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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 and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

What Is a Limited Revision of an Act?
Susannah Tredwell

The Local Government Act, R.S.B.C. 2015, c.1, came into force on January 1, 2016. If you know that the last Revised Statutes of British Columbia were produced in 1996, this citation looks a little confusing. The explanation is that the new Local Government Act is what is known as a limited revision of an act. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Are Employers’ Financial Circumstances Relevant in Calculating Termination Pay?

In a word. No.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reaffirmed, definitively, that an employer’s financial circumstances are not relevant to the determination of reasonable notice in a particular case.

The lower court judge had awarded teachers who had their employment terminated from their school 12 months of pay in lieu of notice. However, the judge reduced this by half, to 6 months, in large part due to the financial circumstances that the school was in. The lower court judge cited a passage from a prior decision that noted that “The law does not ignore the dilemma of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

“Canadian International Lawyer” Call for Papers

Canadian International Lawyer, a journal published bi-annually by the Canadian Bar Association’s international law section, has put out a call for papers for its Volume 11(2). CIL welcomes submissions of original articles, case commentaries, practice notes, treaties, and legal developments on significant current issues of international law in French or English.

Among all other submissions for Volume 11(2), CIL encourages articles dealing with the following topics:

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
  • The recently concluded Paris Agreement on climate change
  • Legal aspects of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Electronic submissions should be emailed to Noemi Gal-Or and Andrew Lanouette.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Publishing

Of Cryptoviruses and Hope for a Cure From Malwarebytes

If you’re in a rush, skip on over to the official security blog at Malwarebytes for the original post on this possible anti-ransomware breakthrough. It’s early news about a beta release tool at this point, and not ready for prime time, but it could be a ray of hope for law firms who live in fear of infection by the most dreaded of malware variants: the cryptovirus.

I feel like this may particularly be a good sign for small firms who cannot afford active threat protection services from premier providers. If average users can rely on standard anti-virus tools, it  . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Background Material on Québec’s New Code of Civil Procedure

Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure came into force on January 1, 2016. It involves an ambitious overhaul of the way cases are supposed to work their way through the courts and it is intended to increase access to justice.

CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), recently added an annotated version of the province’s new Code of Civil Procedure to its website (in the lefthand column of the eLois page, click on “Code de procédure civile (nouveau)”). 

 The annotation includes the sections of the new Code, a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Potential Claims Related to Serving Indigenous Clients

Last week’s post about Providing High Quality Service to Indigenous Clients discussed the breadth and complexity of “Aboriginal law.” To follow that with some strategies to avoid claims in this area of law, here is advice gathered from LAWPRO claims prevention specialists.

To avoid claims, lawyers need to know how they develop. What are the key areas of risk when practising Aboriginal law?

Communication errors:
As noted by all of the lawyers we’ve consulted, Indigenous people often have a perspective on the law that is radically different from that of non-Aboriginals. This creates a “culture gap” that becomes an additional . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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 seventy 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. Alcohol & Advocacy 2. Mack’s Criminal Law 3. IFLS 4. Administrative Law Matters 5. Clio Blog

Alcohol & Advocacy
So you want to buy a bar…

…or for that matter a brewery or winery. Chances are if you’ve ever worked in the hospitality industry you’ve at least thought about . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Revisiting the Legal Publishing Market

The shrinking of options in the legal publishing world has been a pretty constant theme in my years in law librarianship. Just when you think it has settled down a little, along comes another consolidation/merger/takeover.

In December it was announced that Bloomsbury Press had bought RELX law assets. These include 6 Family Law titles held by LexisNexis and Jordan Family Law publishing. This came about because Lexis (ie, RELX) has purchased Jordan’s Family Law, and part of the deal with the CMA was that some titles be sold elsewhere to ensure competition. J

It’s a bit like ping pong match . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The SCC and Lawyers Need Better Researchers Than “Clerking” and Law Students

“Clerking” is courts using law students to perform legal research duties. Obsolete, because: (1) it uses the least experienced of legally-trained people as the basis of the most important legal service—legal advice and opinions—and, (2) because it is too cost-inefficient. A webpage of the Supreme Court of Canada states, inter alia: “Law Clerk Program: “Qualifications – Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor from a recognized Canadian university or its equivalent.” But that is not adequate for what’s coming.

An equally important reason for creating a much more sophisticated and competent legal research facility for the legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Yet Another Privacy Tort Comes to Ontario

When the tort of intrusion upon seclusion was introduced in 2012, it was of significant importance. A civil remedy for the growing area of privacy rights was desperately needed, but it was uncertain how extensive this tort would be used.

I’ve spoken about this tort at law schools, to industry, and even published a journal article on it. But the area of privacy law is about to become even more exciting with the introduction of yet another privacy tort this week in Jane Doe 464533 v. ND [there is no CanLii link on this yet].

The parties . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at cases.slaw.ca.

This week’s summaries concern: Arbitration – Estoppel – Administrative Law – Practice – Courts – Criminal Law – Evidence – Police

Enmax Energy Corp. v. TransAlta Generation Partnership 2015 ABCA 383
Arbitration – Estoppel
Summary: The appellant appealed a chambers judge’s decision where he held that the parties to an arbitration were not bound by a prior arbitration . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Hugh’s Contracting Ltd. v. Stevens, 2015 BCCA 49

AREAS OF LAW: Contracts; Fire damage; Extra work; Quantum meruit

~Where parties have agreed for the provision of goods and services but failed to provide for terms of remuneration, they may be presumed to have intended a reasonable price and a contractual term to that effect may be implied.~

BACKGROUND:  In September 2008, the home of the Respondent, Laurie Stevens, was . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday