Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for October, 2015

Interest, Inform, Inspire: Presentations Are a Key Part of Business Development

One of the cornerstones of building your profile as a lawyer is to give presentations—to client groups, referral sources, and other lawyers. The objective is to showcase your expertise, alert your audience to problems they may not know they could have (and that you can solve), and ultimately bring in new business. So the impression you make when you speak has a direct bearing on future business. However, in their haste to showcase their expertise, many lawyers end up making a very poor impression.

Any communication, whether it’s an argument presented to a judge, a talk to a trade association, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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. Off the Shelf  2. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 3. Canadian Securities Law  4. Slater Vecchio Connected  5. The Stream

Off the Shelf
Election Special 2015 – X Marks the Spot, or, Ballot Dos and Don’ts

Our federal election is swiftly approaching, and all signs point to . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Lawyers Need Less Face, More Time

Are you tired of being tired at work, sitting at your desk simply because there are more senior lawyers still burning the midnight oil? Not only could you be costing your firm in lost productivity, but you could be costing yourself you health as well.

The Swedish city of Gothenberg is attempting an experiment with public sector employees by reducing their workday to six hours.

The city is also maintaining a control group at regular hours and the same pay. They hope the experimental employees will demonstrate indicators such as higher productivity and lower absenteeism, and preliminary results appear promising. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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’ancienne lieutenante-gouverneure du Québec, qui s’est reconnue coupable de fraude et d’abus de confiance, devra purger 18 mois de détention ferme; elle devra également rembourser des sommes de 200 000 $ au gouvernement fédéral et de 100 000 $ au gouvernement provincial.

Intitulé : R. c. Thibault, 2015 . . . [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:
Criminal Law – Courts – Practice

Ishaq v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 2015 FCA 212
Courts – Practice
Summary: Ishaq was a Pakistani national who had been granted Canadian citizenship. Her religious beliefs required her to wear a niqab (a veil that covered most of her face). A 2011 change in government . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Have We Been Mishandling Our Alienation Cases? Let’s Try a Different Approach

Family law cases involving sincere allegations of parental alienation are difficult, highly emotional and profoundly conflicted. Although a certain number of these cases were likely to be high-conflict anyway, adding allegations of alienation to the mix makes conflict a near certainty. I can, however, imagine an alternative, more child-centred approach to these cases that just might encourage negotiation and curb the usual headlong rush to trial.

Allegations of alienation are extraordinarily painful to all involved, and it seems to me that it is the intensity of our emotional response to such allegations which sparks the fight-or-flight response spurring conflict and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: How Do You Say It?

I’ve just come back from Germany, where I got a close-up view of the social and logistical problems in that country arising out of the refugee crisis. This is not the place, and I don’t have the skills, to go into those problems; but one small aspect of the situation struck me, the matter of translation.

I speak enough German to get by, but even so, there were plenty of moments of mutual incomprehension, as I struggled for le mot juste or even just a mot that would do. Imagine how difficult it must be for Syrians in Germany. Arabic . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

I’m Making My Firm’s Website Contact Form More Prominent. You Should Too.

It’s been a fun stretch at my marketing agency of late. We’re busy, and the new business and new clients coming in are more consistently “the right fit” for our team and our talents. One intake route for that new business has been the contact form on our agency website. When new business inquiries come through this channel, a couple of really good things happen from my perspective as a business owner.

First, although our contact form has only five simple fields (name, email, company name, company website url, message), even that limited data set frequently provides us a pretty . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Unaffordable Legal Services Is a Federal Election Issue: A Message to the Candidates

The following national problem should be part of every party’s federal election platform: the majority of the population cannot afford legal services at a reasonable cost—the legal advice of a lawyer is not affordable.

This is the most serious and damaging problem that Canada’s justice system and the legal profession have ever faced.

The abundant in-depth analytical literature provides this definition of the problem: “The majority of the population cannot obtain legal services at reasonable cost.” Or, the legal profession has priced itself beyond the majority of the population.

It is a problem caused by the obsolescence of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Thursday Thinkpiece: Roach Anleu, Mack & Tutton on Judicial Humour

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.

Judicial Humour in the Australian Courtroom

Sharyn Roach Anleu, Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University
Kathy Mack, Emerita Professor, School of Law, Flinders University
Jordan Tutton, BA Candidate, LLB/LP Candidate, Flinders University

38(2) Melbourne University Law Review 621-665 | Findings from the Judicial Research . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Seven Principles to Follow When Contemplating Comparative Advertising in Canada

While comparative advertising is common Canada, that does not mean that Canadian laws allow a “free for all” approach. Competitors who feel that their business has been hurt by a comparative advertisement can complain to the appropriate regulator (e.g. the Competition Bureau, Health Canada, the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency), file a trade dispute with Advertising Standards Canada, or initiate a lawsuit in the appropriate Canadian court. The legal and public relations consequences can be significant.

The Canadian case law on comparative advertising is often complex, contradictory and should be examined carefully when reviewing a proposed comparative advertising concept before . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Tracking Supreme Court of Canada Cases

I’m sure many of you keep track of cases pending before the Supreme Court of Canada. What is your preferred method for doing so? I had been hoping to find an RSS feed (or something similar) on the SCC docket page. I suppose I could use a website tracking tool to track the particular docket page that I am interested in. But I was hoping there would be a nice easy-to-use tool already set up for me to do that! I tried QuickLaw and came up with a somewhat clunky work-around (I set up a scheduled search for the SCCA . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet