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Archive for November, 2015

Of CanLII Quirks and Hacks for Noting Up Supreme Court Family Rules in BC

Apologies to other Slaw readers in advance. This post is mostly for BC lawyers interested in using CanLII to note up specific Supreme Court Family Rules. I shared these tips recently in a paper for a CLE and thought the general principle or method might be helpful to a broader audience too.

I’ll preface this post to say that 95% of the time, CanLII is a simply phenomenal tool. Deeply customizable search operators and a clean interface/search template. It’s a killer app for lawyers and others seeking to know the law. It is, however, strangely ill-suited to note up specific . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Successful Settlements

An excellent Osgoode Professional Development program took place on 26 November- Successful Settlements: Strategies & Tactics for Civil Litigators.

To my mind it highlighted the divergence developing within the legal profession in Ontario.

Several of the speakers addressed settlement methods including mediation, second pre-trials and strategies for getting to yes. They emphasized the psychology of settlement discussions, and the therapeutic value in giving the parties the opportunity to vent their feelings on the issues. One speaker reported how she was thanked by a party who said until that point, “I spent thousands of dollars and no one had heard what . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

A Foot in the Door: A Classroom Resource on Real Estate and Housing Law in Ontario

LAWPRO and the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) have joined forces to create learning material for Ontario secondary schools. The lesson plans address two of the most important skills in life – legal capability and financial literacy.

Entitled A Foot in the Door: A Classroom Resource on Real Estate and Housing Law in Ontario, the six-module resource includes lessons on negotiation, budgeting, rental housing, buying and selling a home, mortgages, and human rights in the housing context. . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems

JURIX 2015 takes place next week at the University of Minho, Law School, Campus of Gualtar, Braga, Portugal. This is the 28th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems providing a “forum for academics and practitioners for the advancement of cutting edge research in the interface between law and computer technology.”

This event begins with a day of workshops followed by two days of papers corresponding to the following agenda:

  • Evidence and Facts in Law
  • Case Law and Citation Networks
  • Law for Legal Concepts
  • Linked Data
  • Data Retrieval and Analysis
  • Deontic Logic
  • Argumetation, Legal Decision-making
  • Legal
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Reasonable Notice: Poor Employer Finances No Excuse for Poor Notice

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified that when an individual’s employment is terminated without cause, the financial viability of the employer’s business is not a factor that affects the period of reasonable notice owed to that employee.

The case involved a private school’s termination of the employment of three of its teachers. In the wrongful dismissal proceedings, the judge concluded that twelve months was a reasonable notice period in the circumstances. However, the judge proceeded to reduce the teachers’ notice to six months, because of the volatility in the school’s enrolment and funding.

In allowing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

What Do You Mean the Law Is Closed?

In October, the Harvard Law Library announced that it is digitizing its entire collection of United States case law. Coincidentally, I am spending a year with the Harvard Law Library Innovation Lab (the part of the law library responsible for the digitation project) as a Research Fellow, so I’ve had a front row seat to their digitation efforts. (Literally. The shelves where they store books for scanning are right by my cubicle.) I’m not directly involved with the digitation efforts – thus far I’ve been spending my time researching how state governments publish their law online. An excruciatingly detailed . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Barry Sookman  2. Clio Blog 3. Rule of Law  4. Double Aspect  5. National Blog

Barry Sookman
CASL gets Rogers Media

The CRTC announced yesterday that it bagged another CASL pelt – this time Rogers Media. The company agreed to an undertaking with the CRTC and to pay $200,000 . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The New Bardal Factors May Just Be the Old Bardal Factors

Calculation of “reasonable notice” in employment law is one of those peculiarities where there is very little is definitive guidance. Reasonable notice, and payment in lieu, is more of an art than a precise determination.

Employers are not obligated to hire indefinite term employees forever, but where employees are dismissed without cause the employer should provide employees enough time to find replacement work. This notice period, or payment provided instead of working notice, are intended to compensate employees for losses a period of reasonable notice.

The principle was clearly stated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Machtinger v. HOJ . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Barafield Realty Ltd. v. Just Energy (B.C.) Limited Partnership, 2015 BCCA 421

AREAS OF LAW: Privity of contract; Novation; New issues on appeal; Money had and received

~Where a party seeks to enter into an agreement which is dependent on it making a payment that it disputes, and the party has time to seek a determination of the validity of the payment but chooses not to do so, then . . . [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) : Lino Zambito est condamné à une peine d’emprisonnement avec sursis de deux ans moins un jour sous chacun des chefs de complot pour abus de confiance, de corruption dans les affaires municipales, d’intimidation, de fraudes et de complot en vue de commettre une fraude à l’endroit de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Friday Fillip: Bang On

I don’t know about you, but I often like to bang on things . . . make a noise, as rhythmically as possible. Not very, in my case. Drumming. It’s the old heart beat thing, I suppose, which leads to dancing (the reason, so the joke goes, that Baptists — or is it Methodists? — are opposed to pre marital sex1). Staying still was a hard-learned lesson for most of us, I’d wager. And staying quiet even harder. If you have hung around little children for any length of time, you’ve probably been entertained by a kitchen concert . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Throwing Out the Baby While Keeping the Bathwater

As we’ve posted in our previous column, this summer, the UNCITRAL working group on ODR – which we have discussed extensively in previous blogs – has been given an ultimatum: “the Working Group was given a time limit of one year or no more than two Working Group sessions to undertake this work, after which the work of the Working Group will come to an end, whether or not a result has been achieved”. In other words, the Working Group will most likely have no more than five months left (the two sessions are scheduled for 30 November-4 December 2015, . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution