Slaw – Canada’s Online Legal Magazine
Canada’s online legal magazine.

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

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 as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (July 14 – August 10, 2018 inclusive).

Appeals

Criminal Law: Confidential Informer Information
R. v. Brassington, 2018 SCC 37 (37476)

Jurisprudence prevents piercing informer privilege unless the accused can show that his or her innocence . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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.

PROTECTION DU CONSOMMATEUR : L’article 260.35 de la Loi sur la protection du consommateur, qui oblige les fournisseurs de services Internet à bloquer l’accès aux sites de jeux d’argent en ligne non autorisés par Loto-Québec, est inconstitutionnel; il intervient dans 2 champs de compétence fédérale exclusive, soit les télécommunications . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Why a Scent-Free Policy Not a Solution in the Detection of Cannabis Impairment

There is a recent article that suggested that implementing a scent-free or fragrance-free environment policy would help employers know if their employee is high at work from cannabis use, and what actions to take when they catch them high at work.

Most people are familiar with smoking dried cannabis in hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes or water pipes-but people can consume cannabis in many forms, including: “vaping”; eaten in cannabis-infused foods called “edibles” (e.g., cooking oils and drinks); applied as oils, ointments, tinctures, cream and concentrates (e.g., butane hash oil, resins and waxes); and of course, ingested as oral pills and oral . . . [more]

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

Making Your Dream a Reality – Starts Here

This article is for you if you have a dream about your career that you think may not be possible.

Some dreams are worth pursuing, even if they take a while to achieve. I know this for sure because this summer, after more than a decade of step-by-step progress, I am living mine.

I have a home on Salt Spring Island, and my dream has been to live and work from there full time. This summer I am spending two full months on the island working from my home office,

It all began back in November 2003 when my wife . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Riverview Law Sees the World Through EY

The recent announcement of EY’s proposed acquisition of one hundred percent of the shares in Riverview Law (closing at the end of August, 2018) has elicited a number of different responses around the globe all speculating on what this transaction means for the future of legal services? Was this a lifeline to Riverview Law? Will clients really want legal and accounting to be done by the same firm? Aren’t the Big Four just marginally less clunky than Biglaw? Will BigLaw be worried? Some of those comments are here.

But like all fast-breaking stories, there is some fog. So it’s . . . [more]

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

In Re Lionel Hutz: Vote for Your Favourite Simpsons Law Quote

In my defence, I had no idea what I was starting.

When I published a blog post recently about lawyers’ tendency to wear too many hats in law firms, I thought it would be amusing to name the post (and the tendency) after a quote from The Simpsons. Furthermore, when promoting the post on Twitter, I (perhaps rashly) called the quote “the greatest line in the show’s history.”

That assessment did not pass unchallenged. Canadian legal types Alison Crone, Colin Lachance, Ava Chisling, and Julie Sobowale all chimed in with their nominees. “Well,” I said carelessly, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Let’s Be Clear: The Case for Explicitly Banning Discriminatory Law Schools

Law societies shouldn’t accredit law schools that have discriminatory admissions policies. In my view, this statement has always been morally true. But we now know that this statement is legally true thanks to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions in the two recent TWU cases (see, here and here).

The Court’s analysis in both cases purportedly proceeded under a “reasonableness” standard of review and, thus, professed not to speak directly to the ultimate correctness of the law societies’ refusals to accredit a proposed law school that, to use the Court’s words, “effectively bars many LGBTQ people from attending.” Viewed . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Thursday Thinkpiece: Grace and Wisdom–Patrick G. Kerwin, Chief Justice of Canada

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.

Grace and Wisdom: Patrick G. Kerwin, Chief Justice of Canada

ISBN: 9781927032978 (hardcover), 9781927032688 (softcover)
Page count: 340
Publication date: May 2018
Price: $36 (hardcover) or $24 (softcover), + $5 shipping
To purchase: visit www.chiefjusticekerwin.ca or Petra Books
Publisher: Petra Books
© Stephen G. McKenna 2018
Contact: contact@chiefjusticekerwin.ca

Excerpts from various chapters . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Blockchain Judiciary

In Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World, Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott discuss the potential for blockchain in changing our world. Blockchain is a list of records (blocks) that are linked using cryptography. The list of records are permanent, open, and time stamped. The records are linked using algorithms that are almost impossible to break.

Don and Alex Tapscott write that blockchain could be used to transform our judiciary. For example, they cite the concept of CrowdJury. “CrowdJury looks to transform the justice system by putting several judicial processes online, using both . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. Price v. H. Lundbeck A/S, 2018 ONSC 4333 (CanLII)

Approximately three and a half years ago, pursuant to the Class Proceedings Act, 1992, [Plaintiff] commenced a proposed class action against H. Lundbeck A/S and Lundbeck Canada Inc. (collectively “Lundbeck”), which are pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drug “citalopram,” under the brand name Celexa®.

[2] Citalopram is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) indicated . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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.

Practice

Think Twice About Free Services From Google
Andrea Cannavina

So I belong to this listserv of mostly attorneys and everyone is talking about how they use Google for this and Google for that and all I can think is … is it just me?! Why would anyone wish Google to be scanning and indexing their business records and documents – let alone a bunch of attorneys? …

Research . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

How Old Belief Systems Can Cripple a Career

Precedent figures heavily in most law practises, so it’s understandable that lawyers would rely heavily on past experiences and belief systems in the running of their lives. Life experience can create wisdom. It can also lead to our greatest weak spots. In over twenty years of coaching lawyers, my primary goal has been to help them to identify and overcome old belief systems that are no longer working for them but that they continue to use to the detriment of their careers.

For example:

  • A lawyer who is held back from partnership because of a lack of delegation, but can’t
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law