Canada’s online legal magazine.

Employee Suffering From Alcoholism Reinstated After Unjust Termination

Written wholly by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor at First Reference

The issue in this matter was whether or not the employee was terminated for just cause. It was the employer’s position that it properly terminated the employee for just cause. That is, the employee was absent without leave for a four-week period, the employer attempted to contact the employee to no avail, and the employee failed to contact the employer or provide any information of a medical nature to explain his absence. The Arbitrator in this matter, however, did not quite agree with the employer. In essence, the Arbitrator expressed that . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Siskind and McMurray on Social Media Marketing

Each Thursday 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.

THE LAWYERS GUIDE TO MARKETING ON THE INTERNET

Gregory H. Siskind and Deborah McMurray

© 2017 American Bar Association. All rights reserved. Slaw readers can receive a 10% discount on purchase of this book. Use the discount code LGTMARKETING at checkout; this offer is valid from 5/1-8/31.

Excerpt: Chapter 11, pgs. 137 – . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Protecting Your Confidential Intellectual Property Information in Court

A key feature of litigation is the disclosure of relevant information and documents prior to trial through the process of discovery. For Canadian intellectual property proceedings, most of which take place in the Federal Court, disclosure of confidential materials is the norm, and confidentiality orders are typically obtained to keep sensitive information out of the public record and out of the hands of competitors. A couple of years ago, one judge commented that in intellectual property cases, confidentiality orders are “almost always granted as a matter of course” (see 2015 FC 403).

Confidential information that is often the subject . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Self Driving Cars – Privacy Points to Ponder

Cars collect a significant amount of information about our driving. That data will increase dramatically as we move to autonomous vehicles – and with more data comes more ways to use it.

This information can be used now to find fault in an accident or convict us of driving offences. Some insurance companies offer discounts if we share that data with them and they decide we are a safe driver.

Cars increasingly rely on electronic systems for safety features, and self driving cars are coming. They will increasingly collect and store data about not just the car itself but also . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Commemorating Intellectual Property Before It Was Law

Everyone likes an anniversary. It offers a moment of reflection and perhaps a piece of cake. It calls for looking back, if only, in this case, to that afternoon in high school history class in which you were presented with the Protestant Reformation. This is the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther, “Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg,” letting the world know that he intended to defend what has become known as The 95 Theses (actually entitled Disputation on the Power of Indulgences): “52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

May Lawyers Accept Payment in Bitcoin?

A U.S. colleague with a technology practice was recently asked to take payment for her legal services in Bitcoin. She is not sure she has the right to do so.

What about in Canada? Would any law society here slow such payment? Do payments have to be more subject to regulation via known financial institutions? Certainly the rules about trust accounts demand traditional accounting. Why would a general payment with a digital currency be a problem, though? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Disability and the Practice of Law

“There was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.” – The Great Gatsby 

We often talk about how the law discriminates against people with disabilities. But not much attention is given to how the structure of practicing law discriminates against people with disabilities. Technology has eased some of the burden. But we have a long way to go.

The way we practice law is in itself discriminatory against people with disabilities. For example, litigation requires lawyers to read lots of material, write lots of material, listen to lots . . . [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 research, writing, and practice.

Practice

Prepare Yourself to Be More Human
Sharon VanderKaay

In the old working model, being less human—less attuned to interactions and emotional issues—was often a competitive advantage. Messy human stuff needlessly complicated matters. But the AI revolution will reward those who are more human in their approach to services involving high value consultation and collaboration. How long will it be before robots learn people skills? Although there have been significant

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Spring Update From Washington, DC

As I write this, Dogwoods and Azaleas are the leads here in the spectacular show of spring flowers. Our Congress is back from its Easter vacation, but had a very busy season before leaving. And citizens are taking increasing notice of what’s going on in the Capitol. The In Custodia Legis blog from the Library of Congress reported an exponential increase in traffic on Congress.gov. On January 22, 2017 they set a new record of over 1.2 million site visits. The blogpost reveals more details about how and what users have been accessing. For example 52% of current usage . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Sask. C.A. Says Pending Legalization of Cannabis “Irrelevant” Gives Trafficker 15 Month Sentence

Last June, a judge of the Saskatoon Court of the Queen’s Bench handed out a suspended sentence to Seamus John Neary after he was convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking over 20 pounds of cannabis.

What made the decision especially notable was the fact that the judge cited the imminent legalization of cannabis as a basis to deviate from what would otherwise be a sentence of 15 – 18 months in custody. The judge noted that in the circumstances there was “an interregnum, a time that exists between two governing regimes” and stated

[Neary] has conducted

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment

LSBC Seeks Protection of Lawyers’ Electronic Devices Against Border Search

Not long ago, the US Supreme Court opined in Riley v. California:

Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life.

Riley involved evidence of serious criminal activity (gang shootings, drugs, firearms, etc.).

Notwithstanding this, SCOTUS decried warrantless cell phone searches and laid the groundwork for its conclusion that, in laypersons’ terms, snooping through someone’s cell phone is not just rude… it has become an extraordinarily intrusive act. The Court underscores that these devices contain a “digital record of nearly every . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Keeping Up With the Joneses (Or Not)

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention & practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

Young lawyers often talk about the stress and burden of debt. If there is one piece of advice worth giving, it is a simple one: spend less than you earn.

As a new lawyer, I was excited when I received my first paycheque. I forget what I spent it on, but I remember it disappeared as soon as I received it. Soon I was living paycheque to paycheque. How could it be possible to live hand to mouth on Bay Street?

Turns out, it was easy. Perry . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended