Canada’s online legal magazine.

Caution With Patent Demand Letters

Pre-litigation steps of putting parties on notice of allegations of patent infringement are common in Canada. Avoiding the cost and time of litigation though early resolution can make such notice very worthwhile, but recent decisions highlight risks of make aggressive claims of patent infringement.

In amendments to the Patent Act made in 2018, new sections create a framework for regulating the contents of patent infringement demand letters, but as of the date of this article implementing regulations have not been introduced. Section 76.2 added in 2018, states, “Any written demand received by a person in Canada, that relates to an . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Balancing Transparency and Independence in the Judiciary

On July 28, 2020, the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs is expected to publish for the first time expenses of federally-appointed judges.

The changes come about from amendments to the Access to Information Act as a result of Bill C-58: An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, which was first tabled on June 19, 2017.

The Bill followed various political promises to prioritize federal access to information, to create a more open government, including providing greater powers to the Information Commissioner, ensuring . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Une avocate criminaliste est personnellement condamnée à payer 1 000 $ à titre de dépens en raison de sa conduite fautive et insouciante à l’égard de ses devoirs envers le tribunal et de l’administration de la justice.

Intitulé : R. c. Tapin-Dubois, 2020 QCCQ 2227
Juridiction :  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Mismanaging Money, Clients, and Teams: How Not to Manage Projects, Part 4 of 4

This is the fourth article in a series about mismanaging projects. If you stop doing some not-good things, you’ll be left with better approaches to managing projects… or at least will be more likely to get out of your own way. (Believe me, this comes from experience. I’m quite the expert at getting in my own way.)

There are five aspects you have to manage to move projects forward effectively, the last three the focus of this article:

  1. The project itself, discussed in the January column.
  2. Time, which we covered in March and May.
  3. Money
  4. The client.
  5. The
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Advice for New Lawyers in a Changing Legal Market

The delivery of legal services is changing. Author Mark Cohen writes in “Big Money is Betting on Legal Industry Transformation” that law is a trillion dollar market with no Goliaths. The industry is fragmented and ripe for transformation. Law firms are becoming a smaller segment of the legal supply chain.

Cohen predicts that “the hegemony of the traditional law firms is over.” He explains that “law firms have lost their hegemony over legal delivery. Their market share is eroding.” New legal providers are entering the market. These different providers include, in-house legal departments, accounting firms, technology start-ups, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. R v Hills, 2020 ABCA 263 (CanLII)

[112] The concern about uncertainty and having unconstitutional laws on the statute books assumes that, just because there has been a Charter infringement, the law enabling it must be unconstitutional. That assumption may not be justified in all cases. The problem may be that courts are too quick to re-characterize complaints about Charter-infringing conduct . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Barriers to Accessing Legal Information

In this post, I would like to highlight the barriers to accessing legal information and ways we can help remove them.

Let’s begin by clarifying the difference between accessibility and availability. Material is accessible when barriers to the content are removed and they can be used by as many people as possible, these barriers can take several forms such as financial or technical limits to access. Material is available when people can easily use it, because it is free of legal and policy restrictions.

A legal document can be accessible, but not available. For example, a member of the public . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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

Sanitizing Library Books
Susannah Tredwell

As libraries reopen, one concern is how to deal with books that have been returned by patrons. The Australian Library and Information Association is recommending the following: “For paper-based products, leave books untouched in a dedicated quarantine area for a 24-hour period prior to handling and recirculating. …

Practice

Making the Most of Your Videoconferencing
Shawn Erker

Assuming we want to . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Ten Years of Technology Columns

My most recent column for Slaw.ca, Mutual Recognition of Methods of Authentication, completed ten full years of bimonthly columns here on any technology topic I chose to write about. This time I will dip into some of the highlights to see if there has been any progress, theoretical, practical or personal, on them. I have also published numerous occasional pieces here over that period and before, usually also on technology.

Technology

My first column, in 2010, was on Robot Law. Some of the concerns discussed there – such as the capacity of robots to have an autonomous legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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. Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog 2. Trauma & Lawyers’ Mental Health 3. Eloise Gratton 4. Canadian Class Actions Monitor 5. Wise Law Blog

Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog
Study – Weight Advantages From Weight Cutting/Gaining Non Factor in Bout Outcomes

Adding to this database of combat sports

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19

The COVID-19 has been a boon for novel and unique issues in law.

While there have been widely reported concerns about women academics being less productive during the pandemic than men, likely due to unequal divisions of labour at home such as childcare, the intersecting impacts of gender, race and parenthood on academic productivity illustrate a broader and more complex factors, but ones that could have long-term career implications.

The necessity to rapidly share scientific information during a pandemic has also accelerated a shift towards more open-access publications. Removing paywalls facilitates a better flow of information and knowledge transfer, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS : Une petite entreprise familiale d’édition n’a pas établi que sa décision de mettre fin au processus d’embauche d’une responsable des ventes de titres à l’étranger était justifiée du fait que les mesures d’accommodement envisagées en lien avec sa grossesse constituaient une contrainte excessive.

Intitulé : St-Pierre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday