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. Legal Sourcery 2. Administrative Law Matters 3. NSRLP 4. Slater Vecchio Connected  5. Labour Pains

Legal Sourcery
Updated Child Support Guidelines Tables

The federal government has recently updated the Child Support Guidelines Tables. The new Tables are available at: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/cst-orpe.html. The amendments were published in Part II

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Weak Data Security Will Erode Our Privacy and Our Liberties

I’ve been thinking a lot about cybersecurity recently. But when news of the Equifax data breach surfaced recently, I was more alarmed than usual. Although Equifax is the latest of a long line of data breaches where personal information has been stolen, this one was different.

There was the usual furor, of course, (US Senate hearings, questions in the House, newspaper headlines raging, stock tanking, etc.) when the fact of that massive data breach occurred was finally disclosed (a full five months after the breach occurred). More details on the scale of the breach have trickled out since then. But . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Charter Protects Freedom of Belief, Not Objects of Belief

Canada has not had an entirely disassociated relationship with religion, from its inception.

The British monarch, who is the symbolic head of Canada, also holds the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. The 2011 census estimates over 1.5 million Canadians, or 5% of the population, are Anglican today, making this relationship with the church not entirely insignificant.

The monarch’s Oath of Accession includes a promise to “maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government,” meaning that religious plurality is also built into this symbolic role given his . . . [more]

Posted in: 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.

FAILLITE ET INSOLVABILITÉ : Il y a lieu d’appliquer à la réclamation de l’intimée le principe de la «suspension des intérêts» («interest stops rule») même si celui-ci est issu de la Loi sur la faillite et l’insolvabilité (Nortel Networks Corporation et al. (Re), 2014 ONSC 5274) et s’il . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

A Rhetorical Question for Canadian Appellate Counsel

If you were appearing before your jurisdiction’s Court of Appeal and:

  1.  you didn’t mention one of the Court’s own decisions decided within the year, deciding one of the central issues in the case you were on; or
  2.  mentioned that case but on another point without mentioning that it had decided the issue in your case; or
  3. relied on a decision of your Court of Appeal for a proposition which had been rejected by the Supreme Court in at least 3 decisions after that Court of Appeal decision and (you did so) without mentioning the SCC decisions on point; or
  4. argued
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The T-Shaped Lawyer: Successful Skills and Abilities of Current and Future Lawyers

This post originally appeared on the OsgoodePD Blog.

Technology has had a fundamental effect on most professions. It has standardized and simplified processes, removed labour intensive elements, and increased efficiency of how products and services are developed and sold. Most importantly, it has made it necessary for those in the profession to adapt and change who does the work, what the work is, and how the work is done.

Law and the practice of law has, in many ways, remained relatively untouched. That is until now!

Yes, computers and email have transformed how lawyers communicate and do their work, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended

Fixing Our Broken Copyright System

Copyright law seeks to regulate creativity. Nowhere is this regulation more apparent, or specific for that matter, than at the level of setting tariffs for copyright uses as set by the Copyright Board and administered by collective societies. As illustrated most recently in the Access Copyright v. York University decision, this system of collective administration is horribly broken. It is time to get creative about how we regulate creativity.

This is how copyright works. Authors (and their intermediaries) are compensated for their creations through a tradeable commodity known as copyright. The ability of some authors to make a living depends . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Employers Can Be Found Liable for Negative Employment References

Two recent cases out of Ontario’s Superior Court, Papp v Stokes Economic Consulting Inc., (Papp) and Kanak v Riggin, (Kanak), provide guidance to employers on avoiding liability when giving employment references. Although in both Papp and Kanak the employers were cleared of any liability, both cases confirm that employers can be found liable for defamation when providing a negative reference. . . . [more]

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

More Choice for Clients Is Better, Right? Yes, But…

In his 2005 Ted Talk “The Paradox of Choice” Barry Schwartz presented an insightful condemnation of the “official dogma” of the modern, western, industrialized world. The “official dogma” states that real freedom comes from maximizing choice. Seems reasonable, even obvious. However, he emphasizes that too much choice has two negative effects on people:

  1. Too much choice produces paralysis rather than liberation. With many options to choose from people find it difficult to choose at all; and
  2. Too much choice makes us less satisfied with the result of our choice even if it was a good decision. This is because of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. September Seventh Entertainment Limited v. The Feldman Agency, 2017 ONCA 815

[6] While sarcasm is best avoided in judgment writing, the trial judge’s comments clearly targeted the extravagant and unsupported public policy claim advanced by Mr. Gauthier in his affidavit. The remark spoke to the merits of that argument and no reasonable person could interpret the comment as casting aspersions on . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Trade

Trade creates wealth. See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776). The world’s wealthiest nation, the U.S.A., is the most successful economic union in world history.

Russell David “Russ” Roberts is an economist and a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Roberts states that self-sufficiency is the road to poverty. Roberts in a podcast elaborates on the economic theories of Adam Smith and David Ricardo to explain how specialization and trade creates wealth and how radical self-sufficiency leads to poverty.

Trade restrictions reduce the benefits of trade for consumers. Adam Smith condemned government restrictions that restricted an economic activity . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Ontario’s Law Society: Orwell’s Big Brother or Fuller’s Rex?

On September 13, 2017 Ontario’s Law Society with no name sent a now infamous e-mail to its licensees stating:

You will need to create and abide by an individual Statement of Principles that acknowledges your obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in your behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public. You will be asked to report on the creation and implementation of a Statement of Principles in your 2017 Annual Report.

While some have defended the Statement (see Omar Ha-Redeye here on SLAW and Renatta Austin’s comments on The Current) most commentary has been harshly . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics