Canada’s online legal magazine.

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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Lorsque des transactions criminelles distinctes sont sanctionnées de façon concomitante par un même juge au cours d’une même audience de détermination de la peine, toutes les peines d’emprisonnement imposées consécutivement doivent être additionnées sans tenir compte de la détention présentencielle; si le total est inférieur à deux . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On 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 and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (June 17 to July 19, 2017 inclusive).

Appeals

Civil Procedure/International Law: Forum Selection Clauses

Douez v. Facebook, Inc., 2017 SCC 33 (36616)

While s. 4 of the B.C. Privacy Act does not override forum selection clauses, strong reasons . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

New Report: Parenting Assessments and Their Use in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family has just released a new report on parenting assessments, prepared by Calgary articled student and UBC graduate, Zoe Suche. These assessments, also called “custody and access reports” and “bilateral assessments,” are usually requested when the views and opinions of an independent expert are needed to help separated parents or the court determine the parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of minor children. The report uses a mixed methodology of case law research and interviews with assessors, and examines practice and procedure in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Ms . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Open Justice?

Last year The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) released a report that examined public perceptions of access to justice in Ontario. For those of us who work in the legal and justice sectors, the results were dismal. Here’s what we heard: 40 per cent of Ontarians do not believe that they have fair and equal access to the justice system. In addition, members of the public chose these descriptors of the justice system: old fashioned, intimidating, broken.

These results seem discouraging, particularly for those of us working to build supports and establish resources that enhance access to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Public Hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

The Ontario Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met from July 10 to July 14, 2017 (we were informed that hearings are continuing to July 21, 2017, Hamilton is today and Toronto closes the tour tomorrow) to consider and hold public hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. The Bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and makes related amendments to other Acts. The government wanted to be sure that there are no unintended consequences because the changes in the Bill contain complex policies. . . . [more]

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

Against Tradition

In a recent column in Canadian Lawyer, Ian Holloway, my Dean and friend, wrote in defence of lawyerly traditions, such as calling Ontario’s law society the Law Society of Upper Canada, and barrister’s robes. At the same time he emphasized the importance of professional innovation, particularly in legal education. He concluded that the ambition of lawyers should be “Change in substance, tradition in form”.

I have some serious reservations with Ian’s position. I agree that some of our traditions have modern advantages (e.g., robes neutralizing class and gender-based judgments of lawyers based on their clothes). But when we weigh the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Dürer and New Law: Everything Old Is New Again?

One of the many advantages of studying history and the arts is that one gets a very broad sweep of perspective that other subjects can’t provide.

Business school case studies are very interesting but are usually always based on contemporary successes as anything older than ten years is deemed irrelevant. However, if like me, you enjoy reading the books of economic historian Niall Ferguson, you will appreciate that everything old will become new again – if you wait long enough.

It is trite to say that although there are many other different ways lawyers can bill their clients, no . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Flirty Girl Fitness Inc. v Hottie Body Boutique Inc., 2017 ONSC 4158

[83] There was, in any event, no breach of fiduciary duty by either sister in negotiating the agreement with Hottie Body Boutique, which was fully disclosed to the shareholders of Flirty Girl Fitness and beneficial to the corporation. The breaches of fiduciary duty were to the fellow shareholders who . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Darwin Talks and Blockchain Thoughts

OK. Not all lawyers are obsessed with the legal tech revolution.

Not all self-identify as early technology adopters, participate in hackathons, or call themselves lawyerpreneurs.

Some have maybe never even heard about TechLaw, TechReg, BankTech, CoinTech, LoanTech, PayTech, SecTech, TradeTech, InsurTech, InterTech, GovTech… or SmartTech, TechRisk, FinRisk, FinReg, SuperTech, ResTech, SupTech, or even NonNet. (Not you, of course… I’m talking about them.)

Some (presumably) haven’t even heard of Richard Susskind, or read his 2013 book Tomorrow’s Lawyers that predicts radical changes in the legal sector over the next decade due to three main drivers:

  1. Increased pressure to
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

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.

Research & Writing

What Are Marginal Notes?
Susannah Tredwell

Marginal notes (also known as head notes) are “the short notations appearing above or beside each section […] of an Act or Regulation” (Sullivan on the Construction of Statutes, 6th ed., §14.59). These notes are intended to help readers identify pertinent provisions in the legislation. The name comes from the fact that they originally appeared in the margins of . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

UNCITRAL Adopts Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records

UNCITRAL has now adopted a model law on electronic transferable records. See the press release below. The full text will be available online shortly at the URL shown at the end of the document.

Canadians showed little interest in this project while it was being developed, so Canada’s attendance at the working group meetings was intermittent.

Does it sound more interesting now that it is final? Would your clients benefit from an internationally accepted law on the topic? This UNCITRAL text is the best that will be available in the foreseeable future.

Should steps be taken to implement it here? . . . [more]

Posted in: International law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Modernizing the Law of Wills in the UK – Should Canada Follow Suit?

The UK Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) has just notified its members as follows:

The UK Law Commission has on 13 July 2017 published its new consultation paper, “Making a Will”. The paper sets out the case for reform of this largely Victorian area of the law, makes provisional proposals and asks questions. Based on estimates that 40% of people who die every year haven’t made a will the Commission wants to make sure that the law around wills is working for everyone. It believes that the law of wills can do more to protect the vulnerable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice