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Archive for February, 2015

Anti-Wind Cases Lose Constitutional Challenge

According to the Energy & Policy Institute, Ontario is a world-wide hot-spot for litigation opposing wind energy. Opponents of wind power often have a heartfelt and deeply held belief that wind farms threaten their health and property values. But they have lost all Ontario legal cases based on concerns about human health, now including a constitutional challenge.

Wind farms have been actively expanding in Ontario since the Ontario Green Energy Act, 2009, took away municipal power to block wind farm development, and a Feed in Tariff for selling the resulting power provided a solid economic case. Such farms . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Of Digital Legacies and Changes to Facebook’s Memorial Pages

I must preemptively refer you to John Gregory’s post from last year when it comes to canvassing the laws, and lack thereof, around how third party services (like Google, Facebook, PayPal, etc.) are obliged to act upon the death of an account holder. The whole legal terrain is fascinating, and consists of a stewing heap of conflicting rationales, policies, privacy legislation and common laws around the rights of heirs, deceased people, states and private corporations. It’s all heading in a better direction, probably, with the advent of uniform legislation like FADA, but for some time it has been quite . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

I’m still thinking about the “great disruption” that John O. McGinnis has been talking about and thought it might be useful to revisit the Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services conference held at the Harvard Law School in March of last year. Specifically the first panel of speakers where Clayton Christensen (author of the Innovator’s Dilemma and Harvard business administration professor) outlined what constitutes “disruptive innovation” in the market place.

Christensen defines disruptive innovation as something that transforms products or services “which are complicated and expensive into things that are so affordable and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

How Simple Mistakes Can Lead to Large Claims

It’s easy to think that, at least in your office, a major claim couldn’t possibly happen. But LAWPRO’s experience shows that errors, innocent oversights and gaffes in any type of practice can lead to big problems. And if you or your firm don’t have adequate insurance in place to address the claim, you could be facing personal exposure. The number of LAWPRO claims with values that exceed $100,000 has risen sharply in recent years and often the mistakes that lead to such claims result from very simple errors. Below are scenarios drawn from reported cases of alleged lawyer-negligence that show . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from sixty recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. The Lean Law Firm 2. Michael Geist 3. Access to Justice in Canada 4. Legal Feeds 5. Library Boy

The Lean Law Firm
Grappling with your CPD credits? Here’s a new way to access continuing legal education in Canada

Continuing legal education, professional development, formation continue (for those of . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix


Some firms have taken the approach that they no longer wish to spend money on exposure. They believe that through healthy partnerships, they will be able to increase revenues with current clients and through the referral process continue to grow their business. Is that possible, quite likely but are there possible problems, absolutely.

By exposure I’m referring to everything from advertising to sponsorship to community events. There are so many different ways to spend money and countless people hoping you will spend it with them but there is only so much that can go around. How do you decide how . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Our Flag and Our Identity

Today is National Flag Day, and the 50th anniversary of the official adoption of the current Canadian flag.

National Flag Day was first instituted in 1996 by Jean Chrétien. On Flag Day in 2007, Peggy Nash attempted unsuccessfully to make it a federal statutory holiday.

Although dealing with the flag itself, and not the celebration of the flag, Parliament passed the National Flag of Canada Act in 2012. The initial version of the Bill included criminal penalties for mistreating the flag, until opposition in the House resulted in amendments stating that Canadians should simply being “encouraged” to display it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

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) : Le juge de paix magistrat avait des motifs raisonnables de croire que le crime de possession de matériel de pornographie juvénile avait été commis et que des éléments de preuve se trouvaient dans l’ordinateur de l’appelant; c’est à bon droit que le recours en certiorari et en . . . [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, Supreme Advocacy Letter, 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) (Jan. 7 – Feb. 11, 2015 inclusive).


Competition: Mergers; “Prevention”; Efficiencies Defence; Balancing Test
Tervita Corp. v. Canada (Commissioner of Competition), 2015 SCC 3 (35314)
The “prevention” wording of s. 92 generally supports the analysis and conclusions of . . . [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:
Civil Rights – Indians, Inuit and Métis – Injunctions – Courts – Education

P.S. v. Ontario et al. 2014 ONCA 900
Civil Rights – Persons of Unsound Mind – Practice
Summary: The applicant was convicted of sexual assault of a young boy and sentenced to 45 months in prison. On the day he was . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

TLA Statement on Arrest of Criminal Lawyer Laura Liscio

As President of the Toronto Lawyers Association and a criminal defense lawyer practicing for over 22 years I was outraged to read not merely about the arrest of Laura Liscio, but about the manner in which the arrest was conducted. Any individual accused of a criminal offense is shrouded with the presumption of innocence. Miss Liscio, a practicing lawyer, was arrested in the court house and handcuffed while in robes. Further exasperating this public show was Miss Liscio being paraded through the halls of the court house, out the front doors and eventually off to the police station. Police have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Supreme Court Declines to Enshrine the Independence of the Bar as a Principle of Fundamental Justice

This morning in Federation of Law Societies of Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of Canada upheld (with minor adjustments) the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal and Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, was held defective since it did not adequately protect solicitor-client privilege in its search procedures. Parliament will have to significantly revise the scheme to add more safeguards.

A narrow set of professional duties was held to meet the principle of fundamental justice test, established in the Malmo-Levine test: R. v. Malmo-Levine; R. v. Caine: . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions