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Thursday Thinkpiece: Seeking the Court’s Advice–The Politics of the Canadian Reference Power

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Seeking the Court’s Advice: The Politics of the Canadian Reference Power

Author: Kate Puddister

ISBN: 9780774861113
Publisher: UBC Press
Page Count: 290
Publication Date: November 15, 2019
Regular Price: $32.95 (paperback)

Excerpt: from the Introduction
[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original here]

The Canadian Case

The Canadian practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Silence and Other Weapons of the Weathered Lawyer

Experience has taught me silence and like weapons can be effective. Here were five lessons for me, and perhaps for you.

  1. As plaintiff counsel I met a potential new client, a woman who was catastrophically injured. Liability was a slam-dunk, damages were huge, and I was sure to improve my standard of living a thousand-fold when I was done with her file. An hour into the meeting she was hanging on to my every word. All that was left was to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. As I reached into my bag searching for my pen, a younger
. . . [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. Douez v. Facebook, Inc., 2018 BCCA 186 (CanLII)

[1] This is an appeal from an order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia certifying a claim as a class proceeding. The claim arises out of a practice undertaken by Facebook, under which advertisements displayed to a Facebook member’s “friends” could include a statement that the member “liked” the advertised product, service, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

On Legal Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

There continues to be extensive discussion about artificial intelligence and law, and concerns are regularly raised about the ethical and moral issues this presents, so I was happy when Marcelo Rodríguez invited me to be on a panel at the American Association of Law Libraries Conference on “Legal Ethics in the Use of Artificial Intelligence” with Kristin Johnson, Steven Lastres, and with Kim Nayyer moderating this year. Here’s the session description:

There is a pressing need for both innovators creating the datasets as well as users such as law librarians and attorneys to be aware of the ethical implications of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology

Charitable Activities During COVID

I am a proponent of using charitable events as a way of getting people together to promote your firm. Internally these events can be great for employee engagement. Externally they are great brand building exercises. Individually they can be great business development opportunities. As we work through the global pandemic, many of these activities have been modified or cancelled all together.

Like many of you, I have certain causes that are close to me. For that past few years I have participated in the Northern Pass (#NorthernPass2020) which is a cycling event in Muskoka that raises money for Princess Margaret . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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

A Comma Quiz
Neil Guthrie

How would you punctuate the following? Former Minneapolis Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin and two colleagues J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane have been charged with multiple offences in connection with the death of George Floyd. No points for saying there should be a comma after Minneapolis; that’s too obvious. … . . . [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. Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog 2. Canadian Securities Law 3. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue 4. RT Blog 5. Family Health Law Blog

Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog
Is Nevada Doing “Violent Bob Ross” Wrong When it Comes to Cannabis?

Today MMAJunkie reports that Luis “Violent Bob Ross”

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Ontario Introduces CaseLines to Courts

Following the Civil Submissions Online and Family Submissions Online portals, first introduced starting in 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced on July 29, 2020 that a two-week test phase of CaseLines will be launched on Aug. 10, 2020 for select civil motions and pre-trial conferences. The Online Portal will not be integrated with CaseLines at this time.

Starting Aug. 24, 2020, CaseLines use will be expanded to all civil, Divisional Court, Commercial and Estate List, and bankruptcy matters in Toronto. After that, it will be expanded to the rest of the province.

The new CaseLines service will replace . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

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) : La juge du procès pouvait raisonnablement inférer que la plaignante éprouvait une véritable peur et une atteinte à son bien-être psychologique en raison des communications harcelantes de l’intimé; l’appel du jugement de la Cour supérieure ayant acquitté celui-ci sous le chef de harcèlement criminel au motif que . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act Receives Royal Assent

The Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act (introduced as Bill 32 and referred to as the Act) passed its final reading on July 28, 2020, and received royal assent on July 29, 2020. Some sections of the Act still require proclamation to come into force, however, most provisions come into force on assent or August 15 or November 1, 2020. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Law Societies’ “Bencher Burden” Causes the Access to Justice Problem

[See the full text of this article on the SSRN. It is related to my three previous posts on Slaw, dated: July 25, 2019; April 9, 2020; and, May 29, 2020.]

Bigger law firms are now providing an example of the solution to the access to justice problem (the A2J problem) that is the unaffordability of legal services for the majority of society that is middle- and lower-income people. Richard Susskind, (with son Daniel), in, The Future of the Professions (Oxford University Press, 2015) states (at p. 68): [1]

More generally, larger firms are responding

. . . [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. Battiston v. Microsoft Canada Inc., 2020 ONSC 4286 (CanLII)

[33] However, Professor McCamus adds that sometimes, even with a signed agreement, inadequate notice of a particularly unfair term may render that term unenforceable, at p. 194:

In many contractual settings, it will not be expected that a signing party will take time to read the agreement. Even if the document is read, . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII