Canada’s online legal magazine.

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. Sga’nism Sim’augit (Chief Mountain) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCCA 49 (CanLII)

[2] The Treaty is a complex, detailed and comprehensive agreement addressing all aspects of the continuing relationship between the Nisga’a Nation, Canada and British Columbia, as well as the powers of Nisga’a Government to make laws in relation to matters vital to the Nisga’a, including the preservation of Nisga’a . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Making the Hard Decisions: Ethical Lawyering

What do you do as a lawyer when your client wants you to call a witness or make representations to the court that you believe are non-starters and even dangerous to your client’s case? If you’re one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, you might seek to introduce a “handwritten yellow sticky note” as evidence of election fraud (see decision with ruling the note was inadmissible as hearsay here). And then there’s Dean Embry, the lawyer representing James Sears, the editor of Your Ward News, who now finds himself as a witness in his former client’s appeal of a conviction . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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

Ellipsis
Neil Guthrie

There are two principal and related uses of ellipsis (…), both based on their function to indicate that something has been left out (ellipsis means ‘omission’ in Greek). The first is what we might call the technical use. Here, ellipsis shows that a specific word or larger portion of text has been omitted from a quotation: … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Federal Court’s Jurisdiction Over Contractual Intellectual Property Issues

The Federal Court of Appeal has clarified the Federal Court’s jurisdiction over contractual ownership issues as part of patent proceedings. Ownership of patents is often intertwined with the identification of inventors, assignments of patent rights and license agreements. The Federal Court hears most intellectual property cases in Canada and more certainty on the Court’s jurisdiction in this area is welcome.

As a statutory court, the Federal Court shares jurisdiction with the superior courts in certain areas and has exclusive jurisdiction on other matters. As it relates to intellectual property, the Federal Courts Act, Section 20 identifies areas of exclusive . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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. Vancouver Immigration Law Blog 2. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog 3. ABlawg.ca 4. Know How 5. IP Osgoode

Vancouver Immigration Law Blog
Why New Zealand’s Interim Visa Might Be Canada’s Next Adopted Policy

Implied Status can be complicated. During the COVID pandemic, I have heard from both employers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Park Evictions During a Pandemic

To the uninitiated, it looks a bit like urban camping. Take a closer look though, and you’ll see their entire life belongings, and evidence that these camps are not recreational, but a matter of survival.

What we’re referring to of course are the numerous tent encampments that have proliferated across Canada during the pandemic. Other alternatives often resorted to in those without permanent housing, including couch surfing, staying with friends or family members temporarily, and even shelters and respite centres, may not be appropriate in the circumstances, including providing inadequate distancing from others.

These encampments give rise to a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.

RESPONSABILITÉ : La directrice de l’Autorité centrale du Québec a commis une faute en décidant d’intervenir pour aider un père à retrouver son ex-épouse et son fils en utilisant les pouvoirs prévus dans la Loi sur les aspects civils de l’enlèvement international et interprovincial d’enfants alors qu’elle n’avait pas la . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Do You Believe in Peer-Review?

Peer-review is a widely accepted process in scholarly publishing. It’s seen as a sign of quality and a way to establish legitimacy. There are, however, drawbacks to this process too. It takes time and doesn’t always give consistent results. What benefits do we get from the peer-review process and is it worth the costs? Are the benefits the same for legal information as they are for other disciplines?

Many journals, whether scientific or legal, open access or behind a paywall, use peer-review because it provides status that can help writers with tenure promotion or securing grants and scholarships. There are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Employees’ Imperfect Right to Reasonable Accommodation

By Lewis Waring, Paralegal and Student-at-Law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

Human rights claims are often the result of an employee’s claim that their employer has failed to accommodate their needs. Whether such claims arise due to an employee’s disability, family status, gender, religion or any other human rights ground, employees have a duty to accommodate the human rights needs of their employees. However, the duty to accommodate does not require employers to provide employees with their ideal option. Instead, employees are only required to provide reasonable accommodation.

In a recent British Columbian human rights case, an employer fulfilled its duty . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Current Trend: Optimism That Civil Jury Trials Will Take Place in Spring 2021

COVID-19 has delayed many civil jury trials, creating concerns of prejudice. In the recent decision of Saadi v. Silva, 2020 ONSC 6700, the plaintiff brought a motion to strike the jury after the trial was adjourned.

In October, a jury was selected for the Saadi v Silva matter. However, after jury selection, Premier Ford announced that Toronto would return to a modified Stage 2. As part of this return, in-person trials were to continue at the discretion of the trial judge. Since in this case, no evidence had been called and no opening statements were made, the jury . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Last December was a rare instance where the average Canadians’ attention was briefly captured by a matter of administrative law, thanks to Russian spies and Super Bowl ads. Two months earlier, Britons’ attention was also captured by a matter of administrative law, involving a challenge to the prorogation of parliament by the Queen at the request of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In that case, R (on the application of Miller) v The Prime Minister, [2019] UKSC 41, on judicial review the UK Supreme Court held that the prorogation had been unlawful.

The loss was significant for the ruling Conservatives. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law