Canada’s online legal magazine.

What Do Title Insurers Expect From Lawyers?

Still relatively new in Canada, title insurance is not fully understood by many consumers. Even certain less-sophisticated lenders lack detailed knowledge of the product. The responsibility for explaining title insurance to those who purchase it – and for supporting insureds in obtaining coverage that suits their needs – falls squarely on lawyers’ shoulders.

Lawyers are also responsible for communicating accurately with the proposed insurer about the details of a real estate transaction, the property to be purchased, and the expectations and needs of the purchaser and lender.

At the Law Society of Upper Canada’s recent Real Estate Summit, LAWPRO’s Vice . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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. Administrative Law Matters  2. The Court 3. FamilyLLB  4. Legal Feeds  5. McElroy Law Blog

Administrative Law Matters
Law’s Abnegation by Adrian Vermeule

I have not mentioned as many books and articles as I would have liked to over the course of the year. Let me try to make . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Malicious Accusations of Lies Against a Lawyer More Than Opinion

The much anticipated appeal in Awan v. Levant was released today by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Superior Court of Justice decision, now largely upheld on appeal, was important because it deals with defamation against a lawyer, but also provided salient points for understanding the nuance of online defamation in the modern era.

Central to the plaintiff’s claim of defamation was that he was referred to as a liar by the defendant. Justice Feldman, for the court, referred to paras 26-27 of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in WIC Radio Ltd. v. Simpson,

[26] … Brown’s

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Reports of the Death of American Law Firms Are Greatly Exaggerated

Data are recorded about much that we do these days. We all leave a digital trail. The resulting data are a rich source of insight, but in their raw form, they don’t tell us much. We need to analyze data properly and methodically to make sense of it.

The recent poor performance of opinion polls in both the UK’s referendum on remaining in the European Union (“Brexit”) and the US Presidential election left me wondering what they tell us about our dependence on data analytics? Sometimes the models, and the assumptions underpinning them, need to be questioned.

In the case . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Thursday Thinkpiece: Tang on Trauma in Legal Practice

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.

Being Well in the Law: A Guide for Lawyers

© 2016 The Law Society of New South Wales | Authors: Tony Foley, Ian Hickie, Vivien Holmes, Colin James, Margie Rowe and Stephen Tang

Being Well in the Law is a new Australian guide on wellbeing and mental health for lawyers. It has been . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

A Card Cannot Be Electronic: R v Albert 2016 NBQB 154

New Brunswick drivers are required by the Motor Vehicle Act to carry with them or in their vehicle a card issued by their insurer in a form approved by the government. A motorist who was asked for the card produced an image of a genuine card on her mobile phone. The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently held that the image was not good enough. R v Albert, 2016 NBQB 154.

The Decision

At a first trial before a provincial court judge, the court held that the phone display satisfied the demand to show the “card”.

The Crown . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Technology

📆 What You Were Looking at in 2016: CanLII’s Top Cases

[This post is being published simultaneously on our blog]

Each year we compile lists of the most popular cases in the past year. This year is no exception, because one of the comforting things in life is consistency, and the most read cases on CanLII.org give you that this year. Five of the cases on the list were on last year’s list too, and the top two cases are unchanged from last year; four of the cases on this year’s list were on the top 10 list in 2014.

As ever we invite discussion of the cases . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Once Up a Time, in Another Land

For those of you enjoying your well-earned holiday vacation.

March 1601 wasn’t that long ago, from the sequoias and redwoods perspective; even some oaks.

From “The Workhouse: The Story of an Institution” http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Oxford/

Robert Phillis, weaver, shall be delivered unto him twenty powndes towards the settling on worcke in spynning of lynnen and in carding and sorting of wollen with the cytty and suburbes, wherein specyall regard must bee had that the idle and loytring sort be sett on workce, and yf they refuse and doe their worcke amysse, that they be punnyshed by whipping

That probably wouldn’t work under . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Reading

The Supreme Court’s Doctrine of No Construction in Alberta v. University of Calgary

In Alberta v. University of Calgary the employer university refused employee access to information about herself on the basis of solicitor client privilege. The university then refused the privacy commissioner’s request to review that information which, under Alberta access to government information law, must be disclosed to the commissioner despite “any privilege of the law of evidence” being asserted. A majority of the Supreme Court sided with the university in holding that “any privilege of the law of evidence” does not include solicitor client privilege. If the commissioner’s office has a right to review claims of solicitor client privilege, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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. Alberta (Attorney General) v Malin, 2016 ABCA 396

[13] This rationale for the Judge’s claimed right to appeal cannot withstand scrutiny. It too amounts to a challenge to legislation, the Criminal Rules, and, in turn, the rule-making authority under the Code of the superior courts under s 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867. We are unable to discern any extant . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Tolley – Cento Anni!

Reflecting on 2016, in many ways a turbulent and distressing year, I was reminded of the centenaries that it marked. Notable ones for me were the momentous Easter Rising in Ireland, the wasteful Battle of the Somme, the birth of my late father and the establishment of Tolley Publishing.

Its parent, Lexis Nexis UK has posted on Tolley’s web site a “100 Years of Tolley Infographic” and has published a book to celebrate its centenary, entitled, thanks to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, “Plucking the Goose”. The title, apparently not some kind of smutty euphemism or double entendre, serves to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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

4 Questions to Ask About Any Database (Part 1)
Ken Fox – Law Society of Saskatchewan Library

Whenever you set out to use any electronic research source, be it a public web search or a specialized database, there are a few questions you should always ask – four to be exact. You may say there are really five or six important questions, or maybe you think there . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday