Canada’s online legal magazine.

“Is the Proposed Canadian Securities Act Within the Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada?”

Today’s a day that Phil Anisman must have wondered whether he would see. Back in 1979, he published Proposals for a securities market law for Canada.

A national Securities Bill unveiled, a Canadian Securities Regulatory Authority established and the scheme instantly referred to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As the preamble says:

  1. capital markets affect the well-being and prosperity of all Canadians;
  2. capital markets are increasingly national and international in scope;
  3. capital markets are rapidly evolving and include increasingly complex financial products and methods of distribution and trading;
  4. it is important for Canada to have competitive capital markets and
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Overview of Proposed PIPEDA Amendments

On Tuesday, May 25, the Minister of Industry introduced in Parliament Bill C29, also known as an Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Bill C-29 is the long-awaited government response to the five year mandatory review of PIPEDA and contains a number of very significant amendments that, if passed, will alter the landscape of privacy law compliance in Canada. At a very high level, it provides mandatory breach notification for security breaches related to personal information, attempts to clarify the confusing “lawful authority” provisions in Section 7 and also facilitates the disclosure of customer . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Speaking Out

At the end of September, four members of the Ontario Government Libraries Council (OGLC) presented a workshop at Showcase Ontario, the Ontario government’s enormous technology and information conference. The session was about how to use non-traditional media such as blogs and Twitter for current awareness, and included two practical case studies from the Office of the Fire Marshal and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Registrations for the session topped 400. Since then, various members of the panel have been asked to make presentations to other audiences, to contribute content to articles reporting on social media use in government, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

New Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia Publication

The Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia (LIANS) has begun publishing a bimonthly electronic newsletter, LIANSwers. The May edition is available in PDF. The publication will include:

substantive issues as well as members’ insurance updates and risk and practice management advice . . . also . . . tips on technology, office management, health and wellness, as well as information on conferences and upcoming events

Of course, much or most of the content will be of specific interest to our Nova Scotia readers, but it never hurts for those practicing elsewhere to check for good advice outside their jurisdictions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Provincial, Territorial and State Lawyer Licensing Databases

I have had calls from lawyers in the midst of handling apparent fraud attempts who were wanting to verify whether the lawyers named as the drafter of the collaborative family law agreements presented to them by the fraudsters were in fact real lawyers. There were names and signatures in the agreements – but nothing else. No firm names, telephone numbers, addresses etc. Red flag!! Searches of the internet failed to turn up anything.

So where can you go to attempt to establish if you are dealing with a real lawyer that is in good standing?

A newly updated LLRX article, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

FISA – New Anti-Spam Bill Introduced

The Canadian government introduced two important new bills yesterday. Bill C-29 amends PIPEDA – I’ll leave commentary on that to David Fraser.

Bill C-28 is the “Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act” or FISA. It is essentially the same as the “Electronic Commerce Protection Act” that was proposed previously. Here is Industry Canada’s news release, and the bill itself.

It targets the sending of what we would typically call spam, or unwanted commercial email, as well as spyware and phishing.

From the news release:

The proposed FISA is intended to deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Rules of Engagement

Whether working with a practice group, an executive team or the members of some firm’s strategic planning committee, I continue to be struck by the dysfunctional behavior that is often present in group meetings. I don’t know why I continue to be surprised. Working together in groups in not a natural, comfortable or easy thing for many of us to do.

What I have come to learn is that the very best market-performing groups, in the best firms, have established for themselves some written guidelines by which all members have agreed to abide – and often, each partner in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Discretion to Stay a Prosecution

Today’s announcement by the Crown Attorney’s office in Ontario that charges have been stayed against the former Attorney General Michael Bryant is accompanied by an 11 page analysis of the facts and the applicable law, that should be noted by those who follow the role of the Law Officers of the Crown and the discretion to stay charges.

This will add to the academic literature such as the works of John Edwards, The law officers of the Crown : a study of the offices of Attorney-General and Solicitor-General of England, and The Attorney General, Politics and the Public . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Make Marketing a Habit

Running a business (and make no mistake, a law practice is a business) is a marathon, rather than a sprint. That is especially true when it comes to marketing. I see many lawyers who make the mistake of giving up too easily because they don’t see immediate results from their efforts. 

Marketing is about building relationships. In the same way that you can’t expect to have immediate results when you enter the dating pool, you can’t expect to have immediate results with marketing. It takes time to get known within the community where your target market ‘hangs out’ and to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Crime in Inuit Nunangat

Statistics Canada has released a difficult study, “Police-reported Crime in Inuit Nunangat” by Mathieu Charron, Christopher Penney and Sacha Senécal. Difficult because it shows us something about our country, our society, that we commonly prefer to ignore, and difficult too because the problem revealed is amenable to no easy solution.

The term Inuit Nunangat, I learn (I’m ashamed to say), refers collectively to the four settled regions at the top of Canada in which forty of the fifty thousand Inuit live. See the map below (click on it to enlarge it):

source: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

I . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law

Illustrated Judgments


[An Unhappy Fisherman’s Exhibit. Picture from a Cour du Québec’s judgment illustrating that the roof bought by the plaintiff was too low for comfortable fishing. Source : 2003 CanLII 42894 (QC C.Q.) (juge Raoul P. Barbe) at para. 8.]

Earlier this year, SCC’s judges cited a CTV news video clip in Canada (Prime Minister) v. Khadr, 2010 SCC 3, (at para. 7.). In that case, the government policy — its refusal to request M. Khadr’s repatriation — was established through a reference to a press conference given by the Prime Minister and available in CTV’s archives (see at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

and, in the IP world, maybe soon coming to Canada. But this message isn’t about the upcoming Canadian version of the US DMCA.

Instead, it’s about American ingenuity, the “if at first you don’t succeed motto” and Warner Bros. ongoing attempts to control as much as it can of the profit-making capacity of the Superman character. Read about it here. The caption of the article is “Warner Bros. So Distraught Over Losing Superman Rights, It Personally Sues The Lawyer Who Won”, subtitled “from the getting-a-bit-personal dept”. The background is that WB was recently forced to return some of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law