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Archive for November, 2014

Family Law Grant = Experiential Education = A2J

Legal Aid Ontario announced recently that it was committing $2 million to the six legal clinics at Ontario law schools to allow them to create or expand family law services.

This is the kind of creative thinking that we need in the justice system as we tackle the issue of our generation in law: access to justice. But it’s not just access to justice that will be improved; students will receive the experiential education that will enhance what they learn in the classroom.

Our clinic here at Western Law is one of the recipients of this grant. We have used . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Cross Country Conversation on Affordable Legal Services

After Rex Murphy attended the Canadian Bar Association (CBA)’s conference this past August, he must have returned with quite an impression of the pending crisis in the legal profession. Murphy hosted a keynote at the conference, but was also exposed to the CBA’s Futures Initiative, which released its final report that weekend.

Murphy hosted a nation-wide conversation this afternoon on CBC Radio One’s Cross Country Checkup, which was framed as follows:

The cost of hiring a lawyer or going to court is proving too much for many Canadians. An increasing number are going it alone despite the fact

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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’article 155 C.Cr., qui porte sur le crime d’inceste, peut s’appliquer aux rapports sexuels entre un père et son fils; il n’est pas réservé aux délits impliquant deux personnes de sexe différent.

Intitulé : Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales c. M.G., 2014 QCCQ 10602
Juridiction : . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: Through a Glass Darkly

The world is a great deal bigger than we know, bigger than we can even imagine. This, at least, we understand, albeit at one of those unhelpful meta levels in our culture’s epistemology. It is the task of science and religion, I suppose, to toil away perpetually at the ever present rockface of the unknown. But somewhere between the physics and the metaphysical we ordinary folk can catch occasional glimpses of the extraordinary, the glint of something unconsidered.

I don’t mean to make it sound as though these insights are always numinous or portentous. They may be, of course, but . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Re-Litigation by a Patentee With a Different Party – Has the Federal Court Been Consistent in Its Approach?

Over the past few years the pharmaceutical marketplace has seen an increase in patent “re-litigation” (where a patentee is involved in a second case against another generic). Following the Federal Court of Appeal’s warning to losing brands that they must put their best foot forward in case1[1], and at the same time, arguably permissive attitude regarding new generics in case2, the Federal Court continues to grapple with how to fairly deal with re-litigation. One notable hurdle is the unusual procedural regime of the Notice of Compliance (“NOC”) Regulations. NOC proceedings are designed to result in merely preliminary type . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

McCormick on Gender and Judgment Assignment on the SCC

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.

Who Writes? Gender and Judgment Assignment on the Supreme Court of Canada

Peter McCormick
Osgoode Hall Law Journal Vol. 51, no. 2 (2014): 595-626

Excerpt: Summary & Parts V, VI and VIII

[Footnote renumbered]

This article poses the question: Now that women are receiving an increasing share of the seats on the Supreme . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Rejected Romantic Advance Led to Reprisal

Hank Peelle, the owner of Peelle Company Ltd., deluded himself into believing the company’s financial controller, Christine Horner, had a romantic interest in him, despite his 25-year marriage and her long-term relationship. When he thought the time was right, he tried to kiss her and she rebuffed him. Despite some genuine efforts to work it out, Peelle treated Horner differently and the relationship deteriorated. She resigned, making a claim of sexual harassment and reprisal against the employer.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Replicability of Research’s Irrational Publishing Economy

After a year of sabbatical concentration and isolation spent working on a pre-history of intellectual property, it’s good to be back blogging on the here and now at Slaw. The book I finished (with a draft online) still needs work in its tracing of the intellectual properties of learning from Saint Jerome to John Locke. I’ll give it a blog or two later, point, but I’m keen to get back to what currently tickles and troubles learned publishing.

Certainly, the previous academic year has seen gains, if not tipping points, in favor of open access as the model and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Part-Time Lawyer, Full-Time Juggler

Later this week, I’ll be talking with articling students in the Law Society of Manitoba’s CPLED program as part of their practice management curriculum. My assigned topic is stress management, and includes the sub-topic of work/life balance.

I’m certainly no expert on work/life balance though I do write about it from time to time and practice it daily. In fact, I struggle constantly with keeping some sort of balance to my own life. As a part-time freelance lawyer, frequent volunteer and full-time mother, I know what it is to juggle conflicting priorities, responsibilities and obligations while trying to do it . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Unconscious Barrier to Equality

Before reading: (1) think of four colleagues (some male and some female), and (2) consider the first adjective that pops into your mind to describe each of those colleagues. Now continue reading.


I am a feminist. I know, I just heard a collective internal groan from the internet. But, like most feminists (and most people), I’m not a bra-burning, Thai fisherman pant-wearing, men-hating, razor-neglecting aggressor. Rather, I hold the simple belief that women and men should be treated equally. (And I am happy to report that I am part of a significant majority in Western society.) Unfortunately, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

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. Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71

[1] The key issues on this appeal come down to two, straightforward questions: Does Canadian common law impose a duty on parties to perform their contractual obligations honestly? And, if so, did either of the respondents breach that duty? I would answer both questions in the affirmative. Finding that there is a duty to perform . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Big Data, Small Data

Sole practitioners often struggle to find and interpret meaningful practice data that points business-building efforts in the right direction.

New practice management software with great reporting features helps many lawyers find personalized information in an instant. But old habits – such as not bothering to look at the data on a regular basis or do anything about it – can be difficult to overcome.

Obviously, it’s necessary to be aware of your financial performance. Regular conversations with your accountant highlight cash flow, operating costs and, hopefully, profitability.

But there’s more to it.

I have a client who asks herself a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management