Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for November, 2013

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. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board 2013 HRTO 440

    [1] This is an Application made under s. 53(5) of the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, as amended (the “Code”), dated May 18, 2009. The underlying complaint was filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “Commission”) on November 24, 2004.
    [2] In a prior decision, 2012 HRTO 350 (CanLII), 2012 HRTO 350

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Costly Errors

Following release of the October 17, 2013 Hearing Panel decision in the prosecution of Torys LLP lawyers Elizabeth DeMerchant and Darren Sukonick, I raised the question here of why the Law Society continued with the prosecution for as long as it did. Those views were based on information contained in the reasons of the Hearing Panel. Now that the parties have exchanged cost submissions, a fuller review of the evidence is available.

In their lengthy submission, Philip Campbell and Ian Smith, counsel for Ms. DeMerchant and Mr. Sukonick, take the position that the Law Society should pay much of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Communicate by Design: Keep in Touch

Recently I was preparing a talk on using social media for client development and I noticed something interesting in the LinkedIn company page. In order for me to see contact information for a law firm who had status updates I had to “chase” the “About” information down the page, as it appeared below the updates. The more updates there were, the more I had to wait for them to load and then scroll farther down the page to the “About XYZ Law Firm” text. Then, despite some other descriptive information about the firm itself, the only contact information in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Court Reform by Stealth?

For those of you who have colleagues who do any estate or trust litigation in Toronto, the estate court has essentially been merged with the commercial list effective November 18. Unfortunately, no formal communication about this has been made and it does not appear that any such communication will be forthcoming.

The court must assume that everyone who should know, will know.

There are different forms, procedures and timelines to follow now. Also, all estate matters will now be heard at 330 University (and not 393 University). Adjust your schedules.

The executive committee of the OBA’s Trusts and Estates . . . [more]

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

Bench Press

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hearing about some initiatives of the Alberta Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General. One of the topics that Minister Denis addressed was the shortage of Justices in Alberta.

Our province has had incredible population growth, 36% since 1996, and we have a delays in our courts. Check out this Lawyers Weekly article from August 16, 2013 by Cristin Schmitz for coverage of the issue.

Minister Denis encouraged Albertans to write their Members of Parliament to ask for appointments of Court of Queen’s Bench Justices.

Alberta Justice & Solicitor General has a blog . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Does the City of Toronto Need to “accommodate” Rob Ford?

I know it hasn’t been discussed much generally, but I think it’s an appropriate time for me to talk about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Slaw. I’m not breaking any news by saying that it has been reported that Rob Ford may have have a substance abuse problem. While John Stewart, Jay Leno, David Letterman and everyone else have made light of his somewhat public gaffes, any form of substance abuse issue (real or perceived) is sad.

I’m an employment and labour lawyer, so I am often required to look at substance abuse issues through the lense of human . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Was It Worth It? Outlining the Legal Education and Training Review in England and Wales

There is endless discussion on how we go about preparing the lawyers of tomorrow to be well armed for the expectations their clients will have of them. Many law schools in all countries are trying varied approaches to achieve the best for their students, as well as for the working world with which they will have to engage. The downturn in the legal market, the decline in enrolments in the law schools, and the questioning of the value and relevance of an expensive law degree are issues faced by law firms, educators and regulators.

Now and then there is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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 technology, research and practice.


How to Recognize Your Computer Is Infected With Malware
Dan Pinnington

Ideally you have one or more types of properly updated anti-malware software running on your computers and networks. And hopefully that software detects and prevents any malware infections from occurring. However, because anti-malware software may not detect an infection, watch for the symptoms that can indicate a computer is infected with malware. These include: . . .

Research . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Take-Aways: KM World and Taxonomy Boot Camp 2013

I recently attended two jointly run conferences, KM World 2013 and Taxonomy Boot Camp 2013. Enterprise Search Summit and SharePoint Symposium also run concurrently with the other two although I did not attend those.

The folks in the Knowledge Workers Toronto meetup group (which I co-organize) invited me to share some of my take-aways from the conferences. Below are my slides that put that summary together.

It was my first time at Taxonomy Boot Camp. I was impressed with the range of content (from introductory to advanced technical)–highly recommended if you are working in the area of taxonomy or . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

An Interesting Use of Judicial Review

After the 2012 discovery of the remains of King Richard III under a city parking lot in Leicester, the 17th great nephew of the king managed to persuade a UK judge that he has “sufficient interest” in the question of where the remains should be re-interred, to seek judicial review of the discretionary decision of the Justice Secretary granting a license of exhumation under the Burial Act 1857.

The historical figure was killed at the battle of Bosworth Hill on 22 August 1485.

When the decision was made pursuant to the license to move the remains to Leicester Cathedral, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

GTA Lawyers Take Note of New Motion Practice Direction (Toronto)

On November 18, 2013, the Toronto Motions Scheduling Unit circulated an email with details of a new scheduling policy. The contents of that message are as follows:

Please make note of the following important new information for the Motions & Scheduling Unit:

  • As of November 18, 2013, any date requisitioned for a motion will be vacated if the notice of motion is not filed with payment for the motion within 10 days after the motion has been scheduled.
  • As of November 18, 2013, the motions scheduling office will only permit one consent adjournment and any further adjournment requests must be
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Access to Justice: Courts and Technology: A Twitterchat

The foundational tenets of our legal system include justice and fairness. It is assumed is that we can access and assert our rights in law. Increasingly what we see in the courts is a rising number of people who represent themselves with measurably worse outcomes than if they had retained a lawyer, and many more who are just not seeking justice at all because of legal costs. For many years, the focus was improving access through legal aid and pro bono legal services. However, today that is only one small part of the answer to a very big problem. What . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues