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Archive for November, 2016

Delaying Justice Is Denying Justice – a Senate Committee Report

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Eight Report: Delaying Justice is Denying Justice: An Urgent Need to Address Lengthy Court Delays in Canada (published, August, 2016), must produce a final report by March 31, 2017.

1. The Major Shortcomings of the Committee’s Report

Appendix A to the Report is this List of Recommendations (p. 16):

Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada work with the provinces and territories as well as with the judiciary to examine and implement best practices in case and case flow management across Canada to reduce the number of unnecessary appearances and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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 Class Actions Monitor  2. FamilyLLB 3. Legal Sourcery  4. Legal Feeds  5.

Canadian Class Actions Monitor
Araya v. Nevsun Resources Ltd., 2016 BCSC 1856: British Columbia Supreme Court refuses to allow a “common law class action” alleging human rights violations at Eritrean mine

In an important decision . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Sentence to Go “Home”

The bar has often lamented the lack of “plain language” by the bench, a necessary prerequisite for transparency and open access to the public.

At times, the need for this approach has been criticized as overlooking the needs of the parties. Sometimes, like in the Meads case, this approach is intended to address broader, systemic problems. As I told Canadian Lawyer Magazine a few years ago,

“I think the fact that the judge even made this ruling suggests how big a problem it is,” says Toronto lawyer Omar Ha-Redeye. “This is a hot issue. Family law is in crisis

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, 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 b) de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés donne à la personne détenue par les policiers le droit d’avoir recours à l’assistance d’un avocat et non pas un droit constitutionnel limité à «un seul appel» pour joindre un avocat.

Intitulé : Stevens c. R., . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Complexity and Mediation Converge

To address conflict it is important to select the process and style that best suits the nature of the problem and the needs of the parties. I have just realized that there is another dimension to this analysis – complexity theory! I love finding writings that bring together two of my current passions: complex system change and mediation. The most recent piece is a compelling article by Greg Rooney entitled “Applying Cynefin Complexity Theory to Mediation”.

First, a bit about Cynefin (how do you pronounce that anyway?). Chris Corrigan teaches the Cynefin Framework for strategy and decision-making, leadership and . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Update: Brexit Score – End of Second Period: Henry VIII 2 Henry II 1

Or, Ms May may not and must not; at least, not yet.

(For readers outside of the (ice) hockey world, substitute “end of first half”.)

The UK QB ruled unanimously (3-0) this fine English morning that the Tory gov’t cannot use the Crown’s prerogative to initiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The decision to withdraw or not – the decision whether to give notice under the applicable EU treaty – is for Parliament to make, not the party in power in Parliament; aka the “gov’t” or the Crown.

[111] for the reasons we have set out, we hold the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Consulting With Canadians on a Federal Accessibility Legislation

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned federal accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life. It is expected that the new legislation will incorporate many features from Ontario and Manitoba’s accessibility laws that would include the process or processes that the Government would use to develop the accessibility standards, as well as the areas or activities to which the standards would apply. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Data Visualization in Law Libraries

Data visualization is one of those phrases that is frequently heard these days. It’s a very interesting field; done properly, data visualization allows you to use charts, graphs or other visuals to put statistics into context far more easily than if they were in tabular format. The flip side is that if not done properly, data visualizations can be confusing or, even worse, misleading (as illustrated by this chart).

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Scott Berinato on “Visualizations that Really Work” talks about how visualizations enable us to use data to make . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Thursday Thinkpiece: Lean Out—How to Dismantle the Corporate Barriers That Hold Women Back

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.

Lean Out—How to Dismantle the Corporate Barriers that Hold Women Back

Maureen Fitzgerald
© 2016 CenterPoint Media. Reprinted with permission.

Maureen F. Fitzgerald, PhD is a gender diversity advisor and author of 11 books. She practised labor and policy law for 20 years and taught at two universities. She has a BComm, JD, . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

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. R. v. Anthony‑Cook, 2016 SCC 43

[1] Resolution discussions between Crown and defence counsel are not only commonplace in the criminal justice system, they are essential. Properly conducted, they permit the system to function smoothly and efficiently.

[2] Joint submissions on sentence — that is, when Crown and defence counsel agree to recommend a particular sentence to the judge, in exchange . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Stairway to Heaven, Blurred Lines & the Unpredictability of Music Copyright Infringement

When does one pop song infringe the copyright of another pop song? US case law on the topic – which more or less mirrors Canadian law – shows the unpredictability of how music copyright infringement determinations are made. In two recent high profile US cases, one jury found for the plaintiff where the two songs had almost nothing in common (Gotta Give it Up and Blurred Lines) whereas in the other case, the jury found for the defendant even though there was significant borrowing from the plaintiff’s composition (Taurus and Stairway to Heaven).

There are many . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Do the Opposite

‘”The Opposite” is the 86th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld,’ according to Wikipedia. It is also one of my favourite episodes because it teaches an important life lesson. Here is a clip to refresh your memory:

Today, a Canadian company backed up by tech interests and talent announced acquisition of an important Canadian legal publisher Maritime Law Book (“maritime” here does not mean admiralty law; instead, it refers to the Maritimes—the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island—presumably because that’s where the publisher originated).

Law tech startups, attention. Your exit strategy probably involves acquisition . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology