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Archive for October, 2016

Trumped, for Now

It’s small, in light of his other issues, but Donald Trump is once again embroiled in litigation, albeit outside of the United States, which may result in findings against him of at least negligent misrepresentation sufficient to produce personal liability: see Singh v Trump et al, 2016 ONCA 747 (CanLII), <>. 

The action had been dismissed, completely, on a summary judgment motion. The Ontario Court of Appeal, earlier this month, allowed significant portions of the appeal. As a result, subject to a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada – I can’t see leave being granted – the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Miscellaneous

Big Data Privacy Challenges

Big data and privacy was one of the topics discussed at the Canadian IT Law Association conference this week. Some of the issues worth pondering include:

  • Privacy principles say one should collect only what you need, and keep only as long as needed. Big data says collect and retain as much as possible in case it is useful.
  • Accuracy is a basic privacy principle – but with big data accuracy is being replaced by probability.
  • A fundamental privacy notion is informed consent for the use of one’s personal information. How do you have informed consent and control for big data
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

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. Singh v. Trump, 2016 ONCA 747

[1] In the mid-2000s, Sarbjit Singh and Se Na Lee each bought a Hotel Unit in the Trump International Hotel, a five-star building to be built in Toronto’s financial district. Mr. Singh and Mrs. Lee were both middle-class residents of the Greater Toronto Area and had no intention of occupying the Hotel Units themselves. Instead, . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Using Non-Legal Apps for Current Awareness

I’m delighted to take this column over from my dear friend, mentor, and former boss, John Gillies. As John’s work has narrowed and deepened into precedents, he asked me to step in. Thanks, John, always, for your personal and professional support!

My subsequent columns will engage more specifically on legal technology (which, I see from the recent Slaw survey, is readers’ favourite topic! Pressure much?) . With this initial contribution, let’s start with widely-available tools that legal professionals can turn into set-it-and-forget-it vehicles for current awareness consumption.

Current Awareness: Automation is the Answer!

Certainly, continuing legal education requirements ensure . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Originals: So Last Century

At one point in time, an original meant something. Now with the proliferation of computers, cellphones, and web based platforms, we create and store most documents electronically. This new reality has redefined the value and definition of an original copy. But like most things, the court system has largely ignored this new development.

In Ontario, our courts continue to demand that the original document be filed with the court. And in doing so, has failed to justify why this is necessary in 2016.

As a relative newcomer to the profession, I ask: why does our court need original affidavits of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

How to Win Cases

Conceptually, it’s easy: settle weak cases, try strong cases. When you try strong cases, find the spot where the best interests of your client overlap the most with the best interests of the court and hit it.

But what is this notion of the best interests of the court? Every litigator understands the best interests of the client and their duty to protect them. Many will also remember their duty as officers of the court.

But the best interests of the court is not quite fully the same thing as what litigators honour as officers of the court. It covers . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

CBA Online Mental Health Course Celebrates a Successful First Year

Last year the CBA took an important step in a direction it seems a lot of its members had wanted it to go – providing information and guidance in the area of mental health.

Since Mental Health and Wellness in the Legal Profession, developed in association with Bell Let’s Talk and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, was launched online almost exactly a year ago more than 1,500 people have participated in the course, which was designed to help people in the legal profession understand mental health and addiction issues and to point them in the direction of available . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of 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, writing, and practice.

Research & Writing

A Little History of “Noting Up”, or Why Noting Up Is Called “Noting Up” Anyways
Natalie Wing

WARNING: this post may contain disturbing content for those with deep anti-marking-up-of-library-book sensitivities. Back in ye olden days, law clerks and law librarians used to write in the margins of case reporters, literally “noting up” the pages with citations for subsequent appellate decisions. …


And the Numbers Show… (Part . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Learnings From the Legal Trends Report: The Risk of Trusting Self-Reported Data

In last week’s post I talked about the Legal Trends Report, a data-driven benchmarking report based on actual billing data.

This approach an industry first, and as such the Legal Trends Report uncovers a number of interesting insights that I’ll be digging into over the next few weeks.

However, I personally found one most surprising finding of the Legal Trends Report to be the vast disparity between self-reported data and “real” data derived from real-world usage. Take, for example, utilization rate, the percentage of a lawyer’s day that ends up as being billing time. The Legal Trends Report found the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Dropping the Ball on a File Transfer: Rule 48 Dangers for Ontario Lawyers

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

When a file is transferred from one lawyer to another, one danger is when nothing happens on the file due to a clumsy transfer or missing critical information. A new file that has not been looked at can be a ticking time bomb. Deadlines like limitation periods can pass by unnoticed, and Rule 48 administrative dismissal dates can be discovered too late. The resulting malpractice claim can have lawyers pointing fingers at each other. Consider the following tips whether you’re transferring a file or on the receiving . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

FDRIO’s Family Dispute Resolution Week to Be Held November 21st to 25th

The second annual Family Dispute Resolution Week (FDRweek) is set be held this coming November 21st through 25th, with the group’s key event, a 1-day conference scheduled for Monday the 21st at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto.

This year’s conference and FDRweek will include events for lawyers, family law professionals and the general public in Toronto, Oshawa, Pickering, Ajax, Newmarket, and Barrie. 

The theme for FDRweek 2016 is “Mediation and dispute resolution in a pluralistic society.” Event organizers note that, “Canada is widely recognized as being the second home for many immigrants. Many dispute resolution clients are new . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

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. David Whelan  2. Michael Spratt 3. Canadian Legal History Blog  4.  5. Western Canada Business Litigation Blog

David Whelan
Revising a Pressbooks E-book

The Pressbooks e-book add-on for WordPress is brilliant. Whether you use their hosted service or roll your own with their open source plugin, it is . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix