Canada’s online legal magazine.

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.

CONTRAT D’ENTREPRISE : La juge de première instance était fondée à rejeter l’ensemble des réclamations de l’appelante, qui demandait notamment une compensation pour des retards en vertu d’une clause prévoyant des dommages-intérêts liquidés.

Intitulé : Enerkem Alberta Biofuels c. Papillon et Fils ltée, 2019 QCCA 1334
Juridiction : Cour d’appel . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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 (newest first):

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

Empathy for the Disrupted

I use both taxis and Uber, depending on the situation. Here’s at least one thing that differentiates each from the other.

If you’ve taken a taxi in the last few years and the subject of Uber has come up (almost certainly raised by your driver), you know how much cabdrivers just hate that company. They absolutely loathe it. In my city, taxi drivers wrecked rush-hour traffic for several days by staging massive protests against Uber before it even arrived. (They did not win any hearts and minds in the process.)

But what’s interesting is that during all the Uber rides . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Supreme Court of Canada Refuses to Hear an Appeal on Campbell River Family Status Test

A previous Slaw article (which you can read here) discussed the recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision that confirmed that the stringent test set out in Health Sciences Assoc of BC v Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (Campbell River) to determine if there was a duty to accommodate based on family status and if there is a prima facie case of discrimination based on family status, continues to be the applicable test in British Columbia.

Since this decision, the employee was seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to address the inconsistency in . . . [more]

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

Employee Entitled to Rescind Retirement Notice

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that an employee had the right to unilaterally revoke her notice of resignation due to changing circumstances, and was wrongfully dismissed when her employer would not allow her to do so.

Quick facts

December 31, 2016, a 64-year-old employee resigned after her employer said it would be implementing a new computer system, citing her concern with learning a new system. The employee’s supervisor offered the employee an opportunity to reconsider and told the employee she could revoke the notice if she changed her mind.

On October 11, 2016, the employer announced it wouldn’t . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Prosecuting and Defending Drug Cases–A Practitioner’s Handbook

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.

Prosecuting and Defending Drug Cases: A Practitioner’s Handbook

Author: Nathan Gorham, Jeremy Streeter and Breana Vandebeek
Foreword: Eric V. Gottardi, Peck and Company Barristers
General Editors: Brian H. Greenspan and Justice Vincenzo Rondinelli

ISBN: 978-1-77255-4298
Publisher: Emond Publishing
Page Count: 340
Publication Date: June, 2019

Regular Price: $115
Series Subscription Price: $100 . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Fixing a Problem That We Don’t Fully Understand

Evidence-based research in law is necessary. Without it we rely on assumptions and anecdotes which, however practical or logical they may seem, can lead to egregious and unanticipated outcomes. At best, this might mean misunderstandings about the effectiveness of legal services; at worst the result could be misspent resources that make legal services even more inaccessible than they are now. Take the following as an example. One of the main arguments in favor of expanding the types of legal services that paralegals are authorized to provide is the lower cost of paralegal services relative to the cost of legal services . . . [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. Smith v Obuck, 2019 ABQB 593

[351] The Plaintiff’s misrepresentations made to get on CWD cast a shadow on his credibility. Had there not been the other corroborating evidence to support the Plaintiff’s evidence of ongoing back pain since the Accident, the outcome may have been different. However, when the evidence as a whole is considered, I am satisfied that the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Absent Ethics of Legal Fees : Putting Profit-Seeking in Its Place

A lawyer should be a loyal ally for a person with a legal need. This loyalty is at the core of our profession’s value proposition to society. Thus, legal ethics strives to guarantee devoted service to clients. Conflict of interest rules prohibit all situations creating “substantial risk” that the lawyer’s loyalty to a client “would be materially and adversely affected by the lawyer’s own interest.” Lawyers, as fiduciaries, must be “concerned solely for the beneficiary [client]’s interests, never the fiduciary [lawyer]’s own.”

There is, however, a glaring exception to the duty of selfless loyalty to clients. Lawyers are allowed . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Hearings for Court of Appeal Nominees

Recently, the chief justice of Canada, The Honourable Robert Wagner, suggested that appointments to the appellate courts might beneficially echo the process for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada, with the introduction of legislative hearings into the nominee. As reported in The Globe and Mail, the chief justice argued that public nomination hearings would add to the transparency that he is seeking to bring to the judicial process and would increase trust in the judiciary; he explained, “the best way to avoid bias and prejudice is to inform the people.” Based on the process for SCC nominees, is . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Artificial Intelligence and Bias: Social Impacts of a Technical Solution

One of the substantial concerns about the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal space is about bias, and evidence has shown that this concern is warranted. Given the urgency of this topic as these systems are being sold and deployed, I was happy to be able to speak about it at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference in May and the American Association of Law Libraries in July. Here are some of my thoughts on AI that may not have made it into the presentations.

First some discussion of AI itself — while it’s fun to talk . . . [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

Finding Internet Sources Cited in SCC Judgments
Susannah Tredwell

When you are trying to find a source that has been cited online, it can be very frustrating to discover that the link no longer works. …

Practice

National Self-Represented Litigants Project Report Now on CanLII
Melanie Hodges Neufeld

CanLII recently announced that 22 reports from the National Self- Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) are now available on . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday