Canada’s online legal magazine.

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.

ACCÈS À L’INFORMATION : Pour que le secret professionnel de l’avocat fasse obstacle à une demande d’accès à l’information visant à obtenir le montant des honoraires professionnels d’avocats facturés à des organismes publics, il faut examiner si le total de ces honoraires révèle un aspect confidentiel de la relation avocat-client. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The King Is Dead (R.I.P. Content). Long Live the King (Hail Access).

The big news this past summer on my scholarly publishing beat is Elsevier’s acquisition of bepress, which was announced August 2nd, 2017. Bepress began life as Berkeley Electronic Press in 1999, when three economists at Berkeley saw the writing on the screen, at a time when most scholarly journals were being printed and mailed out, and created an online publishing platform. Jump ahead to 2011 and bepress sold off its portfolio of 67 journals to de Gruyter. Now Elsevier, the largest publisher of scholarly journals, has acquired the company itself, which provides a centralized repository service called Digital . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Privacy Information: Cookieless Identification and Tracking of Devices

This blog post is entirely written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, for First Reference Talks. Christina is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Western Ontario with a focus on privacy law.

On August 21, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released an informative piece regarding cookieless identification and tracking of devices. Interestingly, there is a new technique called, “fingerprinting”, which can work to enable website operators, advertising companies, and other organizations to track users – even when they clear their cookies. The document explains the implications and what people can do to protect their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Europe’s Data Protection Reform Raises the Bar

With the advent of computer databases in the early 1970s, there was a general uneasiness about the power of the state becoming overbearing. The concern about individual privacy centred on the potential for governments to collect and process a vast amount of information about its citizens on a scale only imagined in sci-fi before. Appropriate safeguards were enacted, even if legal uncertainty over government department’s power to share data with each other became the major obstacle in completing e-government projects. (The Indian Supreme Court’s finding of privacy as fundamental right in response to the government’s compulsory biometric identity card system . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Information

practicePRO.ca: Time for a New Look

It’s been nearly 20 years since the launch of the original practicePRO.ca website. While the site was basic by today’s standards, it offered the high quality risk management articles, checklists and precedents lawyers would come to expect from the program.

In its first few years, practicePRO.ca averaged 30,000 visitors and 7,000 downloads per year. By 2016, those number had grown over 10 times larger with an average of 355,000 annual visitors and 362,000 downloads.

The practicePRO program has increased the scope of its content to help lawyers practise more effectively, and the site has grown larger and more complex to . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Asking the Right Questions at the 2017 Isaac Pitblado Lectures

It is said that change is the one constant in life. While personally, I’ve no reason to doubt the truth of that statement, as a member of the legal profession for the past 20(+) years, I sometimes have questioned whether others in the profession would argue against it. We are a profession reliant upon precedent, adept at identifying and avoiding risk and often, slow to adapt to the changing world around us.

Taking on this inherent resistance to new ways of lawyering, I’ve heard Jordan Furlong ask his audiences some variant of the question: If you weren’t already doing it . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

PIPEDA Privacy Breach Notification Regulations Published for Comment

The draft privacy breach regulations under PIPEDA have just been published. They are open for comment for 30 days.

These regulations detail the mechanics of notifying the Privacy Commissioner and individuals when there is a privacy breach. PIPEDA was amended some time ago to require mandatory notification when there is a breach that results in “real risk of significant harm”. Those provisions will come into force after the regulations are passed.

The draft regulations are about what were expected. They are similar to those under Alberta privacy legislation.

I agree with David Fraser’s view that section 4(a) that says notification . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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. 1985 Sawridge Trust v Alberta (Public Trustee), 2017 ABQB 530

[121] I reject that ‘litigating from one’s heart’ is any defence to a potential costs award vs a lawyer, or for that matter from any other sanction potentially faced by a lawyer. Lawyers are not actors, orators, or musicians, whose task is to convey and elicit emotions. They are highly trained . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Unfortunate Incident of the TWU Intervention Decisions

On July 27, 2017 Justice Wagner denied intervenor status to 17 of 26 applicants in the Trinity Western University cases before the Supreme Court, including the applications of all LGBTQ+ identifying groups. Following an immediate and negative public reaction, particularly on social media, Chief Justice McLachlin used her scheduling power to add a second day to the TWU hearings, and then extended intervention status to the 17 applicants whom Justice Wagner originally rejected (Both orders can be found here). Two days later, Justice Wagner gave an interview to the Globe and Mail explaining that he had “no intention to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Food & Beverage Law: An Emerging Species of the Admin Law Genus

Administrative law as a practice area sometimes gets a bad rap for being comprised of Byzantine rules of procedure (often completely unique to the specific tribunal in question), frustrating decision makers, and shifting standards of review. The name itself “admin law” is also guilty of being a little boring, and is not nearly as descriptive as other practice areas like “criminal law” or “immigration law”. To the uninitiated, administrative law is a practice area that can come across as broad, dry, and overly technical. For those that feel that way, the profession has done you a disservice.

In practice, admin . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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 research, writing, and practice.

Research & Writing

Miscellaneous Little Things That Annoy Me, Part 2
Neil Guthrie

I keep a running list of these, jotting them down as I see or hear them. (You’re on notice.) The both of you/us .. Adele may sing in ‘Hello’ about ‘thuh B-O-O-O-O-TH of UH-UH-ss’, but don’t you be doing it. It is both of you and both of us, with no definite article – not even . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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. McElroy Law Blog 2. Susan On The Soapbox 3. Municipal Matters 4.Eva Chan 5. Legal Post Blog

McElroy Law Blog
July & August 2017 Criminal Law Round-up

As summer draws to a close, it’s time to look at the most important news and cases from the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix