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Archive for July, 2015

Some Highlights of SOLSC15

An interesting thought to take away from the 2015 Sinch Online Legal Services Conference, was the drive to action ideas, prototypes and business models, rather than just leave them to bloom in good time. This was reflected in the intensity of the discussions among attendees and speakers. The potential for “spot fires” of transformative thinking to come together and impact legal niches, seems imminent. The planets may be aligning for some major legal industry events, with big dollars at stake, according to some speakers.

Richard Granat spoke about “Law For the Rest of Us” as 80% of US citizens cannot . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2015

Earlier this month, Fastcase, an American-based electronic provider of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2015:

“The Fastcase 50 for 2015 highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services. In law firms – including some of the nation’s largest – with new delivery models, legal tech startups, legal publishers, academia, and the judiciary, these pioneers are giving the world a first look at what’s next for law and technology.”

Simon Fodden, the founder of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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 forty-one 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 Court  2. Combat Sports Law  3. 4. FamilyLLB  5. Administrative Law Matters

The Court
The Sorry Tale of Mr. Henry

Mr. Henry is an average person with an average life. Then one day, he is convicted of 10 sexual offences, declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Communications Breakdown: When a Lawyer Has No Sense of Time

A few years ago, Judith Huddart, collaborative family lawyer at Dranoff and Huddart, Barristers and Solicitors had to visit the doctor.

She checked in, provided her health card and settled in with a book. Patients who came in after her came and went.

“I suddenly realized there was no one left in the waiting room. An hour had gone by and I was still sitting there. When I got up and looked around – which I probably should have done earlier – I realized there was no one around at all,” she says. The doctor had left and when she . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading

“It’s Summertime and the Living Is Easy” and the Contracts Are Short…

Summer is definitely here in Ontario and with the warm weather comes an uptick in seasonal and fixed-term employment. Ontario students seek summer employment and seasonal operations such as golf courses and amusement parks hire additional staff. These types of seasonal arrangements often lead employees to wonder when, if ever, a fixed-term contract converts into indefinite employment and what that means (usually an entitlement to reasonable notice of termination).

The short answer is that it depends on the reasonable expectations of the parties. While the law varies from province to province (and can be quite different in Quebec), Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Citizens Justice Emerging

Two weeks ago a new initiative was launched: the Wildlife Justice Commission. It’s a private initiative (with which I mean non-state) that seeks to disrupt criminal networks engaged in wildlife crime. It does so by gathering evidence, having that validated by experts, and bringing the validated evidence to the attention of national law enforcement authorities for action, if need be with a pinch of targeted pressure. In short: it does what looks a lot like law enforcement.

This fits into a wider trend I see: the emergence of citizens’ criminal justice. Let me share a few more examples.

First, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

TWU’s Mandate Conflicts With LSUC’s

Earlier this month, the Divisional Court released its decision in Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, upholding the decision by the law society to refuse to accredit the religious law school based on its Community Covenant that prohibits sexual practices, including homosexuality.

The decision has been highly anticipated given the polarized views in the legal community, especially since the school initiated the accreditation process in Ontario in early 2014. Convocation heard written submissions and oral statements, and ultimately voted 28-21 against accreditation.

Video archives of the debate before Convocation, as well as the written submissions, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, 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

This week’s summaries concern:
Company Law – Civil Rights – Statutes – Insurance – Damages – Evidence – Practice – Conflict of Laws

Rea et al. v. Wildeboer et al. 2015 ONCA 373
Company Law
Summary: The plaintiffs asserted an oppression claim under s. 248 of the Business Corporations Act alleging misappropriation of funds from Martinrea International Inc. . . . [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.

FAILLITE ET INSOLVABILITÉ : Vu notamment la confusion qui a régné en ce qui concerne le processus de réclamation, il y a lieu de permettre aux requérants de déposer des preuves de réclamation malgré l’expiration de la date butoir.

Intitulé : Montréal, Maine & Atlantique Canada Cie (Montréal, Maine & . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: Worlds of Speculation

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 20
Worlds of Speculation

They were civilized about it. The right amount of please and thank-you. Calm. Prompt with the reassurances. Clearly, Rangel thought, some brains were at work here. It made her suspicious.


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

Options for Implementing Carter: One Lawyer’s Unique Perspective on the Landmark SCC Decision

I recently read a national post article by Dr. Will Johnston. In addition to being a family physician, Dr. Johnston is an anti-euthanasia activist. His article suggests that members of the judiciary would be better positioned to judge whether or not a person is competent to make a life-ending decision than members of the medical profession. I believe there is merit to Dr. Johnston’s point but I do not know if the model Dr. Johnston is proposing would be an appropriate one. Members of the judiciary may have similar issues in making competency. This is because, for the most part, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Locating Current Constitutional Texts

In 2014, Egypt, Thailand, and Tunisia adopted new constitutions. On June 1, 2015, Norway amended its constitution to codify judicial review. Recent constitutional developments and events like these generate documents that can be hard to find. The texts of proposed amendments to constitutions, draft constitutions, and recent constitutions can be published in a variety of sources. These documents might not exist in English translation, but only in the original language or vernacular. Herewith some tips for locating new constitutional texts.

The standard sources for constitutional texts are regularly or continuously updated, yet they can be at least a year out . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information