Canada’s online legal magazine.

Law, Norms and Moral Authority

Taking a break from the merry of merry Christmas and thinking about the last year, I can’t help focusing on the extent to which law, norms and moral authority have been diminished in Ontario since June 2018 and the beginning of the Ford government. We often refer to governments or administrations by the name of the premier or prime minister (or presidents), but in this case, from all accounts, the term seems particularly apropos: this is a government run from the centre at the diktat of the premier. Nothing on the face of it makes this clear than the continued . . . [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.


Build a Business Development System
Sandra Bekhor

The last thing any busy lawyer wants to add to their already overflowing plate is business development. Scratch that. The last thing any busy lawyer wants is the pressure to come up with a ‘winning’ new idea for business development and then to work on implementing that idea on an urgent basis. Here’s the problem. While you may be too busy . . . [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. Legal Post Blog 2. Susan On The Soapbox 3. Municipal Matters 4. DroitDu.Net OK 5. Michael Geist

Legal Post Blog
The key players in Bernie Madoff’s orbit: Ten years later, what’s become of them?

It was great being in Bernie Madoff’s orbit, until it wasn’t. For decades,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Place Apart, Yet in the Community

The process of judicial appointments is probably one of the most important ways that the political branch of government affects the judicial branch. In their selection of candidates, a lawyer’s experiences and community involvement certainly should be considered in conjunction with their professional achievements.

The changes to the appointment process, introduced on Oct. 20, 2016, have improved considerably the selection and diversity of these candidates, especially as compared to the track record of the previous government, whose appointments appeared to be primarily based on political patronage and factors related to false estimations of prestige. As a result, 98% of these . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (November 16 to December 21, 2018 inclusive).

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: DUI (Boats); Hospital Records
R. v. Culotta, 2018 ONCA 665; 2018 SCC 57(38213)

Moldaver J.: “A majority of the Court would dismiss . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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.

PROCÉDURE CIVILE : Il convient d’autoriser l’appel proposé par la requérante puisque le jugement entrepris, décidant de moyens préliminaires, a tranché en partie l’action collective qu’elle souhaite intenter contre

Intitulé : Gagnon c., Inc., 2018 QCCA 2053
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal, 500-09-027829-183
Décision de : Juge . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Friday Roundup: Slaw Jobs

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

Why BC’s New Environmental Assessment Act Is Worth Celebrating

Last month, BC’s Bill 51, the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) received Royal Assent. The new EA Act will replace BC’s 2002 environmental assessment law and will likely come into force in late 2019, after consultation on key regulations.

At a time when the proposed new federal Impact Assessment Act – a relatively modest proposal still making its way through the Senate – is more likely to be in the news, BC’s innovative new environmental assessment law has largely flown under the radar.

Here’s why it is worth celebrating.

Advancing Reconciliation and Sustainability

BC’s new EA Act requires the Environmental . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Federal Omnibus Bill Employment Law Changes Passed

Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018, and other measures received royal assent December 13, 2018. This new law extensively amends the Canada Labour Code, makes changes to the Employment Insurance Act, the Wage Earner Protection Program Act and introduces a federal Pay Equity Act. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Doctors: They’re Just Like Us (Lawyers)

In 2009, Dr. Atul Gawande published The Checklist Manifesto, to general acclaim. Even Malcolm Gladwell and The New York Times loved it. And it sent many legal knowledge managers into paroxysms of delight. The book helped many of us move from the drudgery of drafting templates and precedents to simplifying processes and managing matters by checklists. This dovetailed nicely with a then-emerging focus on legal project management and process improvement.

Once again, Dr. Atul Gawande is a step ahead of most of us in the legal technology community, by writing about doctors’ pure, burning hatred of the software . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: Truth and Conviction–Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice

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.

Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice

L. Jane McMillan is the former Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Communities and chair of the Department of Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. A former eel fisher and one of the original . . . [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. Bazos v. Bell Media Inc., 2018 ONSC 7462

[7] The Applicant submits that she is a public interest litigant and that she should be subject to the discretionary rule that is sometimes applied in public interest litigation that no costs, or reduced costs, are ordered. The Applicant submits that costs should not be awarded against her. Alternatively, the Applicant submits that . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII