Canada’s online legal magazine.

Of Lexbox and the Promise of Convenience for CanLII Users

CanLII has a new friend. Its name is Lexbox.

It’s a product from Lexum — the Montreal-based company responsible for the undergirding technology of CanLII — which first emailed me and a clutch of other legal research types back in late March with an invite to help test the experimental tool when it was still in a closed beta phase.

We were told then that the aim of Lexbox (and you can read a lot more about it here) is to simplify how lawyers store, monitor and share online legal information. Having kicked the tires over the past . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

Enforceability of Do-Not-Link Provisions

The PanAm games currently being held in Toronto had until very recently a ‘do not link’ term on its web page.

I do not understand why such a term would be enforceable. What legal right is asserted? Linking does not imply endorsement, as we know from defamation cases. Nor – so far as I know – does it constitute use of any trade mark in the URL linked to, by the person making the link. So – what?

The Toronto IP firm Bereskin and Parr sets out an analysis of this issue. It mentions some of the difficulties . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Privilege for Patent and Trademark Agents

As a result of Bill C-59, when passed, clients will enjoy a statutory privilege in their client communications with Canadian patent and trademark agents.

This will provide Canadian clients who use patent and trademark agents, whether or not also lawyers, more secure protection of their confidential communications. In Canada the law had been that non-lawyer patent agents or trademark agents do not benefit from professional legal privilege. As to patent agents see Lumonics Research Ltd. v. Gould et al. (1983), 70 C.P.R. (2d) 11 (FCA). As to trademark agents see Visa International Service Assn. v. Visa Travel International Ltd. (1983), . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Standing to Bring a Class Action for Data Breach

It appears as if there is a major difference between Canadian and US law on standing to sue, at least in class actions.

Most US class actions by people whose personal information has been compromised in some way by a data breach have been stopped by a motion to dismiss. The essence of the argument is that the prospective plaintiffs have not suffered any demonstrable damage, and the US Constitution that authorizes the court system requires that there be a real dispute, which requires real damages.

On the other hand, the Federal Court of Appeal has just decided, in Condon . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Mandatory CPD Survives Its Day in Court

Since 2012, practising lawyers in Manitoba have been required to complete 12 hours of continuing professional development programming annually and to report on those activities as part of the annual Member’s Report. Failure to do so, pursuant to Law Society Rule 2-81.1(12) may result in issuance of a warning letter from the Law Society CEO, advising the member to comply within 60 days or face automatic suspension until the requirements have been met.

Recently, a long-time member of The Law Society of Manitoba challenged those provisions as being outside the statutory authority of The Law Society, and as lacking in . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD

Chatting in Secret

The Intercept has an article entitled Chatting in Secret While We’re All Being Watched that’s a good read for anyone interested in how to keep communications private. It was written by Micah Lee, who works with Glenn Greenwald to ensure their communications with Edward Snowden are private.

Even if you don’t want to read the detailed technical instructions on how to go about it, at least read the first part of the article that explains at a high level how communications can be intercepted, and the steps needed to stop that risk.

Communicating in secret is not easy. It takes . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

The Law Society Tribunal and Self-Regulation

Is the World as We Know it Coming to an End?

Each year, the Law Society of Upper Canada has an awards ceremony at which very worthy lawyers and paralegals are honoured. Hearing about the contributions and professional lives of the award recipients is inspiring and underscores the value of our professions to the society that we serve.

There was a whimsical theme in some of the speeches this year. By way of good-natured self-deprecation, one recipient described receiving the call from the Treasurer telling him that he had been awarded the Law Society Medal. He said that his first . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Governing Council of the University of Toronto v CUPE Local 3902, Unit 1, 2015 CanLII 38167 (ON LA)

The parties agreed upon two new and important provisions that would provide tuition and bursary funding. There provisions were part of a Memorandum that was rejected in February. Data was then exchanged, modifications ensued and the University accepted the union’s counteroffer leading to . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Legal Innovations: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Innovation means different things to different people – to some, it’s about a small tweak that makes a big difference; to others, it’s a complete disruption in the force.

In Canada, the discussion about legal innovation has lately become bogged down in the debate over alternative business structures (ABS). But that’s not where innovation begins or ends.

On July 23, Friedrich Blase of Thomson Reuters and Natalie McFarlane of LawLignment will host a CBAFutureschat to discuss favourite legal innovations – just what do you define as a legal innovation? What tools make your business model possible? What innovations have you . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

SCC to Rule on Dismissal Without Cause Regime Under the Canada Labour Code.

Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. was thought to put to rest the long-standing debate among adjudicators of whether federally regulated employers can dismiss an employee without just cause if they meet certain criteria (Part III of the the Canada Labour Code (“the Code”) provides protection in the form of reinstatement for employees dismissed “without just cause”).

In January of this year, the Court of Appeal upheld the Federal Court’s decision to allow an application for judicial review concluding that the adjudicator unreasonably found that the law permits only dismissals for cause.

The Federal Court criticized the adjudicator’s reliance . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Legaltech® Coming to Toronto

There are many ways to stay up to date with technology specific to the legal environment. One of my favourite methods is to see technology in action and talk to the people who create it. I get significant benefit from immersing myself in legal technology events. Lucky for me, especially with the disadvantageous (for me) Canada-US exchange rate, Legaltech® is coming to Toronto in September.

Slawyers, including me, have attended Legaltech® New York and the ABATechshow and written about what we have learned. This September 23 and 24, I will be writing from the Toronto show. Slaw is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

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 technology, research and practice.

Research

Use Multiple Browsers and Compare Content
Shaunna Mireau

Today’s tip is a reminder that web delivered content may display or act differently depending on your browser and the size of your browser window. If it is possible in your organization, use more than one web browser. …

Practice

ScanSnap Is a Snap!!!!
David Bilinsky

Continuing with the theme of technology that just works, I would be remiss if I . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday