Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for October, 2013

ONCA Again Emphasizes Deference to Academic Discipline

The Ontario Court of Appeal released a decision this month involving a dispute between physician residents and the University of Ottawa which again emphasizes the level of deference the courts are willing to offer educational institutions.

The plaintiffs in Aba-Alkhail v. University of Ottawa were physicians from Saudi Arabia who were completing their postgraduate medical residency at the University of Ottawa. All received some form of discipline or complaints which they attributed to discrimination based on their national origin. The university Senate dismissed the residents’ appeal of their dismissal from the medical program.

Complaints were brought before the human rights . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

International : La permission d'appel n'est pas accordée à des compagnies étrangères qui exercent leurs activités dans l'industrie du tabac et qui sont poursuivies en vertu de la Loi sur le recouvrement du coût des soins de santé et des dommages-intérêts liés au tabac au Québec, leur exception déclinatoire ayant été rejetée en première instance.
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.



Areas of Law: Municipal law; Aboriginal law; Constitutional and Charter law

~Bylaws containing specific reference to identifiable individuals in their preamble, and affecting Aboriginal people, will not be held to be invalid if they are of general application and do not touch on the “core of Indianness”~

Background: The Haudenosaunee people claimed unsurrendered rights to land in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

No Easy Answer on Access to Justice

When lawyers say they can’t afford their own services, you might have an access to justice problem.

Regina lawyer Alex Shalashniy said during the CBA Legal Futures Initiative’s Twitter chat Tuesday night that he’s heard lawyers admitting they would be unable to pay their own fees if they needed a lawyer – something he calls a “telling illustration” of the access to justice problem in Canada.

A number of people participating in the third weekly Twitter chat, this one dealing with how legal services can be changed to increase access, pointed to cost as a barrier.

Corinne Boudreau, owner of . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Professional Publishers in Professional Practice

Sean Hocking’s recent article Law Firms Should Have Become Legal Publishers Because Legal Publishers Are Now Becoming Law Firms, although prompted by the news of the establishment of Jordans Corporate Law Ltd., a new offshoot of The Jordans group of companies, brings into question an opportunity that for a long time I have thought feasible. Love or hate them, legal and professional information publishing entities for hundreds of years have been a critical component of the education, training of lawyers and their competence to practice. It is almost surprising to see that, at least since the beginning of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Open Access, Free Access to Law and Access to Canadian Legal Scholarship (Part 1)

[This is the first of a two-part column on open access and public access to Canadian legal scholarship within the free law movement. This week (October 21-27, 2013) is International Open Access Week. This annual global event, now entering its sixth year, is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to promote the goals of Open Access to the public generally but especially within the academic and research communities, to demonstrate its benefits and to inspire wider participation in making Open Access a new norm in scholarly publishing. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Friday Fillip: That’s My Name Too

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,
That’s my name too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout,
“There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!”
Da da da da da da da da . . .

D.C. ad nauseam

Naming has been problematic ever since Adam got the job of dubbing a billion or more different creatures. For one thing, you run out of options, or your imagination fails. For another, you want the name to be distinctive, perhaps, but not abstruse or downright daft. Brains get cudgelled and books get consulted. What shall we call the baby?

I started thinking about this . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Seeking Information for Law Enforcement on Bad Cheque Frauds Purportedly by Joe Mathewson

Law enforcement has contacted us seeking assistance in investigating bad cheque frauds by someone purporting to be Joe Mathewson. He is using the email address and the phone number 647-760-4059. The following UPS account numbers have been used on frauds: A82A95 F9236V and F88481.

If any of the above information has come up in a matter you have handled or been approached for, please contact Tim immediately at or 416-596-4623 so we can gather further information for the police.

Cross posted at AvoidaClaim . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Risk Versus Odds

As some readers may know, I retain a small commercial real estate practice. I apply as much of my thinking to my practice as workable. The upside is that my practice runs on very low overhead and is cost-effective for me and my clients. It also forces me to assess risk with my clients so that I don’t negotiate every sentence of every document; which is the essence of being a “trusted advisor.”

The downside is dealing with lawyers (most of whom are from Biglaw) for whom concepts of cost-effectiveness, efficiency and thoughtfulness are completely unknown; lawyers who can’t stop . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Australian Court to Recruit Retired Judge as Blogger

The British daily The Guardian reports that the Supreme Court in the Australian state of Victoria wants to make the justice system more understandable for citizens by making its website more interactive and hiring a retired judge to blog about cases:

“[Victorian Chief Justice Marilyn] Warren said the court’s new interactive website would become a hub for the court’s communication with the public, who would be able to comment on the website, watch video on demand, debate in online forums, and download judgments and summaries.”

“She said employing a retired judge to blog the courts represented a ‘historic shift

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet

‘Values Charter Raises Grave Concerns’: Head of Quebec Human Rights Commission

On October 17, 2013, Quebec’s Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse released an opinion on the government's policy paper, Orientations gouvernementales en matière d'encadrement des demandes d'accommodement religieux, d'affirmation des valeurs de la société québécoise ainsi que du caractère laïque des institutions de l'État (Charter of Quebec Values) previously discussed on Slaw.
Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

CanLII as the Solution to the Unaffordable Legal Services Problem

 1. The solution for making legal services again available at reasonable cost is to enable CanLII[1] to be the necessary national support service. This requires CanLII be able to provide the support services that are provided by the LAO LAW division of Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to Ontario lawyers in private practice who do legal aid cases. LAO LAW is a centralized legal research service.[2] As its first Director of Research, beginning in July 1979, I developed its technology of centralized legal research, which involves specialization as an on-going process in regard to: (1) its research lawyers; (2) . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law