Canada’s online legal magazine.

Debt Money, Banking Profits and Canadian Sovereignty

I happened upon an interesting story on a website called Collective Evolution entitled, “Canadians Sued The Bank Of Canada & Won. Mainstream Media & Government Blacks Out Story.” The report stated:

“The truth is, The Bank of Canada used to issue debt free loans to the government, which meant that the nation would not go into debt to private banking institutions. When that changed, private bankers/corporations essentially gained control and ownership of the country.”

This struck me as a potentially conspiratorial piece on a sketchy website but certainly intriguing enough that I wanted to know more. So I’ve . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

In Praise of the Queen’s Counsel

For many lawyers, December is a month filled with anticipation as most of the provinces announce coveted Queen’s Counsel (QC) appointments prior to Christmas. For federal government lawyers, they waited for an announcement that never came.

In 2013, the Harper government revived the federal QC after a two-decade hiatus. In 2015, the new Trudeau government appears to have quietly abandoned this practice. Or it may simply not have been a priority for a busy new government. Whatever the explanation, if the Trudeau government wants to recognize the value of public service, it should continue the practice of awarding QCs to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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 seventy 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. McElroy Law Blog  2. Rule of Law 3. Social Media for Law Firms  4. AvoidAClaim  5. SOQUIJ

McElroy Law Blog
Criminal law round-up

In what I’m hoping will be a monthly feature, here is a round-up of some of the last month’s news, cases and goings-on in criminal law . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Employee Privacy, on and Off the Job, in an Era of Technology

At the past OBA Institute this week, the Labour & Employment and Privacy & Access to Information sections conducted a joint session on employee privacy, one of the most rapidly expanding and pressing areas of the intersection of both these areas if practice.

Daniel Wong of Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP looked at the statutory leaves of absences under the ESA, and the basis for which employers can request information for these leaves. Although these unpaid leaves are guaranteed by statute, an employer may still require documentary evidence substantiating these leaves. Problems arise though where an employer requests additional information . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

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 peine de Guy Turcotte à la suite de sa condamnation pour meurtre au second degré de ses 2 enfants est l’emprisonnement à perpétuité; le délai préalable à sa libération conditionnelle est fixé à 17 ans sous chacun des chefs d’accusation.

Intitulé : R. c. Turcotte, 2016 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Profession of the Privileged

Last week my Facebook feed lit up after the article by Eric Girard, “What I learned at law school: The poor need not apply”, was published in the Globe. Mr. Girard, a 3rd year student at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, was on the verge of leaving school due to his financial circumstances until a friend stepped in and, at the last minute, offered to co-sign a loan. Mr. Girard’s story ends well but it highlights some significant problems with legal education in Canada. The high cost of a legal education puts it out of reach from . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

DIY A2J 4: Unbundle Your Services, Reinvent Your Billing Model

To date, my DIY A2J posts have talked about ways that lawyers can improve access to justice in family law matters by disseminating information about family law and dispute resolution processes on a voluntary, pro bono basis. Pro bono work is all well and good, and arguably a moral imperative of those practising a generally privileged profession, but at the end of the day you have a responsibility to yourself and to your family to put food on the table and keep the lights on.

It seems to me, and apparently to the Canadian Bar Association‘s Futures Committee as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Med-Arb: The Debate Continues

A couple years ago Slaw columnists Kari D. Boyle and Ian Mackenzie collaborated on a pair of excellent articles on Med-Arb – Kerri from the mediator perspective and Ian from the adjudication perspective.

These articles insightfully highlight many of the legal, ethical and practical issues surrounding the idea of having a single person act as both mediator and arbitrator – issues that continue to be hotly debated among mediators and arbitrators.

Med-arb has become widely accepted in labour, family and other areas. The main reason is efficiency.

There are many different models of med-arb. All of them rest on . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Vendor Quiz: Loom Analytics

Vendor Quiz is a periodic feature here at Slaw in which we ask a legal marketplace supplier a series of substantive questions about their product or service. Our goal is to provide insight and guidance to Slaw readers who might be considering a purchase, and who would benefit from practical information with which they can make a more informed choice. Vendor Quiz is an advertorial service, with each post sponsored by the featured vendor.

Loom Analytics is basically ‘moneyball’ for the legal industry. It provides legal analytics at your fingertips to help you identify historical trends in legal data.
  . . . [more]

Posted in: Vendor Quiz

Thursday Thinkpiece: Langille & Alon-Shenker on Law Firm Partners and the Scope of Labour Laws

Each Thursday 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.

Law Firm Partners and the Scope of Labour Laws

Brian Langille, Professor of Law, University of Toronto and Pnina Alon-Shenker, Associate Professor and Director of Ryerson Law & Business Clinic, Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University

Reprinted with permission. (2015) 4:2 Canadian Journal of Human Rights 211

Excerpt: Introductory . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Climate Change 2016

Canada entered 2015 internationally condemned as a climate laggard, and enters 2016 with a new government that received praise for its role in the Paris Climate negotiations. But the country’s work on climate change is far from done. The government has promised, within 90 days after the Paris talks, to sit down with the Premiers to develop a national framework on climate change.

In this post we review the Paris Agreement, its strengths and shortcomings, and what it means for Canada.

Evaluating the Paris Climate Agreement

In December the nations of the world gathered in Paris to negotiate a new . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

A Definite Yes!

One of my 2016 New Year’s resolutions was to start with “Yes.” Happily, every so often an opportunity comes around that makes saying “Yes!” the only logical response.

The Law Society of Manitoba’s annual Lawyers for Literacy event is just such an opportunity. Each year for the past 5 years, lawyers and Law Society staff have signed on to spend the better part of a Saturday reading to children at West Broadway Youth Outreach (“WBYO”). As well as reading to kids, participating lawyers raise pledges to support the work of WBYO and donate books and toys for use in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous