Canada’s online legal magazine.

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. Building NewLaw Podcast  2. McElroy Law Blog 3. Law & Style  4. Meurrens on Immigration  5. FamilyLLB

Building NewLaw Podcast
Legal tech & NewLaw real talk

Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold interview Derek Hopfner, co-founder of Law Scout. Derek, along with his friends, Shane Murphy and Travis . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Client Publications – a Tried and True Tactic

You may find it comforting to know that, despite all the talk about innovation and disruption in the business of law, some of the long-standing tactics of legal marketing and business development remain effective. Last month, two client contacts independently forwarded the same competitor’s legal update to lawyers in my firm and asked for advice on the subject.

The publication had the desired effect in that it caught the attention of exactly the kind of client it was targeting, but unfortunately for the competitor, it generated two leads for our firm instead. It was an instructive reminder of the value . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

University of Virginia Website on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

The University of Virginia School of Law has launched the Gorsuch Project, a website devoted to the career of Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016:

“Hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled to begin March 20 and interest in the nominee’s judicial record is high. To assist researchers, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Neil Gorsuch Project, a website that assembles all of Gorsuch’s written opinions, as well

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Sometimes Legal Aid Is the Problem, Not the Solution

Introduction

Legal aid is intended to assist the most vulnerable in our society, and ensure that they obtain justice irrespective of their financial situations. Often it accomplishes this lofty objective. Far too frequently it does not.

What is more concerning is how references to legal aid are frequently invoked as an obstacle to legal reforms.

One such example would be for the proposal by the Bonkalo Report for paralegals to practice family law. Not unexpectedly, there are family lawyers and judges who have already come out against it. The most recent are several lawyer organizations and some judges of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Inculpé de conduite avec les facultés affaiblies, l’accusé échoue à obtenir un arrêt des procédures à la lumière du cadre d’analyse de R. c. Jordan (C.S. Can., 2016-07-08), 2016 CSC 27, SOQUIJ AZ-51302609, 2016EXP-2173, J.E. 2016-1212; en effet, la poursuite a démontré que le délai écoulé était . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (Feb. 24 – Mar. 16, 2017 inclusive).

Appeals

Criminal Law/Securities: Trial by Jury

R. v. Peers, 2017 SCC 13 (36865), R. v. Aitkens, 2017 SCC 14 (36866)

These are two separate appeals. The S.C.C. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Lawyer Licensing System in Ontario

A vital part of the Law Society’s legislated mandate is to ensure that all lawyers called to the Bar in Ontario have the demonstrated competency to practise law at an entry level.

There are many stakeholders across the legal profession in Ontario who believe that the current licensing process is unfair and unsustainable over the long term, and needs to continue to evolve. There is no consensus, however, on the shape or scope of that change.

The Law Society understands that any change in the fundamental components of lawyer licensing must be supported by the profession.

In this article, I . . . [more]

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

Crossing the Border With Your Devices — as a Lawyer

I’ve been kindly invited to be a regular/irregular contributor to Slaw, and I’m delighted to take them up on this offer.

Even before the change in government in the United States, I’m often asked — by other lawyers, the media and other folks — about whether you can be required to surrender your electronic devices and passcodes to unlock them on demand by border agents. This question has become a bit more acute as the media is increasingly reporting about individuals being not only required to surrender their devices and their passcodes, but also their social media credentials to border . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Too Many New Lawyers? Build a Wall?

Over the last few years, there has been much debate about how to deal with the significant increase in the numbers of Canadian and foreign law school graduates seeking licensing in Ontario. While the number of articling positions has significantly increased, the number of applicants has increased even more quickly. The Law Practice Program (LPP) was established several years ago as an additional pathway to address this shortfall and to pilot a new approach to experiential training.

With a recent proposal to terminate the LPP facing substantial opposition, the Law Society of Upper Canada is now developing “long-term recommendations for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Reasonable Royalties and Non-Infringing Alternatives

In an oil and gas patent proceeding, the court ordered a 27% royalty rate for sales made prior to the grant of the patent at issue and did not consider a manual process as being a non-infringing alternative. In a recently issued decision, Frac Shack Inc. v. AFD Petroleum Ltd., 2017 FC 104, the defendant was found to infringe several of the claims in a patent relating to a fuel delivery system used for hot refueling of equipment used for hydraulic fracturing.

If a patent is found to be infringed, the patentee, or person claiming under the patentee . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

The Future Is Bright

As I wrapped up my last class at Robson Hall last week, I remarked to that whip-smart group of 1Ls that I hoped they had learned at least half as much in their two terms of Legal Methods as I did in the teaching of the course. This was my first experience teaching in a law school setting and looking back, I know for certain that I learned more than I likely imparted.

You may recall that last fall, my stated intention as I went back to law school as a sessional instructor was to keep a record of my . . . [more]

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

Marilyn Macfarlane – the Glue That Binds

After a remarkable career, Marilyn Macfarlane has retired from the Osgoode Society. Marilyn was the first and only administrator of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History for over 40 years. During that period, over 100 books were published and over 600 oral histories compiled. Throughout it all, Marilyn served as the point person between the Society, and the many authors, publishers and members of the legal community who were part of the process. Known for her gracious manner, thoughtfulness and careful attention to detail, Marilyn was truly the glue that bound its many disparate parts and personalities together.

My . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous