Canada’s online legal magazine.

Open Question of Jurisdictional Boundaries of Labour Arbitrators and Human Rights Tribunals Makes Its Way to the Supreme Court of Canada

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Student-at-law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

Effects of unionization on the employment relationship

Unions have a variety of significant effects on the employment relationship and greatly affect the rights and obligations of employers and employees. The repercussions of unionization are so significant that the law surrounding unionized workplaces is considered to be an entirely distinct area of law from law surrounding non-unionized workplaces.

One such difference related to unionization is the legal path workers are allowed to take when confronted with a human rights issue in the workplace. In such a case, a non-unionized worker could . . . [more]

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


Knowledge management (KM) professionals know that there are several elements that will make or break the success of a KM initiative. One such element is mostly humans: Will the lawyers in your organization actually adopt the industry leading enterprise search system that you are spending big bucks on?

At the same time, anyone who has a close or remote encounter with the law in Canada has open on one or several devices. The site, heavily used by Canadian lawyers, is a good example of a widespread adoption of technology by the legal profession and the judiciary. Also, if you . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous

Innovation in the Law: Whose Perspectives Should We Seek?

Over the past several weeks, there has been a flurry of new ideas for revamping our legal system. But whose ideas should we seek out?

We should seek out ideas from people that are experienced users of the legal system but also from people who are new to the legal system. The experienced users have an accumulated stock of knowledge to learn from. While novice users have an easier time questioning assumptions and seeing the absurdity in antiquated processes.

In the Podcast WorkLife With Adam Grant, “Career Decline Isn’t Inevitable”, Adam Grant points out that cognitive entrenchment increases . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

A Rainbow in This Storm

It looks like we will be in isolation for a while. Let’s make the best use of this time. And here are five things to take to heart.

  1. I hope you like this photo I took from my friends balcony that overlooks the lake in Boca Raton. Maya Angelou’s words couldn’t be more perfect for these times, don’t you agree?

  1. Governor Cuomo reminded us to “Find ways to make a little joy.” So, I had a Zoom Cocktail Party. It was BYOB and dogs were welcomed! My friends we amazed that seeing one another made such a difference. I even
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov2019 SCC 65

[1] This appeal and its companion cases (see Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 66 (CanLII)), provide this Court with an opportunity to re-examine its approach to judicial review of administrative decisions.

[2] In these reasons, we will address two key aspects of the current administrative law . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Virtual Court Proceedings: Fictional and the Real Thing

Addicted as I am to tv dramas (and sometimes comedies) about the law, I’ve been watching All Rise. Located in Los Angeles, it follows the professional lives of various characters involved in the criminal court there (and as a “popular” show, it also follows their personal lives). Sometimes it raises some important legal issues, but its finale was its best performance: it did a fine job of responding to the coronavirus crisis by being filmed on Cisco Webex, with all the actors working from their own homes. Apart from the kind of personal issues many people are facing in our . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Technology

Summary Determination of Claim Construction

After a long wait, a couple of cases have used summary determination to decide issues of claim construction in patent infringement proceedings. In both cases, the claim construction resolution was determinative of non-infringement and the plaintiff’s case was dismissed. The decisions are subject to appeal.

In patent cases, determining the meaning of the words used in the claims of the patent is a key prerequisite for determining patent validity and infringement. Typically, expert evidence is introduced on the qualities of the skilled person appropriate for the patent at issue, the common general knowledge of this skilled person, and how the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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

Another Nail in the Coffin of Two Spaces After a Period
Neil Guthrie

Microsoft has decided that it will officially join the ranks of those who consider it an error to put a double space after the end of a sentence. (Although when I recently typed a sample paragraph in Word with the offending two spaces, no red squiggly line appeared; maybe the change has yet . . . [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.The Lean Law Firm 2. Robichaud’s Criminal Law Blog 3. Paw & Order 4. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog 5. IP Osgoode

The Lean Law Firm
It’s OK to Admit You’re Not Perfect

If you aren’t spending as much time working with your clients as you need to;

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

COVID-19 & Employment Standards: Cross-Canada Review

To say COVID-19 has sped up the pace of change in employment law is an understatement. Usually it takes months (or even years!) to make changes to Canadian employment legislation, but now we are seeing significant amendments announced and in force on the same day.

In particular, the federal government and most of the provinces have responded to COVID-19 by quickly amending employment standards legislation. Key areas where we have seen changes are: leaves of absence, hours of work and termination of employment. Below is a cross-Canada review of the amendments we have seen since the COVID-19 crisis began.


. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

False and Misleading Claims Around COVID

We see it everywhere these days, and not just on social media. They’re touted by leaders and people in positions of power. False claims of prevention and treatment for COVID-19 are proliferating, and pose a danger to Canadians.

The Competition Bureau is aware of this and is monitoring the marketplace to ensure safety in messaging. They have already issued compliance warnings, including:

  • making claims that herbal remedies, bee-related products, vitamins, vegetables or other food and drink products can prevent COVID-19 infections; and
  • making claims—without first conducting the testing required by law—that certain UV and ozone air sterilization systems, as well
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, 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 Ju stice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Les demandes d’habeas corpus découlant d’une décision de transfèrement non sollicité de détenus sont assujetties à la procédure civile et non à la procédure criminelle.

Intitulé : Snooks c. Procureur général du Canada, 2020 QCCA 586
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal
Décision de :  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday