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Archive for December, 2015

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Find Out About New Regulations Before They’re Published in the Gazette
Bronwyn Guiton

Many lawyers and legal researchers keep a mental note to look out for new regulations under specific Acts or new proclamations bringing into force an Act of interest. As Shaunna Mireau pointed out in this October 2011 tip though, if you’re only keeping an eye on new issues of the relevant Gazettes, . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Innovation and the Public Sector – the Need to Work Differently

Innovation is an integral part of the private sector. Why does innovation seem so much harder in the public sector (or in places like the justice system where the public sector/government plays a major role)?

It doesn’t take much reflection to realize that there are quite a few reasons why innovation in the public sector is more challenging and, at the same time, potentially more fulfilling. It is important to identify these unique contextual factors in order to respond to them effectively.

In his 2004 article “System Failure: Why Governments Must Learn to Think Differently”, Jake Chapman observed . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

5 Gotta-Have Apps and Websites for Lawyers

By Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

It’s gift-giving season. Here are 5 gotta-have apps and websites for lawyers. The principle behind each of these is the same: they are easy to use, affordable, and produce immediate gains. Best of all, many of them are free or low cost.

1.WordRake ( – starting at $129/yr)

Wouldn’t it be great to have another lawyer at your fingertips, ready to proofread your letters, memos, emails, and factums with a click of a button? . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Workplace Accommodations: I Can’t Work Because I Have to Work (Somewhere Else)!

To what extent does an employer have to accommodate an employee’s other work and personal commitments when those commitments are unrelated to grounds protected under human rights legislation? A recent Ontario decision sheds light on an employer’s ability to dictate an employee’s work schedule in these circumstances.

In this case, the employee was a server who worked part-time for the employer. The employee was absent for over 20% of her scheduled shifts in a one-year period, and the employer terminated her employment in accordance with its attendance policy. The reasons for the employee’s absenteeism were two-fold. First, she worked full-time, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Can a Self-Driving, Autonomous Car Really React in an Accident?

I’ve touched on this topic in an earlier post called, “Robots, Law, Regulation: “‘Unfortunately It’s Not a Conversation That’s Happening Anywhere …’” In that post I briefly highlighted an observation that Ed Walters* made when talking about the law of robotics, namely: Who makes or monitors the algorithmic decisions embedded in autonomous systems?

Patrick Lin, associate professor of ethics at California Polytechnic State University, posted a very nice “thought experiment” on Ted-Ed a couple of weeks ago that “isolates and stress tests our intuitions” and contributes to this conversation.

It’s a short animated video that . . . [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 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. Canadian Privacy Law Blog 2. Susan on the Soapbox 3. Global Workplace Insider 4. Slater Vecchio Connected 5. Library Boy

Canadian Privacy Law Blog
Nova Scotia’s cyberbullying law declared to be unconstitutional and a “colossal failure”

Full disclosure: I was counsel to the applicant in this case. The Nova . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Osgoode Society for Legal History Makes It to 100!

After a year of quiet anticipation, the Osgoode Society launched four new titles bringing the total to 100. Surprisingly, little or no fanfare accompanied the momentous occasion. Even the usual collection of literary minded judges were absent, passing on hat should have been major celebration.

While reluctant to say so at an event launching four new titles, the 100th title announced by the Society that evening was in fact the latest offering by Ian Kyer. It was an appropriate acknowledgement of his many contributions to scholarly writing in Canada, on a range of subjects from the history of the Faskens . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Permanent Trolling Injunctions Still a Temporary Solution

Trolls lurk in many dark recesses of the Internet. They make online browsing hurtful, defamatory, and sometimes, outright dangerous. These trolls are rarely slayed forever, and often raise their heads once again when given enough time.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently reviewed an injunction granted in 2014 against a couple operating a website from publishing “in any manner” statement found to be defamatory towards an Ottawa lawyer, Richard Warman.

Among other grounds, the defendants sought a review of the permanent nature of the injunction as being overly broad. The very nature of the website in question was a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

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: Aliens – International Law – Statutes – Civil Rights – Constitutional Law – Administrative Law – Copyright

B010 v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 2015 SCC 58
Aliens – International Law – Statutes
Summary: Section 37(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act rendered a permanent resident or a foreign national inadmissible to . . . [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.

TRAVAIL : La travailleuse, une employée d’une entreprise fédérale qui a choisi de prendre le congé prévu par le Code canadien du travail pendant sa grossesse, n’a pas le droit de recevoir une indemnité de remplacement du revenu en vertu de la Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Quiet Demise of the Print Version

Attentive law librarians and those who read ‘about’ pages on websites and likely most Slaw readers will not be surprised that beginning in 2016, there will no longer be a print subscription available for the Alberta Hansard. The Legislative Assembly of Alberta is following in the footsteps of most other jurisdictions in Canada, which do not offer subscriptions for parliamentary publications. Many public bodies, for very sensible economic reasons, have ceased print subscriptions.

The Alberta Hansard remains the official report of the debates of the Legislature of Alberta, as it has been since it began in 1972. This well researched . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

The Friday Fillip: My Last Friday Fillip

After many hundreds of Friday Fillips, it’s time to call it quits. It’s been an honour and a whole lot of fun to be able to punctuate your weeks in this way.

I thought I might spend a moment or two here looking back at the Fillips published at this time of year.

  • 2005 Fillips hadn’t begun then, the year Slaw started. But my announcement of a holiday break contains a nice set-break quote from a band I (still) like that serves to round out a decade of Fillips too: “Thanks for the applause, we’ll take a pause for a
. . . [more]
Posted in: The Friday Fillip