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Archive for December, 2015

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. Royal Bank of Canada v Reddy, 2007 ABQB 613

[14] Firstly, the applicant argues that her monthly payment, equal to the cost of the mortgage, insurance and taxes, amount to some evidence of part performance. However, these payments are equally consistent with a rental arrangement entered into between family members. Secondly, the applicant mentions in her affidavit the payment of “money . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Twenty Questions: When Dealing With Clients, It’s More Than Just a Game

I started my career working for the medical profession. During that time, I heard many teachers of medicine say to their residents, “Listen to the patients. They’re giving you the diagnosis.” Now, as a teacher of business development, my key message is: “Listen to your clients. They will tell you what legal services they need.”

I write this as I’m preparing a presentation for Mackrell International’s meeting of its referral network. My topic is “20 Questions for Prospective Clients”. As I try to ensure that I have a good reason for asking each of the 20 questions, it strikes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

A Tip for Employers? New Rules for Tip-Earners in Ontario

Tips in Ontario’s service industry are currently divided up in a variety of ways: they can be kept by the specific employee who receives them, pooled to share with other employees, or pooled to share with other employees and the employer. An act entitled Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 amends Ontario’s Employment Standards Act to prohibit employers from taking a share of tips.

Passed yesterday, the Act will take effect in six months. While there will be a few situations in which employers may be permitted to share in tips (such as when the employer regularly performs the same work . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Judge Camp and Judicial Competency: the Duties of Appellate Courts

At what point do concerns over the conduct or competency of a lower court judge rise to the level that an appellate court should report that judge to the relevant judicial council? Appellate courts are naturally hesitant to do so, lest they infringe on judicial independence. However, at some point a judge’s conduct may cross the line and compel an appellate court to report them in the name of protecting the integrity of the administration of justice and maintaining public confidence in the same. The Alberta Court of Appeal’s review of the judgment of Judge Robin Camp in R v. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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

Use CanLII to Compare Two Versions of an Act
Susannah Tredwell

Most CanLII users know that CanLII provides point-in-time versions of legislation. However, one feature of CanLII that is less well known is that it allows users to compare two versions of an act. …


How to Deal With Difficult People
David Bilinsky

James C. Collins wrote the best seller: “Good to Great: Why . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Protecting the Team – a Firm’s Most Valuable Asset – by Nudging Your People to Health and Wellness

While the primary responsibility for wellness rests with the individual, nothing is more important to a law practice than its lawyers and staff. The “firm” – Big Law or a solo practice – can do nothing without people; the better those people feel, the more productive they will be, and the more profitable the firm will be. It follows that a firm has an interest in helping its people be healthy and well. How can a firm help?

Wikipedia defines the Nudge theory as “a concept in behaviour science, political theory and economics which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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. Library Technician Dialog  2. Excess Copyright 3. Legal Sourcery  4. Henry J. Chang’s Canada-US Immigration Blog  5. The Factum

Library Technician Dialog
I Can’t Get No Respect

When I first joined the profession, I was interested in the debate of librarian as service professional amidst a world of doctors . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Consumer Arbitration Lessons From South of the Border

The New York Times recently published a pair of scathing articles about the state of arbitration in the United States. The articles focus mainly on the effect of arbitration on consumer and class action litigation and raise important issues of fairness, transparency and access to justice.

Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice (Oct.31, 2015) details how it has become almost impossible for a consumer or small business to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration. The same applies to getting a job, renting a car . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

We Don’t Need Another Morgentaler in Canada on Assisted Suicide

The purpose of government, when it is functioning properly, is to pass laws. These laws should be carefully contemplated, debated, and revised before drafting.

But sometimes there’s a greater urgency in this function, which has arose in the aftermath of Carter v. Canada, where the Court ruled in February of this year:


Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

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.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS : L’article 500.1 du Code de la sécurité routière, qui interdit toute action concertée destinée à entraver la circulation des véhicules routiers, est déclaré invalide; il porte atteinte aux libertés d’expression et de réunion pacifique protégées par les chartes.

Intitulé : Garbeau c. Montréal (Ville de), 2015 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday

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 – Criminal Law – Statutes – Bankruptcy – Constitutional Law – Highways – Motor Vehicles

Tran v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) 2015 FCA 237
Aliens – Criminal Law – Statutes
Summary: Tran, a citizen of Vietnam, was a permanent resident in Canada. In 2012, he was convicted of producing . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Canadian Government Publications: What Has Been Digitized?

Law librarians are used to receiving requests for help in locating government documents and reports, with requesters often expressing a preference for materials in digital format.

Relatively recent materials should not be too hard to locate. In fact, there are new portals that have been created for the very purpose of tracking down digitized government documents. One example is GALLOP, launched a few years ago by the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada.

When it comes to earlier materials, documents, if they have been digitized, may pop up in any number of places, such as HeinOnline for federal statutes. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research