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Archive for November, 2014

E-Mail and the Lawyer

E-mail is dead. Social media and instant messaging (IM) are replacing e-mail. Those are the messages of emerging communications driven by so-called enterprise technology. These tools, designed for companies that fire more employees than legal professionals comprise the entire Ontario bar, can enhance internal firm interaction. But e-mail remains the bread-and-butter tool for solo and small firm lawyers and a primary method for communicating with clients and others.

So why are we not experts at using it?

To be honest, I rarely think about how I use e-mail. My habits run in well-worn ruts. But I was jolted out of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Supreme Court Creates Duty of Honest Performance

Caveat emptor (buyer beware) or ubberima fides (utmost good faith)? What is a contracting party to do?

The Supreme Court of Canada released a decision this week in Bhasin v. Hrynew which revamps the understanding of how representations made during contractual negotiations are adhered to. The unanimous Court created an “incremental step” in developing a duty of honest performance, which was described as follows:

[93] …

(1) There is a general organizing principle of good faith that underlies many facets of contract law.

(2) In general, the particular implications of the broad principle for particular cases are determined by resorting

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 cases.slaw.ca.

This week’s summaries concern:
Admiralty – Practice – Aeronautics – Civil Rights – Damages

Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership et al. v. Leo Ocean S.A. et al. 2014 FCA 231
Admiralty
Summary: A vessel owned by Leo Ocean S.A. hit a marine terminal trestle owned by the plaintiffs, causing a loss estimated to be in excess of $60 million. . . . [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’évaluation de la crédibilité de l’appelant par le juge de première instance étant fondée sur de fausses prémisses, il y a lieu d’ordonner la tenue d’un nouveau procès sous les accusations de voies de fait et d’agression sexuelle portées contre lui par sa conjointe.

Intitulé : T.G. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, SupremeAdvocacyLett@r, to which you may subscribe.

Summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted (so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with)(Oct. 8 – Nov. 12, 2014 inclusive).

Appeals

Criminal Law: Robbery
R. v. Steele, 2014 SCC 61(35364)
A threat of robbery is enough for the offence of robbery.

Public International Law: State Immunity
Kazemi Estate v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 2014 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Ontario Consults on a Potential E-Signature Regulation for Real Estate

The Ontario government is consulting on whether to make a regulation under the Electronic Commerce Act to govern electronic signatures to be used on agreements of purchase and sale of real estate.

Draft Regulation

1. For the purpose of subsection 11(4) of the Act, the following class of documents is prescribed: agreements of purchase and sale of land in Ontario.

2. A legal requirement that a document of the prescribed class be signed is satisfied by an electronic signature only if the method of signature used:

a. Is reliable for the purpose of identifying the person who signs;

b. Ensures . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

The Friday Fillip: Sound Arguments

We are all rhetors. Lawyers more than most, using words to persuade, which is to say arguing. Most people think of arguing as a negative thing, emphasizing the fact of disagreement, disharmony. But, of course, just as it takes two to tango, so it takes two to have an argument, and the latter, like a tango, needs the pair to engage and stay responsive to each other. A good argument is, in fact, an exercise in careful cooperation. It’s a duet.

Most duets in music don’t display the aggressive edge that arguments can have, opting to explore the harmonious side . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

The McGill Guide and Electronic Resources

The eighth edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (“McGill Guide”) was published in May. The new edition does not make any changes quite as dramatic as in the previous edition; if you were reading SLAW four years ago, you may remember there was a strong reaction to the removal of periods from citations.

A welcome element in the eighth edition is a greater focus on citing digital resources. The two sections of the McGill Guide that primarily deal with electronic resources are section 1.6 (“Online resources”) and section 6.22 (“Electronic sources”). Other information on citing electronic resources . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds Commentary From 6 More Law Firms

CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has signed resource sharing agreements with 6 major law firms in Québec that will make their legal commentary freely available on the CAIJ website.

The firms in question are:

  • Cain Lamarre Casgrain Wells
  • De Grandpré Chait
  • Langlois Kronström Desjardins
  • McMillan
  • Osler
  • Robic

Their guides, bulletins and commentary articles will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including the Développements récents (annual reviews of areas of law), the Collection de droit (Bar School materials), proceedings of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Cumulative Misconduct Incidents Culminate in Cause for Termination

A worker who had accumulated a series of incidents and warnings against conduct unbecoming and poor performance, was dismissed for cause, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decided in Chopra v Easy Plastic Containers Limited.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Privatization of Justice: Balancing Efficiency and Access to Justice

As we struggle to fix access to justice, life goes on and people start to use other means to address their need for an efficient dispute resolution system. The rise of private systems of justice raises interesting questions of transparency, legitimacy, accountability and democracy. A recent book by Professor Trevor C.W. Farrow of Osgoode Hall Law School (Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy) is a comprehensive treatment of these issues. (An excerpt was published on slaw.ca earlier this year.)

The Rule of Law requires a system of justice that is characterized by openness, knowledge and accessibility. Professor Farrow’s thesis . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The Diversity of Manitoba Society

Manitoba’s Provincial Court is advertising a position as a Provincial Court Judge based in Winnipeg. Some of the requirements for those seeking the position are:

  • practised for not less than five (5) years as a barrister and solicitor in Manitoba;
  • a member in good standing of The Law Society of Manitoba;
  • and be entitled to practise as a barrister and solicitor in Manitoba;
  • or have other equivalent experience.

The Judicial Nominating Committee’s mandate is to “assess the professional excellence, community awareness and personal suitability of candidates, while taking into account the diversity of Manitoba society (c. 275, The Provincial Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous