Canada’s online legal magazine.

Don’t Change You!

We all know the power of personal branding – what it is that makes you unique, stand out or differentiate from the rest. We know that personal branding is huge in our business. The question is how can we help clients make that connection to you? Your brand is a great place to start.

Personal branding is about you. More specifically it is about embracing aspects of who you are rather than changing who you are. Often I hear lawyers talk building their brand while failing to realise that what they are trying to achieve is not part of their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Book Review: Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada’s Chemical Valley

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada’s Chemical Valley. By Sarah Marie Wiebe. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. xx, 260 p. Includes forward by James Tully, bibliographic references, photo essays, index, and appendices. ISBN 978-0-7748-3263-2 (hardcover), $95.00. ISBN 978-0-7748-32649-9 (softcover), $32.95.

Reviewed by Nadine R. Hoffman
Natural Resources, Energy . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

“Outsiders” and “Insiders” Can Change the Justice System Together

In the last five years, the engagement, skill and experience of individuals representing themselves in the justice system has changed in a number of very important ways. NSRLP has a number of data points to reinforce this observation, including the 2015/16 Intake Report and the 2017 Intake Report which noted:

“Last year we were struck by the growing sophistication and nuance of the tips offered by SRLs to others who face similar circumstances. In 2017, we continue to see very detailed advice offered to other SRLs. Respondents offered personal experiences with preparing court documents, preparing for appearances, how to research,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Toronto Transit Commission v Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, 2019 CanLII 22225 (ON LA)

Turning to the Wigmore criteria, my conclusion is that the TTC has not met its onus of establishing that these documents should be considered privileged on a case-by-case basis. As noted above, all four criteria must apply for the privilege to attach on a case-by-case basis. As . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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

Neil Guthrie

Your prose should be tight, toned and vigorous if you want to engage rather than repel your reader. …


Consider Client Confidentiality–Disable Message Previews
Emma Durand-Wood

Today’s tip is to consider whether reminders or message previews on any of your devices could compromise client confidentiality. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Ombudsman: A Little Bit Country (Sweden) and a Little Bit Rock and Roll (Or Not)

When most lawyers think of administrative law, we think of administrative decision makers and tribunals, or the judicial review process. However, there is an adjunct to the administrative law process that is not technically an administrative tribunal or traditional decision-making body, yet which shares many of the concerns of administrative law. This is the Ombudsman, an administrative agency that may seem obscure to or misunderstood by some.

The Ombudsman is often a place of last resort for citizens who have exhausted all decision making remedies or for whom there is no administrative or legal process that can address their concerns . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

Canadian Judicial Council Seeks Input on Revising Ethical Principles for Judges

The conduct of federally-appointed judges in Canada is governed by the Judges Act and by Ethical Principles for Judges, guidelines released by the Canadian Judicial Council. The Council is responsible for addressing complaints about judicial conduct under both the legislation and the Principles. The CJC has initiated a review of the Principles and is seeking input through a survey and freestanding submissions. It has published a short background paper to assist those wishing to provide their views. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Lawyers Are a Profession of Babysitters and Paper Carriers – Literally

And farm-hands, servers, warehouse workers, lifeguards, and so much more.

If the feedback of a couple hundred of lawyers and other legal professionals are to be believed, a very significant proportion of us got our start delivering the local news paper or watching the neighbourhood kids. And most of us had a wide variety of pre-law experiences that forged a formidable work ethic from an early age.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Firm Publications: Moving From Marketing Tool to Legal Information Product

The law firm newsletter has long been a mainstay of client engagement and business development at law firms. As firms moved from paper brochures to electronic communications, readership statistics became increasingly accessible, but the news was not always good.

Whenever there is a significant case or legislative amendment, law firms race to send out an update, but we hear an increasingly common lament, “nobody reads our legal updates”. According to Mailchimp benchmarks, the legal industry is slightly above average with a 21.14% open rate and 2.71% click through rate. While not the worst statistics – there are industries which fair . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Marketing

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. 2. Vancouver Immigration Law Blog 3. Michael Geist 4. First Reference 5. Susan On The Soapbox
Assessing the Role of Strategic Environmental Assessments in the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

The year 2020 will be a milestone year

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Transgenderism Prevails Over Whatcott’s Truth

When Toby’s Act (Bill 33) passed in Ontario in 2012, the jurisdiction became the first in Canada to explicitly add gender identity to a human rights code.

Ontario’s Human Rights Commission had previously taken the position that gender identity was still a protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code based on the ban against sex discrimination, and the Human Rights Tribunal agreed with this interpretation in several cases, including in Hogan v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care).

In this 2006 case, the province argued that if the Ontario Code intended the definition to extend to these . . . [more]

Posted in: 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 (February 23 –March 29, 2019 inclusive).

Oral Judgment

Criminal Law: Sexual Assault
R. v. Snelgrove, 2019 SCC 16; 2018 NLCA 59 (38372)
Publication ban.

Moldaver J.: “… Section 273.1(2) (c) has as its aim . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday