Canada’s online legal magazine.

Academic Freedom and the Israel-Hamas War

As a faculty member of Simon Fraser University, I recently participated in a SFU Faculty Association vote on a motion “calling upon SFU to divest from Israeli commercial interests, suspend partnerships with Israeli universities, and offer concrete support for Palestinian faculty and students.” Such motions have been common across universities around the world during the “situation in Gaza,” as the motion calls it. The inordinate loss of life and suffering of the Israel-Hamas War has led to campus disruptions that have not been seen since the Vietnam War roiled campuses more than half-a century ago (during my student days at . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Education

Pleadings v Evidence: Walking the Tight Rope

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

It’s a basic principle that a party needs to know the case being alleged against it to fairly respond to it. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice rendered a decision in 2024 ONSC 2948 where an employment relationship went bad, resulting in a lawsuit. The employer cried foul over the information it received in response to its demand for particulars and brought a motion asking the court to order them. The court disagreed, shedding light on the extent of information a respondent is entitled to receive before examination for discovery. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Social Media Use and Apprehension of Bias: Good Guidance Still Lacking

This column is a cautionary tale for adjudicators who use social media such as the platform formerly known as Twitter – although equally applicable to other social media platforms such as LinkedIn. In Law Society of Ontario v. Diamond, 2024 ONLSTA 8 (CanLII), the appeal panel of Ontario’s Law Society Tribunal, found that the current chair of the Tribunal should have recused himself from a conduct hearing based on comments he had made on social media prior to being assigned to the panel, related to the lawyer whose conduct was under scrutiny (Jeremy Diamond of Diamond & Diamond).

Jeremy . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The MacDonald Report: What Should We Expect From a Former Chief Justice and Law Students? Part 2

Preamble

When students at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law (“LASL” or “the school”) sent a controversial letter (“the letter” or “the October 20th letter”) to the LASL administration, a letter which became public, about the Israel-Hamas conflict, Metropolitan Toronto University (“MTU” or “the University”) filed a complaint under TMU Senate Policy 61, the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct (“the Code”). The University appointed the former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia J. Michael MacDonald as the External Reviewer of the complaint. MacDonald released his Report (“the Report”) on May 31, 2024.

This is the second post of a three-part . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The ‘How’ vs. the ‘What’ in Plain Language

In my last post, “The Potential for Reducing Claims with Plain Language”, I noted that poor communication is a leading cause of professional liability claims against lawyers. Convoluted client letters and emails may lead to clients making decisions on matters they don’t fully understand. A plain language approach offers the potential for reducing claims risk for lawyers and their clients in addition to making the law and legal processes more comprehensible for self-represented litigants. Fortunately, a plain language approach in legal training and an increased emphasis on plain language legal writing, including judicial decisions, is underway.

But has . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

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. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 2. PierreRoy & Associés 3. Susan On The SoapboxBlog 4. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue 5. Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style

Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada
How do prior regulatory convictions affect sentencing outcomes for new

. . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La Cour est en désaccord avec l’une des conclusions de la Cour supérieure, soit celle selon laquelle le certificat ou le témoignage d’un analyste est nécessaire pour permettre l’application de la présomption d’exactitude prévue à l’article 320.31 (1) a) C.Cr.; la poursuite peut invoquer cette présomption en . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Decision Clarifies Contracting Out and Contracting In

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

The Alberta grievance arbitration decision in 2024 CanLII 38826 (AB GAA) draws a distinction between contracting out and contracting in. The grievance concerned a company’s decision to fill its Tank Farm Project Operator position at its refinery, involving issuing permits for project work, isolations, expansions and tank cleaning. The position typically was filled by a bargaining unit member to promote individual development within the unit. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Another Day, Another Krona

Karnov Group, the legal and professional information business based in Sweden, looked somewhat courageous and heroic when around the end of 2021, in one swoop, it agreed to buy significant legal publishing assets both from Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer in Spain and France. Now with offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France, Spain and Portugal, Karnov Group employs more than 1,200 people. The Spanish-French conquest helped to turn Karnov from a Nordic entity to a leading European one and, perhaps, set the scene for expansion of Napoleonic scale; that may yet be the plan.

After a short time, however, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII? – June 2024

At the beginning of each month, we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII in the previous month and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this past month, the three most-consulted English-language decisions were:

  1. Maxol Wealth Investments Inc. v. Arash Missaghi, et al., 2024 ONSC 3179

[1] This was a motion by the Defendants, Valiollah Onsori-Saisan and Skymark Capital Corporation (“moving parties”), to set aside a Mareva injunction originally obtained on a motion without notice (ex parte motion). In the event the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Stratospheric Strategy Success: Eclipsing Mediocre to Meteoric

Why be mediocre? Smart strategy developed thoughtfully and executed astutely ignites success that is stratospheric.

Strategy within many law firms is considered optional. These firms prefer to do what they’ve always done, then sweat and bleed to grind out results.

That’s because they choose to play it safe and run with the rest of the competitive herd. But running with the herd does not protect you from harm, it simply makes you one of many.

Playing it safe is a prevalent trait within the risk-averse legal services industry. But how tiresome and dull, not to mention frustrating. This is precisely . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

The MacDonald Report: What Should We Expect From a Former Chief Justice and Law Students?

Preamble

When students at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law (“LASL” or “the school”) sent a controversial letter (“the letter” or “the October 20th letter”) to the LASL administration, a letter which became public, about the Israel-Hamas conflict, Metropolitan Toronto University (“MTU” or “the University”) filed a complaint under TMU Senate Policy 61, the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct (“the Code”). The University appointed the former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia J. Michael MacDonald as the External Reviewer of the complaint. MacDonald released his Report (“the Report”) on May 31, 2024.

This is the first post of a three-part . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues