Canada’s online legal magazine.

What It Really Means for Lawyers to Commit – and to Refuse to Commit – to Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

The public interest in a commitment to equality

The Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) Statement of Principles (SOP) is intended to ensure that lawyers regulated by the LSO commit to equality, diversity and inclusivity. These are all rights guaranteed to Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The purpose of the SOP is to give each lawyer a responsibility to acknowledge this and, by implication, implement it (there is no monitoring by the LSO, and each firm is responsible for its own strategy).

The public should see itself reflected in the legal profession. The alienation and disillusionment experienced by . . . [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

Exclamation marks
Neil Guthrie

A certain orange person to the south of us uses these a lot (Sad!). You would probably never see one in a contract, but you might in a factum – but there only rarely, and, one hopes, judiciously. …


Discover New Canadian Law Library Podcasts

As mentioned recently on Slaw, at this year’s annual conference in Edmonton, CALL/ACDB partnered with vLex . . . [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. Condo Adviser 2. First Reference 3. Labour Pains 4. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 5. Family LLB

Condo Adviser
Condo Liens: What is the Required Minimum Notice?

In a recent Ottawa case, the courts clarified how condo corporations are to calculate the minimum 10-day notice

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Accommodation of Disabilities and the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test administered by the American-based Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and is one of the most ubiquitous criteria for law school admissions across North America, including at Canadian law schools. Its use is not without controversy or its detractors, and there are some unique challenges that emerge in administering the LSAT in the context of applicants with medical disabilities.

The LSAT is notably not used in numerous law schools overseas. The Fairness Commissioner confirms that the number of internationally trained lawyers has risen from 7% in 2005, to over a third . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, 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) : La tenue d’un nouveau procès est ordonnée pour l’appelant, déclaré coupable de meurtre au premier degré au terme d’un procès devant jury, le juge ayant indûment insisté sur l’opinion de l’experte psychiatre, erronée en droit, selon laquelle l’intoxication volontaire ne permettait pas de conclure à une défense . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Hire Me. I Won’t Work Hard for You.

What kind of lawyer are you looking for? Someone who will work 9 to 5 9, 12+ hours a day, weekdays and weekends? Someone who will sacrifice his weekend, his time with his family, his hobbies, his health, for you? Someone who will stop everything to service you? Someone who will respond to your texts like a physician on call every second of the day and every day of the year? That ain’t me.

There was a night, early in my career, when I sat in my office exhausted and tired. I looked out into the city skyline and thought . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Thursday Thinkpiece: The Remarkable True Story of Florence Kinrade

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.

Florence Kinrade: Lizzie Borden of the North

Author: Frank Jones
Page count: 288
ISBN: 9781988824352
Publisher: Durvile Publications
Publication date: May 31, 2019

Excerpt: Summary & from Chapter 4: Starting the Inquest All Over Again


With Florence Kinrade: Lizzie Borden of the North, Durvile’s True Cases series takes a spin . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

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. R. v. Luke, 2019 ONCJ 514

[54] Parliament has already allowed for exemptions to the mandatory minimum sentences in s. 255. By virtue of s. 255(5), Parliament has accepted that there will be cases where judges can, and should, exercise discretion to relieve an offender from the consequences of a mandatory minimum sentence by granting them a conditional discharge. Regrettably, according . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Is Arbitration Private and Confidential in Canada?

The limits on privacy and confidentiality of arbitration is often hard to unravel. They are really two separate questions. And the answer to both seems to be: “It depends.”

Is Arbitration Private?

It is generally assumed that arbitration is private – in contrast to the courts, which are generally open to the public, with some exceptions. But where does that assumption arise?

Provincial arbitration statutes generally do not provide that arbitration is private. (See for example the Uniform Arbitration Act and the BC, Alberta, and Ontario Acts.)

Nor does the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, which has . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Contrasting Petersoo v. Petersoo and Moore v. Apollo Health [And] Beauty Care: Should a Judge or Arbitrator Ever Become an Advocate?

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently held in Petersoo v. Petersoo that a family law arbitrator should not ensure that a represented party is aware of an issue that is raised in the arbitration. This contrasts with Moore v. Apollo Health [and] Beauty Care, in which the Court of Appeal determined in 2017 that a judge who did not ensure that an unrepresented plaintiff who had intended to raise a claim had failed in his responsibility. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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

Inasmuch As, in So Far As
Neil Guthrie

These pomposities can always be replaced by something simpler and clearer. Inasmuch as is just a fancy (and archaic) way of saying seeing that, since or because. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday