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Archive for November, 2014

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:
Evidence – Practice – Actions – Contracts – Courts – Criminal Law

Tuck v. Supreme Holdings Ltd. et al. 2014 NLTD(G) 131
Evidence – Limitation of Actions – Practice
Summary: The plaintiff commenced an action against the defendants on February 28, 2012, to recover damages allegedly sustained in a motor vehicle collision that occurred . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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) : L’accusé échoue à démontrer que la peine minimale de quatre ans prévue au Code criminel pour l’infraction de vol qualifié avec utilisation d’une arme à feu est cruelle et inusitée au sens de l’article 12 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés.

Intitulé : Caron . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Outlandish Reputation Not a Defence in Online Defamation (Awan v. Levant)

We may not all like Ezra Levant, but we do have a lot to thank him for. As a defendant, I cannot think of a single individual who has developed the jurisprudence of online defamation more than him.

The judgement against him in Vigna v. Levant, and the related costs decision, has for several years now been the best authority on which blog content may be defamatory, and what may not be. However, the modest damages award in this case, and others, have still made online defamation a challenging area for plaintiffs.

Not one to disappoint, Levant was . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Vote for the 2014 ABA Journal Blawg 100

ABA Journal is holding its 8th annual Blawg 100 competition that allows readers to vote on the best legal blogs in 13 categories. Readers can register for free to be able to vote:

We [ABA Journal staff] remember the blogs that have tipped us off to breaking news and the bloggers who have compelled us to write about their innovative ideas.

And over the summer, we cue readers—and other bloggers—to write in and let us know about their favorites: When we can see their love for a blog is real and not a marketing hustle, it catches our attention.


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

The Friday Fillip: The Eleventh Month

Here, north of the equator, November is the Thursday of months. (Just as Thursday is the November of days.)

It stands between you and a big holiday stretch, with nothing to offer but accumulating weariness and the irritating jingling telltales of better times to come — but not yet.

Worse, November is dark, and when it’s not dark it’s grey. In fact, thanks to the increasingly contemned daylight saving time, November hosts the darkest morning of the year, a treasure that you might think would belong to the winter solstice. However, just before DST ends, which happened this year on . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Dreaming of the Future of Law Firms

In my previous post, I identified a number of themes that weaved their way through the sessions I attended at the annual conference of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) in August. I did note, however, that one session, entitled Do Robot Lawyers Dream of Billable Seconds?, was particularly provocative. I therefore opted to devote a full post, namely this one, to that one session.

The panelists were (in alphabetical order) Stuart Barr of High Q, Joshua Lenon of Clio, Michael Mills of Neota Logic, and Noah Waisberg of Diligence Engine. The panel was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Suzanne Côté Takes Justice LeBel’s Chair at the Supreme Court

On the eve of Justice Louis LeBel‘s retirement, the PMO has announced his replacement. A Gaspésienne. A woman. A litigator in private practice at Osler’s Montréal office. Suzanne Côté. In every way a safe appointment, which has already been warmly received, and which raises none of the delicate difficulties of the previous announcement concerning Justice Marc Nadon. The timing is interesting on a day when all eyes are on Pierre Karl Peladeau announcing that he’ll run – and Doug Ford saying he won’t. This story may get lost.

The announcement stated:

« Je suis ravi d’annoncer la nomination

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Pregnancy and Parental Leave Top-Ups Are Separate and Distinct

It is discriminatory for employers to deny parental supplemental employment benefits (top-ups) to birth mothers because they receive pregnancy benefits. So said the Supreme Court of Canada in its unanimous oral decision from the bench on November 12, 2014, agreeing with the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Real “Articling Crisis”?

The Law Society of Upper Canada is again in the news. This time, the focus is on the recently released Consultation Paper entitled Addressing Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees. An article in the Toronto Star has called the report “blunt” and characterized it as “containing disquieting findings.” Another piece in the Law Times, titled “Non-white lawyers feel alienated, report finds” details a variety of the report’s findings and highlights LSUC’s invitation for input.

This media attention is no doubt a positive thing. The Consultation Paper confirms what many have been saying for years: “racialization is a constant and persistent . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

#Ferguson at the Internet Archive

Via Archive-It, the Internet Archive is building a comprehensive collection of information and discussion related to the August 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The project partner responsible, Internet Archive Global Events, comprises the Archive-It team in collaboration with other partners. The Internet Archive invites the public to suggest specific content—news articles, blog posts, other social media, and more—for the collection by submitting the relevant URL, or seed. I’m sure the legal commentaries on federal and state grand juries and indictments, including contrasts with Canadian criminal process, published this week will make useful content.

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

Accessing Justice : Beyond Barriers

The annual Isaac Pitblado Lectures are coming up in a couple of days and will focus attention this year on issues in access to justice. The agenda is filled with thought-provoking and intelligent discussions led by some very smart people on how we move forward on these issues.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell will open the Lectures on Friday, speaking about the culture shift that is necessary if the legal profession is to get a handle on ensuring access to adjudication of disputes through the courts. He’s followed on the agenda by Professor Trevor Farrow talking about the decision . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

CASL Software Provisions Explained – Sort Of…

I’ve had some time to reflect on the CASL software provisions as interpreted by the CRTC . As I’ve said before, the CASL software consent provisions are tortuous and unclear, and if taken literally could cause huge problems for the software industry. The CRTC has tried to interpret them in a way that aligns with the intent of stopping people from installing malware on computers. While the CRTC interpretation may not line up with the act, we basically have to work within it for the time being. (Lawyers advising clients would be well served to include caveats that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology