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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

That and Which
Neil Guthrie

People have trouble with the correct use of that and which. Writing in 1926, the grammarian H.W. Fowler said the rules are ‘an odd jumble, and plainly show that the language has not been neatly constructed by a master builder’. …

Practice

Do Something Different!
David Bilinsky

This is a new year’s resolution of a different sort. All of us . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Providing High Quality Service to Indigenous Clients

The January 2016 issue of LAWPRO Magazine is devoted to serving Indigenous clients. It features a comprehensive article by LAWPRO’s Nora Rock that provides an overview of the needs, perspectives and expectations of these clients across different areas of law, and examines what is required of lawyers who wish to provide the best service possible.

In Providing high quality service to Indigenous clients Ms. Rock interviewed a number of lawyers of aboriginal background to learn about their experiences and what they recommend to lawyers planning to work in an area that is complex both legally and culturally. Her article provides . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Recent Egregious Data Breaches: How They Happened

We should be grateful for other peoples’ data breaches – they help us to improve our own security. In our breach-a-day world, we seem to have more data breaches than ever. They come fast and furious – rare is the day when we don’t hear of one or more breaches on the evening news or through online media. Attack vectors change constantly – those of us in information security have a deep sense of humility in the face of constant changes in threats as well as technology, policies and training to defend against those threats.

Herewith, a few of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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. StartupSource 2. Meurrens on Immigration 3. Family Health Law Blog 4. National Blog 5. Susan on the Soapbox

StartupSource
2016 Forecasts, and 2015 Reviews, for Canada’s Startups

Given that it is the New Year, StartupSource has compiled some of the predictions that are being made by tech insiders regarding . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Twitter Hashtags Are Public Forums Under the Law

Brevity is the soul of wit, and also Twitter. In that brevity though, there is plenty of context which is left out, and ample room for interpretation.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a decision in R. v. Elliott this week, where two female complainants alleged Criminal Harassment under Section 264 of the Criminal Code based on exchanges over Twitter.

Justice Knazan dedicated the early portion of his decision to explaining the mechanics and culture of Twitter, for “One cannot understand this case without knowing about Twitter.” It includes various definitions and lingo, including, “A concern troll is someone . . . [more]

Posted in: 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 Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

FAILLITE ET INSOLVABILITÉ: Dans le contexte d’un plan d’arrangement en vertu de la Loi sur les arrangements avec les créanciers des compagnies qui a été conclu à la suite de la tragédie ferroviaire survenue à Lac-Mégantic, la somme de 10 millions de dollars est accordée à titre d’honoraires additionnels aux . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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: Extradition – Courts – Family Law – Conflict of Laws – Statutes – Trials – Damages – Master and Servant – Civil Rights – Guardian and Ward – Practice

M.M. v. Canada (Minister of Justice) 2015 SCC 62
Extradition
Summary: M.M. brought her children to Canada from the State of Georgia, U.S.A., in violation . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Immigration Reform: Low Hanging Fruit

There is no doubt that our current government has been busy since November 4th and, as an immigration lawyer, the change in rhetoric (and action!) has been like a zephyr warming up the winter blues. I still have clients mention to me that they saw the Prime Minister at the airport greetings refugees. (In photos, not live. He did not grace the Winnipeg airport with his presence.) Well done, PMJT! And now Minister John McCallum announced that they will be looking to change the loan repayment rules for refugees so that they are fair. Another move in the right direction. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

DIY A2J 2: Work With Others and Others’ Work

In most urban centres, you can’t swing a stick without hitting a social service or social service connected agency. Most of these agencies are glad to have any legal materials they can get their hands on, and most are willing to share the materials they have. Most importantly, each of these agencies serves a specific target population with specific legal needs.

Groups like SUCCESS Settlement Services in British Columbia, for example, help newcomers to Canada overcome language and cultural barriers; groups like the Atira Women’s Resource Centre help women dealing with abuse through advocacy and education. Various other social service . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Should Lawyers Be Paid to Snitch on Their Clients? (Spoiler! No.)

Let’s say that you are a good lawyer whose client did something bad. Should you snitch on them to the authorities? What if they did something really bad? What if someone offered to pay you millions of dollars if you ratted them out?

If these questions were asked on a bar exam, the answers would be clear. A good lawyer who abides by the Rules of Professional Conduct cannot disclose any information about the business or affairs of his or her client except in very limited and specified circumstances, such as where there is an imminent risk of death or . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

27 Months of Reasonable Notice After 40 Years of Service

In Markoulakis v SNC-Lavalin Inc., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded after considering the Bardal factors that long-serving employee Eftihios (Ed) Markoulakis was entitled to 27 months of common law reasonable notice following his termination from a senior role at SNC-Lavalin. The court noted that notice beyond 24 months is within the court’s discretion in exceptional cases. Clearly, this was one of those cases. . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Anderson on Wrongful Convictions and Avenues of Redress

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.

Wrongful Convictions and the Avenues of Redress: The Post-Conviction Review Process in Canada
(2015) 20 Appeal 5

Andrea S. Anderson, PhD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, @asandrson

Excerpt: Introduction & Part III
[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original via the link above]

INTRODUCTION

In an ideal criminal justice . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece