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Archive for February, 2016

Effective Start Date of ORPP Delayed

In a previous Slaw blog post, we discussed the Ontario government’s establishment of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) by January 1, 2017 with enrollment starting in 2016. On February 16, 2016, the Ontario government announced that they have decided to delay the effective start date of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) after entering into an agreement with the federal government that would allow for time to find a solution to individual Canadian pension shortfalls and a possible enhancement to the CPP. This entails: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ask Not What Your Profession Can Do for You, Ask What You Can Do for Your Profession

In “Of lawyers, law schools, and the keeping of the gates”, Dean Ian Holloway points out the high rate of depression in the profession and asks:

Are we producing lawyers who have the right personalities for the profession they’re joining?… Depression. Alcoholism. Suicide. Together, they are a tremendous plague on our vocation, and a condemnation of how we select our successors. Don’t we owe it to ourselves — and to them — to do better?

The emphasis on numbers (grades and LSAT scores) at the exclusion of testing for “resilience, grit, or mental toughness” means that we are . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Doing Law Differently

I’ve been thinking about legal career paths since last week’s release of Do Law Differently, Futures for Young Lawyers. The guide, published by the Canadian Bar Association’s Legal Futures Initiative, includes Jordan Furlong’s thought-provoking analysis of the current state of the profession and commentary from a number of Canadian “new law pioneers” about the skills and competencies that lawyers will need to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

My Slaw colleague Nate Russell gave his take on this guide here yesterday. When you read it (and you should), you’ll note he’s rather less enthusiastic about the publication, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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. Pyrrha Design Inc v Plum and Posey Inc, 2016 ABCA 12

[10] And, quite apart from avoiding the multiplicity of actions – the mischief sought to be avoided by s 8 of the Judicature Act and R 1.3 of the Alberta Rules of Court, a proposition for which there is also ample case authority – the chambers judge properly adhered to . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Of Legal Futures — Darker or Better

A couple days ago CBA Young Lawyers released the 11th report in the Legal Futures Initiative, Do Law Differently: Futures for Young Lawyers. The report features profiles on 26 pioneers of the #NewLaw movement (one is my colleague Audrey Jun @AudreyyJun), and identifies emerging “new legal careers” along with the skills new lawyers will need to forge a life for themselves beyond the crumbling “old system” of equity partnership track positions, mentorship, associate positions or, well, to put it bluntly… any kind of full-time “lawyer job”. Everything is in flux and much is about to become myth over . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

T.V. Show Prompts Plaintiff to Try to Re-Open Case: Pt II

About a year and a half ago I wrote a post about a plaintiff, Mr. Mehedi, who believed that he was scammed. The facts of the case are summarized in my prior post.


Mr. Mehedi lost at trial and then the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. About a month after his appeal was dismissed, Mr. Mehedi saw a segment on CBC’s Marketplace which purportedly exposed the scam to which he had fallen victim.


Mr. Mehedi attempted to have his trial re-opened so that he could use the CBC Marketplace segment as fresh evidence. He was directed . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

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

Lose the Latin
Neil Guthrie

Bryan Garner, editor of Black’s Law Dictionary and a legal writing expert, recently blogged on the exciting topic of when italics should be used for Latin words and phrases and when they can be in roman (plain) type. It must have been a slow day in the blogosphere. His ‘fuzzy rule’ is that you can skip the italics when the . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Danger: When a Hacker Emails You Instructions in the Name of Your Client

The determination and energy of hackers knows no bounds. They show remarkable imagination and ingenuity in coming up with ever more devious ways to steal trust funds by duping lawyers.

As an example of this, we have recently seen several instances where a fraudster hacked into a client’s email with the intent to divert funds coming out of a lawyer’s trust account. After gaining access to the client’s email account, the hacker surreptitiously monitors emails going back and forth between the lawyer and the client.

At the opportune time, usually just before a real estate deal is closing or the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

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. The National Self-Represented Litigants Project  2. ABlawg 3. Clicklaw Blog  4. Environmental Law and Litigation  5. Éloïse Gratton

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project
The Loneliness of the Self-Represented Litigant

When her case was called, Maria (not her real name) walked towards the front table in the courtroom and, anxiously . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The High Cost of Public Interest Litigation

Despite all the bad publicity, many lawyers are the unsung heroes of society. We fight the good fight, often unrecognized by any of those around us, and receive no thanks from the recipients of our hard work.

The Federal Court of Appeal released a decision this month in Galati v. Harper, denying the appeal of a 2014 decision which had denied substantial indemnity costs in the constitutional litigation surrounding the Justice Nadon appointment to the Supreme Court. Justice Zinn fixed the costs at a mere $5,000, on a bill of costs for a total of $68,475.74.

The application had . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : L’article 10 (1) de la Loi sur l’abolition de la libération anticipée des criminels, qui prévoit que l’abolition de la procédure d’examen expéditif (PEE) s’applique rétrospectivement aux délinquants purgeant déjà leur peine, contrevient à l’article 11 i) de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés; . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

On one Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals and leaves to appeal granted, so you know what the S.C.C. will soon be dealing with (January 1 to February 10, 2016 inclusive).


Transportation: Railway Interswitching
Canadian Pacific Railway Co. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 1 (36223)

Interswitching regulations valid.

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: (Alleged) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
R. v. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday