Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for May, 2014

Google, González and Globe24h

Romania joined the European Union in 2007. Accordingly, its citizens can presumably benefit from the recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU compelling search engines to comply in certain circumstances with requests from individuals to “de-link” search results where their privacy interests are implicated. But what rights, if any, are possessed by a Canadian who carries out a vanity Google search of their name and discovers that a Romanian website has republished personal details from a Canadian court case that is on the internet, yet “practically obscure” through its unlinked presence on CanLII? This is . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Implications of Mandatory Retirements in Partnerships

The Supreme Court of Canada decision in McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, mentioned recently by Simon Chester, will have implications beyond just how human rights legislation applies to mandatory retirement provisions in partnership agreements. Because such provisions will be upheld, firms can be expected to include and rely on them further, and the baby boomer population of lawyers who are quickly approaching retirement age may now expect a forced retirement from partnership.

Some economists reject the “lump labour” theory, which suggests that unemployment can be, in part, attributable to the refusal of older workers to retire. However, even . . . [more]

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

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Chaque semaine, nous vous présentons un résumé d’une décision d’un tribunal québécois qui nous est fourni par la Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ) et ayant un intérêt pancanadien. SOQUIJ relève du ministre de la Justice du Québec, et elle analyse, organise, enrichit et diffuse le droit au Québec.

Every week we present a summary of a decision by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and selected 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.

SÛRETÉS: Il . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Maritime Law Book

Summaries of selected recent cases are provided each week to Slaw by Maritime Law Book. Every Sunday we present a precis of the latest summaries, a fuller version of which can be found on MLB-Slaw Selected Case Summaries at

This week’s summaries concern:


A bankrupt, who had made a voluntary assignment, co-owned a vehicle with his ex-spouse (50/50 ownership). The vehicle was purchased pursuant to a conditional sales contract with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC sales contract). As part of the bankruptcy, the bankrupt gave up the vehicle . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Client Partnerships

As a marketing and communication professional, I am always trying to find ways for my firm and the professionals in my firm to stand out from the pack. At the firm level this means knowing the practices, the goals and the strategy – it is also about knowing the culture, the people and the opportunities. This doesn’t change when looking at a practice or individual other than size and scope. Sometimes we go too far in trying to be different and miss out on what is most important which is our partnership with clients.

One thing I have tried to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Friday Fillip: Disturbing Tribe

Should crafty lawyer trespass on our ground,
Caitiffs avaunt! disturbing tribe away!
Unless (white crow) an honest one be found;
He’ll better, wiser go for what we say.*

What wears black, talks a lot, occasionally hangs out at murders, and is intelligent, aggressive, and generally little-loved?

Yes, that’s right.

Seems to me there are worse things than being compared to crows, however. I have a lot of respect for these loud, shiny birds — for corvids generally: jays, ravens, rooks, crows, magpies — mostly because they do interesting things, which is to say that I think they’re “smart.” And in . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

The Nature of Partnership

By some weird synchronicity, the Supreme Courts in both the United Kingdom and Canada in the last 24 hours have considered the nature of partnerships and the extent to which employment law protections also applied to partners.

Yesterday’s decision in Clyde & Co LLP and another (Respondents) v Bates van Winklehof (Appellant) [2014] UKSC 32 held that a junior partner (unhelpfully called an Equity Partner) in a London firm was protected by the whistle-blowing protections of the Employment Rights Act 1996. She had been involved in a rather dubious file in Tanzania and reported to the firm’s money laundering reporting . . . [more]

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

Search Engine Optimization: What Really Works for Law Firms?

Boy oh boy, is this a hotly debated topic – and we happened to attend a very illuminating presentation by Mark Jacobsen, the Senior Director of Strategic Development and Thought Leadership for FindLaw (long position title!). While I am normally somewhat skeptical of FindLaw (after all, they are in the business of selling websites/SEO), Mark did a great job of presenting a study done by FindLaw in a “teaching” rather than a “selling” way.

His presentation was entitled “The Futility of Chasing Silver Bullets: An Analysis of Aggregate Search Performance for Law Firm Websites.” They apparently like long titles at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: Pitel and Malecki on Policy Arguments About Judicial Fundraising

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Judicial Fundraising in Canada
Stephen G. A. Pitel and Michal Malecki
Alberta Law Review, Forthcoming

5. Policy Arguments about Judicial Fundraising

Judges play an indispensible role in the administration of justice. Their position requires that they be “held to higher standards of integrity and ethical conduct than attorneys or other persons not invested . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

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. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Harkat, 2014 SCC 37

[1] The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (collectively, “the ministers”) seek to have Mohamed Harkat, a non-citizen, declared inadmissible to Canada. Mr. Harkat is alleged to have come to Canada for the purpose of engaging in terrorism. He has been detained, or living . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Carmi Levy’s 7 Tech Trends

I was at a presentation this morning by tech guru Carmi Levy who talked about 7 tech trends. If you watch national news broadcasts you will have seen Carmi.

1. Cloud. It aligns spend with need, and you can spend less time managing your infrastructure.

2. Mobile. More smart phones were sold last year than feature phones. Facebook revenue from mobile is more than 50% now. Just 3 years ago was zero. 25% of Facebook users are mobile only. This trend is similar for other providers – mobile is rapidly becoming a prime way to connect. Businesses need to address . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Taking Leave – a Risk Management Perspective

Manitoba lawyer Donna Seale has a great blog focused on human rights issues in workplaces. In fact Human Rights in the Workplace is so good that in 2010, the blog won a CLawBie award. In her post, It’s time to take time, Donna recently announced she’s taking an indefinite leave from her practice and her blogging to focus on renewing her own health.

As a Manitoba lawyer with an interest in human rights issues, I’m disappointed that her voice won’t be heard on the topic for the next while. As a a former colleague of hers at the Manitoba . . . [more]

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