gateway Motors (Edmonton) Ltd., 2020 AHRC 94, confirms the law on accommodation of alcohol addiction. In this case, the human rights complaint of a dismissed employee was upheld. The Tribunal offers important advice to employers in how to deal with such difficult situations. The risk in not doing so is potentially costly: in this case, $30,000 in general damages, lost short-term disability benefits, lost wages and interest were awarded. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Legal Research Without Official Diplomatic Relations: Venezuela, Iran and North Korea

Once a country has been officially declared as sanctioned, trying to locate, evaluate and access reliable sources of information becomes a struggle. Depending on the levels of sanctions enacted, research of all kinds can be severely curtailed or completely cut. This lack of most, if not all official channels of communication has a severe impact when you are trying to secure pivotal materials or sources, either physical or online; accessing websites and evaluating online information; and contacting vendors, universities, experts, research centers based in these countries.

When it comes to legal research, these impediments and challenges are maximized regardless of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Is the Pintea Decision Ensuring SRLs Are Given Appropriate Judicial Guidance and Support?

Self-represented litigants (SRLs) make up a significant percentage of litigants appearing before the court in civil and family cases. In the NSRLP’s 2013 report data provided by provincial ministries of justice indicated that at least 40% of individuals who appeared in provincial family court and at least 30% of litigants in civil court are self-represented.

These statistics are staggering, and it is no secret that SRLs face unique challenges within the court systems across Canada. Although it is the case that Canadian courts operate with the principle of access to justice as a foundational pillar, the reality is that . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Cybulsky v. Hamilton Health Sciences, 2021 HRTO 213 (CanLII)

[113] This Tribunal stated in Moore v. Ferro (Estate), 2019 HRTO 526 (“Moore”) at para. 183, that in certain circumstances, it is a violation of the right to be free from discrimination protected under Part I of the Code where a respondent fails to take appropriate steps to respond . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Universal Design and the Legal System: Part 2, Application (Beginning the Conversation)

In my last Slaw post, I reviewed the concept of “universal design”, which was initiated about 25 years ago to respond to the increased participation of persons with disabilities; at the time, it tended to be limited to the built environment, although it has since expanded to other contexts. In this post, I begin considering how universal design might provide a feasible framework for the legal system. My post of May 5, 2020 also provides background. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues