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.

ENVIRONNEMENT : IMTT-Québec inc. n’a aucune autorisation à demander aux autorités provinciales en vertu des articles 22, 31.1 et 31.1.1 de la Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement pour construire ses réservoirs et ses quais de chargement dans le port de Québec ainsi qu’y mener ses activités, tant que celles-ci . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Legal Regulatory Reform in Britain and the US: Will History Repeat?

A reporter called me the other day with a perfectly simple question about the potentially enormous changes to legal regulation on the way in California, Utah, and Arizona.

Specifically, she noted that England & Wales brought about significant changes to its legal regulatory system eight years ago, yet not much has changed in those jurisdictions. Why do I think that these possible US reforms would yield a different outcome, especially with regard to access to justice and innovation?

As other reporters have learned to their chagrin, I’m incapable of giving a nice concise answer to perfectly simple . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Discriminatory Hiring Practices a Blind Spot in the Legal Industry

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Editor at First Reference

In Moore v Ferro (Estate), 2019 HRTO 526 (CanLII) (“Moore”), a British-trained lawyer licensed to practice in Ontario applied for a position at a law firm and was denied. The applicant responded to his denial by claiming that the law firm had discriminated against him in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The nature of that discrimination, the applicant claimed, was based upon his race and age and was demonstrated by the firm’s interview procedure, refusal to hire him and the language used in their correspondence with him. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Get It in Writing: Legal Fees, Retainer Contracts and Newell v. Sax

Should a lawyer decide how much his client should pay him, and then write himself a cheque for that amount, without the client’s agreement? Is a discretionary judicial decision about the value of a legal service an adequate substitute for an agreement between lawyer and client? In Newell v. Sax, the Ontario Court of Appeal effectively answered “yes” to both of these questions. In my view, arbitrary fees invented by lawyers, or judges, are a grave and unnecessary threat to legal ethics. The law should insist on upfront disclosure and clear contractual agreements about legal fees, absent very exceptional . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Wipe That Drive!

A recent University of Hertfordshire study found that the majority of second-hand hard drives contain previous owner’s data. They purchased 200 used hard drives, and found that 59% still contained data from previous owners.

ZDNet has the details of the findings, and more importantly, 14 ways to wipe them effectively.

Every electronic device has some sort of memory that can potentially contain sensitive, confidential, or personal information. That includes computer hard drives, solid state drives, thumb drives, photocopiers, phones, cars, watches, smart TVs, and the list goes on. Whether we are disposing them, selling them, or returning them, we need . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Legal Aid Expenditures Over Time in Canada: A Complex Story

Although legal aid funding remains a challenge, and in many jurisdictions is under threat, a global interest in access to justice has gained momentum in recent years. In part, this interest is built around United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 with the involvement of new and influential players in access to justice such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Some countries in which legal aid is a recent development have introduced national legal aid legislation and are making progress toward national systems. On . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. R. v. Lloyd2016 SCC 13

[1] Parliament has the power to proscribe conduct as criminal and determine the punishment for it, and judges have the duty to apply the laws Parliament adopts on punishment to offenders. But individuals are also entitled to receive, and judges have a duty to impose, sentences that are constitutional having regard to the circumstances of . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Canada Not Among 46 Nations Signing UN Mediation Convention

The United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (under UN custom referred to as the ‘Singapore Convention’) was formally signed in August 2019. Canada is not one of the initial signatories to the Convention, which was previously approved by the UN General Assembly.

The Convention sets requirements for reliance on settlement agreements, standards for enforcing the agreements, and grounds for refusing to grant relief.

It applies specifically to settlement of “international” commercial disputes. It does not apply to consumer disputes. Nor does it apply to family, inheritance or employment matters.

The Convention also expressly does not apply . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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 practice, research, writing and technology.

Practice

Set small goals
Sandra Bekhor

September always seems to be a time when Canadians get more serious about work. Well, we have a short summer and we need to make the most of it, right? One simple tip that can take some of sting out of leaving vacations behind and getting back to the daily grind is to get into the habit of setting small practice development goals. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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 more than 80 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. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue 2.Robeside Assistance 3. Family LLB 4. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 5. PierreRoy & Associés

SOQUIJ | Le Blogue
Offre de services professionnels aux aînés et obligations déontologiques

De nombreux professionnels offrent leurs services à une clientèle âgée. Voici quelques

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Maximizing Your Non-Billable Client Meetings

Lawyer time is valuable… and so is client time. When a lawyer has decided to meet with a client in a non-billable capacity, they are well-served by taking the time to ensure both parties receive maximum value in the exchange.

Contrary to popular belief, this value isn’t achieved by just showing up. By way of example, I worked with a lawyer who had been asked by their firm to create an annual business plan. The plan was filled with various action items under goals (or just headings, really) like “education” and “client service”. Under the heading of “business development”, they . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law