Canada’s online legal magazine.

A2J for the Middle Class – an Invitation

Access to justice applies to everyone. However, most formal access to justice initiatives focus (rightly) on people who are especially vulnerable due to poverty or very low income. IAALS (the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System) has just launched a new, organized network of individuals and organizations across the U.S. and in Canada who are committed to improving A2J for the “middle-class”.

It is called the Above the Line Network (ATLN).

The idea is to create a collaborative community to share ideas, resources and learnings and work together on innovative ways to meet the needs of this . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

When a Judge Finds His Dream Case: Hameed v. Canada (Prime Minister)

INTRODUCTION

Mr. Justice Henry S. Brown must have been on tenterhooks for a chance to condemn the Prime Minister (PM) and the Minister of Justice (“the Minister”) for their failure to fill what are far too many judicial vacancies. And then Yavar Hameed came along and gave him the opportunity. In Hameed v. Canada (Prime Minister) (“Hameed”), Brown J. issued declarations that he expected to address the problem.

Hameed, a human rights lawyer, had a case adjourned because, as the Ottawa Superior Court of Justice Trial Coordinator explained to him, “'[T]he court is experiencing a lack of judicial resources as . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

CALL/ACBD AI Working Group Is Seeking User Feedback!

Good morning Colleagues!

La version française suit.

We are writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries AI Working Group (WG).

The WG is responsible for developing guidance on the use of artificial intelligence in legal technologies, including both commercial and non-commercial databases. The databases anticipated to be covered would be those that use legal information sources (statutes, regulations, cases, commentary, and other sources) as their primary data source.

At this time, we are soliciting feedback from the legal profession.

Your feedback is important to the process, and will be used to help frame our final . . . [more]

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

One and Only

The winning strategy of being one of one drives value and growth.

Leading law firm. Full service. Client focused. These throw-way platitudes are hallmarks of those who are indistinguishable in the legal services market and, as a result, are doomed to compete.

Be distinct. Stop competing. Own your market.

These are the hallmarks of smart and sustainable business.

Be Distinct

Distinct means being different from something else of a similar type.

According to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, “Canada’s 14 provincial and territorial law societies govern over 136,000 lawyers, Quebec’s 4,200 notaries and Ontario’s 10,600 independent paralegals…” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

AI: The Robots Are Already in Control (Part Two)

In my last blog post “The Robots (AI) Are Already in Control (Part One)” I reminded users about the headaches involved with system migrations. Our working lives are already controlled by technology. This was to set the stage for the next part of the conversation.

Before I go down that rabbit hole, let me say that I appreciate technology, but I am a late adopter. I’d rather let everyone else pour time and money into sorting out new technology issues, and then adopt after the kinks have been worked out. Automating my working life is a fun question that I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

The Happiness of Pursuit – an Invitation for Lawyers to Reframe Their Frame of Mind

As a lawyer who wears many “hats” in my work, I like to relax by watching movies.

Recently I watched a movie called “Hector and the search for happiness”.

The title intrigued me.

As a lawyer, mediator, wellness coach, I am always looking for ways to be happier. In fact, I believe that this has been the human condition for generations, wherein people have been striving to find happiness. I hope that this piece will give you some time to ponder ways in which you can increase your happiness and decrease the stress that is omnipresent within the legal profession. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Tips Tuesday: Monitor Websites Using VisualPing

If you need to monitor changes to a website, one option is VisualPing

VisualPing allows you to monitor either visual changes or changes to the text; if you’re monitoring text, you can limit alerts to when specific keywords are added or deleted. You can also specify the degree of the changes (e.g. “tiny (1%)” or “gigantic (50%)” which, depending on the frequency of changes to the page, can be extremely helpful.

If the website you are monitoring requires specific actions to retrieve information (e.g. fill in a form or click on a button), VisualPing has the ability to do . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Michael Geist 2. Hull & Hull Blog 3. Condo Adviser 4. Off the Shelf 5. Excess Copyright

Michael Geist
Conservatives Double Down on Support for Mandated Internet Age Verification and Website Blocking: Why Can’t Canada Get Common Sense Digital Policy?

Digital policy has been the source of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

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.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS : Le couvre-feu prévu au Décret concernant l’ordonnance de mesures visant à protéger la santé de la population dans la situation de pandémie de la COVID-19 (décret 2-2021) porte atteinte au droit à la liberté d’expression, à la liberté de réunion pacifique et à la liberté des . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Sourcing Outside Our Silos

A refreshing aspect of Slaw.ca is that professionals from various backgrounds contribute to this content. Outside this space, the vast majority of my scrolling is focused on caselaw, commentary, and news related to immigration laws and policies. Extremely limited, I admit. Slaw.ca exposes me (and you, I suppose, as another reader) to think about areas of law outside my silo, possibly to our benefit.

Would it be an overstatement to assert that silo thinking has undermined our advocacy? Have our resources & energy become so focused within our specialized little areas of expertise that we have neglected developments in other . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

Can the Charter Protect Canadians Against Climate Change?

Floods and wildfires have displaced thousands. BC’s heat dome killed 600. It is not an exaggeration to say that climate change is having a profound impact on the rights of Canadians. At the same time, climate cases currently moving through Canadian courts are raising questions regarding whether and how citizens can hold governments to account for authorizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that violate their Charter rights.

The common law has long said that for any right, there is a legal remedy. Increasingly, people facing climate change threats are turning to the courts, in a wave of climate litigation that has . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Book Review: Law and Mental Health in Canada: Cases and Materials

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Law and Mental Health in Canada: Cases and Materials. Edited by Anita Szigeti & Ruby Dhand. Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2022. xxix, 552 p. Includes table of cases, table of statutes, and index. ISBN 9780433525165 (softcover) $135.00.

Reviewed by Melanie R. Bueckert
Legal Research Counsel
Manitoba Court of Appeal

Law and . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece