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Archive for January, 2016

The Family Law Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

With such a large amount of claims prevention information available in LAWPRO Magazine articles and practicePRO resources, we had the idea to create simple fact sheets that CPD providers and others could use in developing their program material for specific areas of law. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers family law. . . . [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 seventy 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 Securities Law  2. Law of Work 3. BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog  4. Canadian Legal History Blog  5. Barry Sookman

Canadian Securities Law
New offering memorandum exemption increases access to capital markets in Ontario

Effective January 13, 2016, issuers in Ontario will be able to take . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

2015 Roundup

The daily Pinhawk newsletter is one of the best ways to keep up with the torrent of information about legal information, tech, and publishing. Every day an email appears including links and highlights of the latest news from the blogosphere. (Slaw columns often get a mention.) In the spirit of Pinhawk, this column is a roundup of some of the more interesting recent developments in our world of legal information:

  • Fellow Slaw columnist Sarah Glassmeyer is spending a year at the Harvard Law Library Innovation Lab as a Research Fellow. Her latest column was a masterful discussion of the state
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Publishing

Exemptions to Suspensions of End of Life Provisions

As expected, the Supreme Court of Canada granted an extension this week on the assisted dying legislation stemming from the Carter decision. The Court did not grant the 6 month extension sought by the government, but instead extended it by 4 months to match the delay stemming from the election.

The interesting twist here was the legislation in Quebec around end of life care, coming into force on December 10, 2015. The Court provided an exemption to the province, without weighing in on the merits of the Act itself.

The Court also considered the state of individuals who were . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.

CONSTITUTIONNEL (DROIT): Les dispositions invalides du Code criminel qui prohibent l’aide médicale à mourir ne peuvent empêcher l’entrée en vigueur et l’application de la Loi concernant les soins de fin de vie.

Intitulé : Québec (Procureure générale) c. D’Amico, 2015 QCCA 2138
Juridiction : Cour d’appel (C.A.), Montréal, 500-09-025747-155 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Incorporating Skills-Based Learning Throughout Law School

When we leave law school to become articling students and then junior associates, we will likely spend the majority of our time researching and writing memos. Knowing this, how is it possible that law students can leave school without a strong foundation in these skills?

All law students at UVic have at least some exposure to legal research and writing through taking Legal Research and Writing (LRW) in first year. However, this is our first introduction into legal research and writing. At this early stage in our education, it is difficult to fully appreciate and absorb all the material covered . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

DIY A2J 1: Create and Share Plain-Language Information About the Law

Information about the law and dispute resolution processes has been identified as a key barrier to justice in most of the major reports, although in two contradictory senses: a lack of information and a confusing surplus of information. The report of the the Family Justice Working Group (PDF) to the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters phrased the problem nicely:

There is a broad consensus in the literature that early information is enormously helpful to separating families, especially  but not only  where spouses are unrepresented. …

Considerable family law information is now available

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

AODA New January 2017 Compliance Deadlines

Large and small organizations in the private and non-profit sectors have a new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance deadline coming up on January 1, 2017.

1) Large organizations (50+ employees)

Starting January 1, 2016, provincially regulated organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario must work to comply with the design for public spaces standards under the built-environment to address barriers impeding access to outdoor public spaces by persons with disabilities, but not those barriers inside buildings. This task must be completed by January 1, 2017.

This standard covers a variety of public spaces such as exterior . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

A New Approach to Legal Research and Writing?

I have now taken the better part of two legal research and writing courses (though the term paper still looms) and on the whole I have found them to be a beneficial to my legal research both in other classes and in the workplace. However, if there is one thing that I find these courses a bit short on, it is direct feedback and a corresponding opportunity to put this feedback into practice, and observe and evaluate the end results.

While I was an undergraduate I had the opportunity to participate in a writing intensive class as both a student . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Smartphone Evidence: R. v. Avanes Et Al.

The Ontario Court of Justice recently had the occasion to consider the admissibility of evidence taken from smartphones in a drug smuggling case. Admission of the evidence was challenged on a number of grounds, mainly involving the application of sections 31.1 through 31.8 of the Canada Evidence Act (CEA) on evidence from computers. The Court held that the evidence was admissible. In my view, the Court got it right.

The three accused men in R. v. Avanes et al., 2015 ONCJ 606 (CanLII), had communicated with each other by Blackberry. The evidence sought to be admitted included (para 8) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Why We Should Keep the Doggie-Door Closed on Emotional Damages

Household pets are a cherished part of many families. Yet, in the words of Auxier J. in Pezzente v. McClain, 2005 BCPC 352 (CanLII), the law remains “coldly unemotional” towards companion animals, which continue to be considered “just another consumer product.” Nonetheless, there is good reason for continuing to restrict the compensation available in pet death or injury cases. A line of cases out of Ontario has begun to award more than just replacement value and incurred costs to owners of wrongfully injured or killed pets – and it may be setting a precarious precedent.

In Ferguson v. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Learning to Keep a Proper Research Record

The Importance of Keeping a Record

When I registered for ALRW I thought the most important improvement in my research skills would relate to finding and locating relevant legal materials. However, learning to keep a detailed record of my research has been the most valuable skill I’ve developed.

I kept a record in the past but I didn’t give too much importance to it and it tended to be recorded a bit haphazardly. I kept track of the relevant cases, statutes, and principles I came across but did not keep a detailed record of search terms I used or the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research