Canada’s online legal magazine.

The Gloomy Future of Access to Family Justice in British Columbia: Outcomes of the Law Society’s 2018 Annual General Meeting

In December 2014, the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia unanimously agreed to act on the recommendations of its Legal Services Regulatory Framework Task Force and pursue “an amendment to the Legal Profession Act authorizing it to establish and regulate new classes of legal service providers in order to address unmet and underserved legal needs.” The creation of this task force stemmed from the recommendations of the Legal Services Providers Task Force the previous year, which found that “to address unmet and underserved legal needs in our society,” it was necessary “to explore in more detail a liberalization . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Are We Done Yet?

If parties are successful in reaching an agreement at the end of a long day (or more) of mediation, one of the final challenges is preparing a written document everyone can sign to capture the terms of the settlement.

One difficulty is to make it detailed enough to cover all of the essential terms, without leaving any loose ends.

Another is to avoid getting bogged down with overly complex legal drafting that can simply open up new issues or unravel a still-fragile agreement.

The more complex the settlement, the more difficult it is to balance these two competing challenges. It’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

New Web App on What You Can Find in Ontario Courthouse Libraries

Colleagues from the Ontario Courthouse Libraries Association have developed a wonderful web app to help lawyers plan their visit to the courthouses and courthouse libraries around the province.

Information includes details such as :

  • location of the library in the court building
  • contact info
  • hours of service
  • wi-fi availability
  • electronic resources & databases lawyers can use
  • printing and copying costs
  • robing room
  • after hour access
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Wilful Act Required to Prove WSIB Fraud

According to the Ontario Court of Appeal, when the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) charges a worker for “wilfully failing to inform the Board of a material change,” the WSIB must prove a wilful act, and, moreover, that a worker intended to obtain WSIB benefits to which he or she is not entitled to. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Crushed

In Britain earlier this fall, three solicitors lost their careers. The High Court of England & Wales, overturning a decision by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, ruled that the three lawyers, who had each committed acts of dishonesty, should be struck off (disbarred) in order to maintain public confidence in the justice system.

The SDT had previously found that although the solicitors had acted dishonestly, “exceptional circumstances” warranted replacing the usual order of disbarment with a suspended suspension with conditions of their practising certificates. These circumstances involved “unbearable pressure” placed on the lawyers by their firms and workplaces. Some examples . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

GDPR Guidelines for Canadian Business

The new EU GDPR privacy rules can apply to businesses outside of the EU that provide goods and services to EU data subjects. It is important for businesses outside of the EU to know when they are subject to the GDPR, as penalties for non-compliance are significant. An occasional sale to someone in the EU probably won’t be an issue – but what will? 

The European Data Protection Board just released for public consultation draft guidelines on when the GDPR applies to those without a presence in the EU. 

Article 3(2) of the GDPR says it applies to businesses without . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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. Vernon Professional Firefighters’ Association I.A.F.F. LOCAL 1517 v Corporation of the City of Vernon, 2018 CanLII 111669 (BC LA)

[266] On balance, our assessment of each factor and the interaction among them in this matrix of factors persuades us that this surreptitious surveillance as conducted by the employer was both a necessary collection of employee personal information for an investigation of . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Content Marketing

Content marketing is pretty simple, it involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote you or your brand but is intended to stimulate interest. It is a proven strategy for finding new leads and for being thought of as an authority on the topic. For lawyers, especially those early in their career, it has become almost a rite of passage.

I was recently asked to review a book authored by a number of lawyers across Canada. The material was excellent but it became quickly obvious that although . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Need for a Systematic Approach to Provision of Legal Services

Over the past few weeks, @Erin Durant42 has done yeoperson’s service in responding to the anticipated closing of the Pro Bono Legal Help Centres to the extent that the Centres will now be funded for another year.

This is good news, but it also highlights one of the serious problems we have in trying to provide access to justice to those who cannot afford a private lawyer. The past years have seen the springing up of a variety of responses to the lack of access to justice (in the sense of access to legal services), many of them reliant on . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Problems Canadians Experience in Key Areas of Life May Be Greater Than We Think

Millions of Canadians live with serious debt, persistent housing problems and face ongoing issues with unemployment. These problems have profound effects on their quality of life. They signal lives of adversity that are impacted by the economic and social constraints that these problems impose.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice’s (CFCJ’s) 2014 national survey of Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice[1] asked over 3,000 adults in Canada about their experiences with these markers of adversity. Separate from experiences of civil justice problems within the three-year reference period of the survey, participants were asked:

  • Looking back over the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

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

Checklist for Background Research
Susannah Tredwell

If you are carrying out due diligence on an individual or company, the BC Securities Commission has produced a very useful online resource on the subject called Conducting Background Research. …

Practice

Find a Great Job (Or a Great Candidate) With Slaw Jobs

In case you missed the big news, there’s a new addition to the Slaw family! Slaw Jobs, . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The 2018 Clawbies Are Officially On!

Depending on who you are, what you celebrate, and your personal tolerance for holiday cheer, December 1st is a big day for many folks.

It can be seen as the officially acceptable date to begin various activities: listening to Christmas music, putting up your lights and decorations, or adding a little Bailey’s to your morning coffee.

It is also Inauguration Day in Mexico (every six years), Bette Midler’s birthday, World AIDS Day, and the day in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Here in our little . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet