As of today I am retiring as publisher, editor, and manager of Slaw. I have asked Steve Matthews, the innovative and talented President of Stem Legal, who has been with Slaw since the beginning, to take over as publisher of Slaw; and I’m thankful indeed that he has agreed. Steve is in charge here now.

This is something of a wrench for me. I started Slaw nine years ago and have managed it since that time; I’ve written more than 2,500 entries and another 500 or so as Administrator. I’ve seen it grow from a crew of half a dozen contributors to a roster of two dozen wonderful bloggers and sixty equally wonderful columnists. Readership has also grown steadily over the years to the point that we now have 90,000 unique visitors each month.

But what I’m most glad about is the community that Slaw has built with writers and readers from across Canada and, indeed, the world, making Slaw a safe and thoughtful place to explore how law does and should operate. I thank you for helping build and letting me be a part of this community.

Because letting go is never easy, I’ll continue to write Friday Fillips for the next little while at least. And, of course, I’ll continue to read Slaw — as I know you will too.


  1. Simon, you have built not only a community but a unique and valuable resource on Canadian law and practice. This has been well recognized by the honours you have won with it and by the devotion of those of us whom you have allowed to appear on Slaw’s virtual pages.

    Let me be among the first on this transitional occasion to thank you with enthusiasm for creating such a stimulating and fun place to think about law. We all owe you much. THANK YOU!

  2. Has Slaw made the Canadian legal community better and more thoughtful? That’s as easy as “which is warmer, steam or ice?”

    Bravo on this wonderful accomplishment and thank you Simon!

  3. Congrats Simon! Thanks for making SLAW the go to blog for the Canadian legal community. Amazing to see a little side project grow into something that is woven into the fabric of our daily online activities. Good eye on picking some great bloggers and columnists. Thanks for giving us suggestions on topics to cover, and last but not least, thanks for your friendly nudges to keep us all posting on our schedule.

  4. Mark C. Robins (@MarkCRobins)

    It is a sad day for Legal blogging in Canada. You created a first class space on the internet for legal views to be discussed in an open and forthright manner.
    It has been a pleasure to have worked with you and a greater pleasure to get to know you personally. will always be in your debt for giving us an opportunity to promote our brand on
    I wish good luck and good health in your future endeavors.

  5. Malcolm Mercer

    Not very many people actually create something significant. But Simon has done so in creating SLAW and the community of which he is rightly proud.

    Creating “a safe and thoughtful place to explore how law does and should operate” is no small feat in a world in which polarized views are so often hurled at adversaries. But Simon has achieved what he accurately describes.

  6. Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay

    Thanks for everything Simon. I agree with all the previous comments. Slaw is a great/fun/modern/diversified resource for the Canadian legal community. I read it all the time and many times I felt less alone because of it.

    … and I’m happy that Steve accepted to take over!


  7. Simon, you leave a lasting, positive legacy having made an important contribution to the legal profession, the practice of law, access to justice and the administration of justice. We are all the richer for it and I am personally grateful.

    Thank you for your vision, your inclusiveness, your insight and your leadership.

  8. Daniel Poulin

    Cher Simon,

    Tu es et demeureras un des princes de l’édition juridique au Canada. La façon si amicale par laquelle tu nous as amené à nous impliquer dans Slaw et par la suite à poursuivre de façon ‘ponctuelle’ demeurera pour moi et mes collègues chez Lexum un modèle quant à la façon de motiver et de gérer un groupe de collaborateurs libres et autonomes.L’ouverture d’esprit qui te permettait de mettre de l’avant tes opinions sans jamais que l’on sente quelque fermeture à l’égard d’opinions différentes, voire opposées, constitue elle aussi un modèle pour moi.

    Comme collègue au sein des joueurs de l’édition juridique, nous, chez Lexum, t’avons toujours perçu comme un ami et une source d’encouragement.

    Slaw est aujourd’hui un médium suffisamment fort pour continuer même si tu indique vouloir y tenir un moins grand rôle. Cette réalisation, aujourd’hui capable de s’autonomiser, illustre l’ampleur de tes intérêts, ton dynamisme, ta résillance et la justesse de ton intuition à la création de ce blog au nom bizarre.

    Merci Simon,

    Daniel Poulin

  9. Ramneek Pooni

    Long before it became a blog, Slaw was the name for a symposium or workshop that Simon organized at Osgoode Hall Law School. The idea of Slaw as a blog percolated for at least year or two before Simon breathed deeply and simply began it, not knowing how it would be received, but knowing that the legal profession has been slower than others to go e-anything. There is no doubt how it has been received and, indeed, valued. Bravo!

  10. My greatest appreciation and thanks for the privilege of working with you.

  11. A +1, “I concur,” and RT+ to all of the above. Simon, you created a brave and wonderful thing in Slaw and it’s been a joy to watch it grow and become “Canada’s online legal magazine.”

    You pursued one of those early hopes of the web: to offer a means to share news and disparate views, even from relative nobodies like me, and to discuss them freely and respectfully. You gave us all a place to meet new people and be part of an open and engaged community and—no small thing—to contribute to an established, respected repository of legal information and snapshots of thought in time.

  12. Jamie Maclaren

    It has been my true honour and pleasure to be a part of this wonderful institution you’ve created, Simon. Among many other things, Slaw has been an incredibly positive force in the collective mission to increase access to justice in Canada.

    Thank you for your gentle leadership and inspiration. I look forward to enjoying many more of your Friday Fillips.

  13. Natasha Chetty

    You personify everything that is good and reputable about being part of Canada’s legal community, Simon. I heartily agree with the comments above. Thank you for your leadership, your gentle humour and your insight. It has been an honour to work with you.

  14. Maryellen Symons

    Thank you for all the information, enlightenment and entertainment I’ve had from Slaw.

  15. Best wishes. You should be very proud of all you’ve achieved here.

  16. Merrilyn Astin Tarlton


    It will not be morning without you plus Slaw.

    Steve will, of course, do a wonderful job, but what you have built here is a performance beyond compare. I wish you well in all you now pursue, and hope that you will take the time to savor and absorb the deeply sincere appreciation of all your readers and colleagues around the world.


  17. Many thanks, Simon, for your long leadership of Slaw, and your many contributions to it. You’ve been instrumental in establishing something substantial.

    Few blogs so consistently support learning about law. Slaw’s own Canadian Law Blogs Search says it includes 461 blogs as of 2013-06-26, but there’s only one

  18. m. diane kindree

    Greetings Simon,
    I have learned a great deal from reading your columns about words as tools, weapons, and toys. You’ve put the fun back in playing with words and that is a unique skill. You are the best paronomasiac I know!
    Thank you for created a level playing field where the public interest matters and is given a voice.
    I can’t thank you enough for introducing the legal ethics column into slaw’s regular lineup.
    I am glad you will continue with the Friday Fillips, at least for a while, because drinking my morning Java without reading your entry just wouldn’t give my Friday mornings the lift-off it requires.
    Congratulations on all you have achieved (providing much needed oxygen) among the giddy heights of legal battology.
    Retirement; isn’t this the time when you write a book and zig-zag the country promoting it?
    Best wishes for a happy, healthy transition.

  19. Hi Mr. Fodden,

    I’m just one of the hundreds/thousands of anonymous nobody Canadian lurkers you have and I just wanted to say thanks for putting this site and team together.

    This site, and particularly you, has been a regular read of mine (and i’m sure this is true for many others). Glad to hear you will continue with the “Friday Fillips”.

    All the best to you.

  20. Geneviève Gélinas

    Many thanks, Mr Fodden, for creating this invaluable web ressource for lawyers and others interested in the law and peripherals. Best wishes regarding your future plans!

  21. Thank you for sharing your vision and creativity with all of us. All the best.

  22. Thank you, Simon, for all that you have done and of which you can be very proud. I agree with all that has been said. I shall continue to look forward to Fridays.

  23. Yosie Saint-Cyr

    Thank you Simon for everything…. also for your dedication and work in creating and managing Slaw… day in and day out! You will be missed!

  24. Caroline Nevin

    Simon, thank you so much for everything you’ve done to help build community and provide a forum for people to share news, ideas and opinions about the law and justice. You’ve created an amazing legacy. On behalf of the CBA staff here in BC, please enjoy whatever comes next (and I’ll continue to watch for those Friday Fillips!)

  25. Carissima Mathen

    Thank you, Simon, for your vision and hard work.

  26. Thanks a million Simon. This is a great gift to us all. Your legacy!

  27. David Collier-Brown

    Thank you for running one of the most comprehensible sites about the law: even a techie can tell what’s happening.


  28. I would like to add to the comments made here with an extract from the note I sent privately to Simon, which I want to share with everyone as well:
    ‘I want to thank you for having the vision and determination to conceive of SLAW, to nurture it through the growing phase, and to proudly hand over a solid, respected and INVALUABLE resource which shows how a whole is, in fact, made up of the sum of its multitudinous, varied, interesting and diverse parts!,

    With warm wishes and heaps of respect, Ruth

  29. Simon: I echo all of the foregoing comments which are a testament to your hard work and the success of SLAW. I continue to read SLAW daily and value the hard work and contributions you and all of the other contributors have made. In the word’s of Ira Gershwin: ‘S wonderful, ‘s marvelous! It’s SLAW!

  30. thank you. it is a unique and timely resource. i too echo the prior comments and wish you every success in your new ventures

  31. Lyo Louis-Jacques

    Thank you, Simon, for growing such a wonderful legal information resource that is the Slaw blog! Thanks also for inviting me to be part of the Slaw community. It’s been great! Best wishes on your next life adventure. Looking forward to your Friday Fillips! :-) Hasta la próxima.

  32. Best wishes, Simon:

    You taught me family law way back when….

    And you started something really good here at Slaw….

    You have contributed much to the profession.

    Be healthy, happy and keep contributing….

    Best regards,


  33. Wendy Reynolds

    Best wishes for the future, Simon! Your legacy is in excellent hands–Steve is the perfect choice. I’m glad to know that we’ll continue to see contributions from you.

  34. David J. Bilinsky


    ♫ If you wanted the sky
    I would write across the sky
    In letters that would soar
    A thousand feet high
    To sir with love..♫

    Lyrics and music by Don Black and Mark London, recorded by Lulu.

    How do you thank someone who has taken an idea and made it soar?

    How do you thank someone who has changed the landscape and made it forever different?

    How do you thank someone who had the idea to be innovative, imaginative and taken so many under his wing?

    Simon – we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude. For leadership. For imagination. For bringing so many along with you.

    All of us hope nothing but the best for you going forward.

    ♫ You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up… To more than I can be…♫

    Lyrics and music by Rolf U. Lovland.

  35. Kathryn Hendrikx

    Thank you for your thoughtful, playful and insightful take on the law. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  36. Michael Geist


    Thanks for your remarkable effort, dedication and vision. I remember well our discussion before launch about the possibility of a new blog that would become a critical source of discussion, debate and information on Canadian law and the legal profession. You saw the potential and built an unparalleled resource. Congratulations and thank you.


  37. Simon
    I’ve been meaning to comment since I heard this news. We’ve never met and I cannot recall if we’ve ever even spoken but I feel like I’ve known you for a long time.
    Well before I was invited to join the Slaw blogger family I was a devoted reader (and occasional commenter). What you’ve done in creating a (inter)national venue to discuss and consider the law and legal profession is truly remarkable. The discussions on Slaw have made me more optimistic about what the future holds for our profession and remind often why I wanted to be a lawyer.
    This little blog has generated community among many in the legal profession who might not have otherwise met. Through it, I’ve come to know many whom I today count among my friends.
    Thank you for all your contributions but even more for taking a chance on many unknown writers and giving us a place to make our voices heard.

  38. Charlotte Wolters

    Mr. Fodden,
    Thank you! Discovering Slaw as a law student changed the way I thought about both the law and the legal profession. It opened up a new way of intellectually engaging and reflecting on the law. You created a space for accessible and thoughtful conversation.

    Your vision in creating Slaw and “making Slaw a safe and thoughtful place to explore how law does and should operate” has and continues to challenge all readers to reflect on the law from multiple perspectives. This includes publishing the perspectives of law students and bringing them into the community and the discussions of the day.

    In creating Slaw you have created a community of inclusive thought and I am grateful.

  39. Simon,

    Thanks very much for your vision, dedication and hard work over the past decade.

    SLAW is a positive force in the Canadian legal information landscape.

    All the best in your future endeavours.

  40. Catherine Brennan

    Thank you Simon and all the best in your future endeavours.

  41. Sonia Lawrence

    Thank you so much Simon – for having a vision for how technology could bring us together and could provide us not just with more, but with more meaningful and timely communication. You’re an inspiration, and SLAW is a testament your vision. I hope we’ll continue to hear more from you than just filips – you are still way out ahead of the game.
    with gratitude,

  42. Supreme Advocacy LLP

    Many thanks Simon. You’ve always been an inspiration for lawyers to be more active in our online legal community. Your work has brought so many people together and has helped raise the level of discussion. All the best.

    -Eugene, Marie-France, Tom & Jonathan

  43. Alisa Posesorski

    Simon, thank you for making your wonderful vision a reality, and working so hard to maintain it all these years. You have created a community where we can discuss issues of importance. It’s hard to keep up with everything going on in the legal information field, but SLAW is an invaluable central resource.

  44. Thanks very much for your efforts over the years Simon and your success at building a vibrant online community !