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Archive for July, 2015

The Friday Fillip: Where Is Everybody?

For the next while the Friday Fillip will be a chapter in a serialized crime novel, usually followed by a reference you might like to pursue. Both this chapter of the book and the whole story up to this point can be had as PDF files. You may also subscribe to have chapters delivered to you by email.


Chapter 22
Where Is Everybody?

The sun would rise at one minute after seven on that October Saturday in Backton. But half an hour earlier, Rangel had an applewood fire going in the little fireplace and

. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Self-Represented Litigants’ Tax Money Provides More Funding for Legal Aid Ontario

Rejoicing over Legal Aid Ontario‘s (LAO’s) recent increased funding from the Government of Ontario, should be tempered by the listed “points of conscience” that follow this next paragraph.

The Government of Ontario’s 2014 budget increased Legal Aid Ontario’s financial eligibility funding of legal services by $95.7 million over the next three years. This commitment was expanded in the April 2015 budget announcement. These recent articles celebrate LAO’s increased funding:

(1) “Expanding access to legal aid for Ontarians, by Nye Thomas, Legal Aid Ontario Blog, June 5, 2015, at:

(2) “Expanding LAO’s services: the road ahead . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Slaw Contributor Adam Dodek Wins 2015 Walter Owen Book Prize

Slaw Contributor Adam Dodek has been awarded the Canadian Bar Association (CBA)’s 2015 Walter Owen Book Prize for his book Solicitor-Client Privilege, published by Lexis-Nexis:

“Solicitor-Client Privilege explains key aspects of lawyer-client confidentiality, analyzes the exceptions to privilege, conditions where privilege is unclear, and situations of competing interests that might bring into question the application of privilege (…) ”

“Prof. Dodek teaches public law and legislation, constitutional law, legal ethics and professional responsibility, and a seminar on the Supreme Court of Canada at University of Ottawa. He is a founding member of the faculty’s Public Law Group, the director of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Drama at the Quebec Bar Escalates Into Legal Action

The suspended Bâtonnière of the Quebec Bar Association, Lu Chan Khuong, has filed a lawsuit against the association and its administrators to overturn the suspension and reinstate her until the court determines whether the association’s board of directors had the right to relieve her of her duty. (Find the background here on Slaw.) Khuong is also seeking $95,000 in damages. . . . [more]

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

Slaughtering the Judicial Scapegoat

Thousands of years ago the Hebrew Bible records a practice of the ancient Israelites. Aaron, spiritual leader and High Priest, would select two goats designating one as a sacrifice for God while the other – designated by a red string tied around its neck – had the distinct misfortune of representing the nation’s sins and was cast off the precipice of a cliff; the original scapegoat.

Centuries later, far from the desert wilderness of the early Jews, Prime Minister Harper (along with a host of pundits, authors, and a sizeable portion of Canadians) has tied a similar crimson knot into . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

OPSEU Workers Seen Protesting the Government’s Privatization Agenda at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games

Toronto has been sitting in the spotlight for the last month as the host of the 2015 Pan Am Games, which has brought together athletes, coaches, volunteers, and Games supporters from across the world. The public attention received by the Games has not gone un-noticed by workers in the Ontario Public Service Union (OPSEU), who have been protesting the Liberal government’s privatization agenda outside of the Games venues and events.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas has emphasized the important role that public service workers have played in the success of the Pan Am Games, and wants Ontarians to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Winds of Change

A strong west wind is blowing across my prairie landscape this week. After weeks of heat and humidity warnings and near-daily thunderstorms, there’s a change in the air. The sun is nearly set by 9 p.m. Small flocks of Canada geese are beginning their flight training. The day lilies in my garden have lost their bloom and summer is passing before my eyes.

The winds of change are blowing across Manitoba’s legal landscape as well. The Law Society of Manitoba’s latest Communique 2.0 newsletter outlines some of the changes in legal governance on the horizon for Manitoba lawyers, including entity . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Friday Is System Administrator Appreciation Day

Friday July 31 is the 16th annual SysAdmin Day. A day to show our appreciation to the IT professionals who keep our computers, networks and apps working. For those of us who push the tech envelope a bit beyond a typical office setup, our thanks for not rolling their eyes every time we ask them for something new and different. And our thanks for using us as the test platform for new stuff.

In the interest of using your SysAdmin’s time most effectively, take a look at this amusing list. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Vendor Quiz:

Welcome to Vendor Quiz, a periodic feature here at Slaw in which we ask a legal marketplace supplier a series of substantive questions about their product or service. Our goal is to provide insight and guidance to Slaw readers who might be considering a purchase, and who would benefit from practical information with which they can make a more informed choice. Vendor Quiz is an advertorial service, with each post sponsored by the featured vendor. is a secure cloud storage platform that makes it easy to store, share and access your files from anywhere. The client’s privacy is guaranteed. . . . [more]

Posted in: Vendor Quiz

Libraries – the Value of Just in Case, Not Just in Time

I am using the column this time to explain my anxiety that society risks losing too much as the materialism of ‘value’ replaces the experience of centuries of unquantifiable practice and purpose.

It is my concern that too many libraries are under threat from the bean counters. Libraries have always existed as places for the ‘just in case’ event, providing the go-to location when you want sustenance of the mind in some way – knowledge, leisure, curiosity, information, entertainment.

However the world is in thrall to the ‘just in time’ mentality of financial wunderkinds who do not value those ‘old . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Frank v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 ONCA 536

[6] Permitting all non-resident citizens to vote would allow them to participate in making laws that affect Canadian residents on a daily basis, but have little to no practical consequence for their own daily lives. This would erode the social contract and undermine the legitimacy of the laws. The legislation is aimed at . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Only Thing Wrong With Looseleafs Is They’re Printed on Paper

Like lawyers, computer scientists need up-to-date publications in a field that changes constantly, and in my case, sometimes frivolously. In effect, I need looseleafs, except I really don’t need them on paper in three-ring binders.

When I’m trying to put together an argument for a particular “design pattern” (think verdict), I want to refer to a classic reference I can pick up and read, where I use it enough that I remember where things are, and where I can cite it and have it recognized it by my peers. I want something like Gold’s Practitioners Criminal Code, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing