Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2016

Québec Bar Association CAIJ Portal Launches Special Section on Province’s New Code of Civil Procedure

This is a follow-up to the February 1, 2016 post about Background Material on Québec’s New Code of Civil Procedure .

CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has created a special section on its website that brings together information about the province’s new Code of Civil Procedure that came into force on January 1, 2016.

The Code underwent a major overhaul that aims to reduce delays in the justice system by giving priority to amicable dispute resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration and conciliation, and by increasing . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: Gebru on Protecting Traditional Knowledge Through Sui Generis IP Law

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

International Intellectual Property Law and the Protection of Traditional Knowledge: From Cultural Conservation to Knowledge Codification

Aman K. Gebru, SJD Candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law

This article first appeared in the Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law, Volume XV, page 293 (Winter, 2016).

Excerpt: Introduction . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Guidelines to Develop Whistleblowing System

The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association) with the assistance of the nationally based law firm Grant Thornton LLP has developed a free guide to help organizations develop and maintain a whistleblowing system with the goal to encourage workers to report ethical and safety issues within an established mechanism. Reported issues include suspected tax fraud, accounting fraud, corporate fraud, insider trading, health and safety issues and other serious offenses. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Shiny, Happy People

Early in January my spouse and I went on a winter vacation to the Caribbean. The charming island nation of Barbados was our destination for two weeks followed by a meeting in Quebec and a family visit in Ontario. Almost three weeks in total. Travelling from our home in Yukon made for a long journey that saw us pass through seven airports in six different cities: Whitehorse, Vancouver, Toronto, Quebec City, Windsor and Bridgetown (Barbados). The highlight of our trip was certainly the place where it was light by 6 am with shorts and t-shirt weather right off the bat  . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Rainbows and Unicorns

About a week ago, I posted my most popular tweet ever:

This perfect sentence, authored by Alyssa Pereira, amused and delighted me when I read it. Little did I realize how this story of Juliette, the escaped pony “dressed” as a unicorn would garner so much attention. I suspect this may reflect the season we’re in. At the end of a winter, still in the early stages of a seemingly endless U.S. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

When Corporate Policies Can Backfire

Businesses and organizations rely on internal and external policies and procedures to document the way they do certain things. But if not written carefully, they can actually add risk.

Many of these are compliance based. In other words, they set out how in practice the business will deal with various legal obligations. Depending on the nature and size of the business, they could deal with things like privacy, anti-spam, workplace safety, money laundering, and the list goes on.

Having these policies can help reduce legal risk, and help ensure that employees do the right thing.

Sometimes businesses create policies and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law: Sorority Racist?


Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right it’s racist but it’s sorority racist.

“We like you Rhonda but you’re not a Kappa.” That’s how Hollywood is but things are changing.

– Chris Rock, the Oscars

Some law firms hide behind the label of “fit” to mask racism. This racism may be conscious or unconscious. Either way, “fit” is used to justify discrimination. The way sorority girls use “fit” to sort out potential sisters during rush. I should know. I used to be in a sorority.

The statistics on race reveal that racism or a covert form of racism, like “sorority . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Keenan v. Canac Kitchens Ltd., 2016 ONCA 79

[24] The trial judge observed that, in the jurisprudence leading to a recognition of the intermediate category of dependent contractors, a finding that the worker was economically dependent on the company due to complete exclusivity or a high level of exclusivity weighed heavily in favour of the conclusion that the worker was a . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Macros and Micro Automation

Law practice technology comes in a variety of sizes. Either the lawyer adapts to the technology or adapts it to her needs. We often look at the systems that lawyers use to improve client service and productivity. This time, let’s flip the hood on law practice technology and look at some of the micro tools you can use.

Automated Tasks with Macros

Technology use is filled with those small things we do over and over, seemingly because we have no option. We log on to Windows, and as it loads, we grab a cup of coffee. We sit down and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Change and Tradition: Identity and the AALL

2016 began with a strange drama in the world of law librarianship in the United States. The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) held a referendum on changing the organization’s name to the Association for Legal Information (ALI). The name change was unanimously approved by the Executive Board of the AALL at a meeting in November of 2015. To make the change official, the AALL’s bylaws had to be amended. Amendment of the Bylaws necessitates the approval of the membership, hence the referendum. Voting was conducted online between January 12 and February 10, 2016. The Board explained its rationale, even . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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 a Concordance
Susannah Tredwell

When looking at legislation it is sometimes helpful to know if there are similar provisions in other provinces. Rather than reading through each and every statute to check for equivalent provisions, it is much faster to use a concordance. …


Can Lawyers Be Innovative?
David Bilinsky

The American Bar Journal on April 1, 2015 posted an article on “100 . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday