Canada’s online legal magazine.

Book Review: It Burned Me All Down – by Erin Durant

I recently saw a General Counsel job ad where one of the criteria was to be, “stress-resistant”. I immediately thought that the person who wrote up the ad, was either an idiot or had grossly unrealistic expectations for the role. Sadly, there’ll be a stream of lawyers applying, all of whom will enthusiastically confirm that, not only are they “stress resistant”, they also “thrive under pressure”.

Sigh.

Chief Justice Strathy has written about the “destructive myth” of stress-resistant lawyers, and law societies across Canada have put out CPD programs and resources to combat this myth. Some law schools have also . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended, Technology

Limitation Period Extended by Defendant’s Conduct

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

Without limitation periods, potential defendants would be at risk of being sued at any time; a perpetual black cloud would loom overhead. Barring lawsuits after the time limit has passed serves several important policy goals: it encourages people to bring forward and resolve their claims in a timely way, and it gives people a degree of finality. Determining whether a claim is time-barred may seem like an easy task, but a party may do something that causes one to wonder when the time limit began to run. Such was the situation . . . [more]

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

On a Slow Train to Nowhere: Paralegal Family Law Practice in Ontario

Every year, tens of thousands of Ontarians go through divorce or separation. Should these people have access to family law services provided by non-lawyers? What if these service-providers were paralegals trained in family law, insured, and regulated by the Law Society of Ontario?

At present, the official answer is no. No one who is not a full lawyer is allowed to engage in any independent family law practice in Ontario. However, multiple expert reports have endorsed paralegal family law practice for Ontario.

The Case for Paralegal Family Law Practice

The case for this reform is straightforward. The majority of separating . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Book Review: Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights, and Relationships

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.

Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights, and Relationships. Edited by Angela Cameron, Sari Graben & Val Napoleon. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020. ix, 374 p. Includes table of contents and bibliographical references. ISBN 9781487505455 (hardcover) $100.00; ISBN 9781487523824 (softcover) $42.95; ISBN 9781487532130 (ePUB) $42.95; ISBN 9781487532116 (PDF) $42.95.

Reviewed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Should Canada Implement a Flat-Rate Reimbursement Model for Surrogacy Arrangements: A Summary From the Text Surrogacy in Canada

In the article “Should Canada Implement a Flat-Rate Reimbursement Model for Surrogacy Arrangements” (Chapter 5 of Surrogacy in Canada, 2018), law professors Vanessa Gruben, Angel Petropanagos, and Angela Cameron discuss reforming the current system. Presently, donors and surrogates are reimbursed for receipted expenses (see regulation SOR/ 2019-193). This is based on the guiding principle of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act that “commercial ends raise health and ethical concerns that justify their prohibition”. In line with this guiding principle, the authors recommend the adoption of a new model, the flat-rate model.

They argue that the flat-fee model is an . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Don’t Alienate Your Firm With Your Decisions

I’m not sure if people truly understand the ultimate impact of the Roe vs. Wade reversal by the US Supreme Court – regardless of where you live. Like the potential alienation of 51% of the population who – let’s face it – only became “persons” within the past century and are now already having some of those rights reversed. Or the eventual impact of a sitting US President announcing that the Supreme Court does not speak to the will of the people, and then signing executive orders to allow for work-arounds to new legislation. It questions the very relevance of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about. La version française suit.

For this last week, the most-consulted three English-language decisions were:

1. Royal Bank of Canada v Anderson, 2022 ABQB 525

[29] Court access restrictions are a useful tool to minimize the harm cause by abusive litigants, but they are far from a universal panacea. One problem is that court access restrictions do not meaningfully affect “defensive” steps taken by abusive litigants to frustrate . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Failure of Unbundled Legal Services to Meet the Crisis in Access to Justice

In the past decade, various law societies, bar associations, and members of the judiciary have allowed and tacitly endorsed the provision of unbundled legal services. For law schools, members of the profession and judiciary, and professional regulators who recognize the crisis in access to justice, these unbundled services or limited scope retainers (and legal coaching) ought to be a vital addition to the access to justice landscape: they provide people with the kind of supports that are needed to resolve their legal issues.

The case for unbundling

Unbundled legal services provide limited help from a lawyer or paralegal while the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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.

Research & Writing

Software Tools for Editing
Neil Guthrie

In the olden days, a pair of articled clerks would sit together with two versions of a document. One would read aloud the new version and the other would mark the changes on the old, striking through deletions and writing in additions then underlining them. A red pen was typically used, hence redlining. With the advent of the monochrome photocopier, . . . [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. Law School Life & Beyond 3. David Whelan 4. Jumping off the Ivory Tower Podcast 5. Le Blogue du CRL

SOQUIJ | Le Blogue
Les frais d’inscription à une activité sportive offerte et gérée par des bénévoles sont-ils remboursables?

Peut-on obtenir le

. . . [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): En raison des exigences que lui impose la protection du privilège de l’indicateur, la Cour d’appel rejette les requêtes visant à obtenir la levée totale ou partielle des ordonnances de mise sous scellés et de caviardage du dossier d’appel ou un accès à celui-ci.

Intitulé : Re Personne . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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:

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