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Archive for February, 2017

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

Creating a Complete History of Legislation
Susannah Tredwell

The easiest way to create a history of an act is to start with the most recent version of the legislation and work your way backwards. Going forward tends to be more complicated. Depending on your jurisdiction and how far back you need to go, you may be able to do this entirely using electronic resources. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Of Amateurs Teaching Intellectual Property in the Age of Trump

I come to intellectual property law as an amateur. My interest in it has grown from a passing interest in sensational literary-estate cases, through a good deal of advocacy work on behalf of open access to research, into something of an educational mission. With the fervor of a convert, I now look for ways of introducing lessons on intellectual property into my teaching in the school of education and in the program in science, technology, and society (STS). I may throw a mini-lesson into a discussion of the materials that students are using for a project or on a headline . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Critical and Emerging Issues in Blockchain Law

Six years ago, two Papa John’s pizzas were traded for 10,000 bitcoins. Today, those bitcoins are worth approximately $10,000,000 and around $200,000,000 in bitcoin changes hands daily. In 2016, the technology under the hood of Bitcoin, commonly called “blockchain technology” or “Distributed Ledger Technology” is being looked to for applications in insurance, banking, trade, and finance.

Where will blockchain take us in 2020? What legal issues will you be asked to grapple with in 2017 as blockchain continues its transition from the startup community to the financial services industry?

The Bank of Canada, Senate, and Department of Finance have been . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Are You a “maximizer” or a “satisficer”?

This article is by Nora Rock, corporate writer & policy analyst at LAWPRO.

The last time you bought a house or searched for a rental apartment, how did you choose, and how did you feel about your choice afterward?

Psychologists studying the relationship between how we make choices and our life satisfaction have found that those who put the greatest effort into making choices are rewarded with less happiness.

In his book The Paradox of Choice, Dr. Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology from Pennsylvania sorts decision-makers into two broad categories. “Satisficers” settle promptly on the first option that . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

LII’s Thomas Bruce Testifies Before the Judiciary Committee

Thomas Bruce, Director of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, spoke before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee specifically to the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet who are exploring issues related to judicial transparency and ethics. Bruce mainly provides comments about PACER the “electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information online from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts”.

The whole session was live streamed on February 14 and is a couple of hours long so I thought it might be useful to zoom in on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Limits on Accountants’ Duty of Confidentiality

On 18 February 2013 the Minister of national Revenue moved ex parte for an order under section 231.2(3) of the Income Tax Act, authorizing him to impose on KPMG LLP a requirement to provide information relating to certain of its unnamed clients, including their identities, and documentation relating to their participation in an offshore company tax structure.

KPMG moved for an order quashing the ex parte order. It sought a declaration that the sections of the Income Tax Act which authorized the order were of no force or effect because they unjustifiably infringe the protections of life, liberty and security . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 more than 80 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. Administrative Law Matters  2. Canadian Immigration law Blog 3. Robeside Assistance  4. Alcohol & Advocacy  5. ABlawg

Administrative Law Matters
Reconstructing Judicial Review — Sarah Nason

Today at the Centre for Public Law, we kicked off a new series of seminars, New Faces in Public Law, designed . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Future of Access to Justice in Civil Disputes

Every lawyer probably got that phone call. Someone owes me a thousand dollars. Can you help me? Someone cut a branch on my tree without my permission. Can we sue them? Or the toughest question of all when random strangers call you for advice: do I have a case? No, you don’t. Well, wait: you’re frustrated because no responsible lawyer can answer this question on the spot, and you’re frustrated because you know that even if they have a case, they probably should not hire you because of your fees. It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis.

Let’s focus on the second . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

LSUC Finally Fights Back Around Legal Advertising

Legal marketing has begun to run amok in many major cities in Canada.

I raised attention to this nearly 2 years ago in National Magazine, and since then the mainstream media has picked up on it as well. In particular, the Toronto Star has run a series of articles, focusing primarily on the personal injury bar. There were apparently 604 complaints about licensee advertising in Ontario between 2011-2015, over half of which were initiated by the Law Society of Upper Canada itself.

In response to this, Convocation last Friday introduced a number of changes. The first was to implement . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

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) : Le tribunal refuse d’appliquer la peine minimale obligatoire de un an d’emprisonnement prescrite par l’article 7 (2) b) (iii) de la Loi réglementant certaines drogues et autres substances à l’accusé, qui s’est reconnu coupable de production de marijuana dans une affaire où il a agi à titre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Vancouver Community College v. Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc., 2017 BCCA 41

AREAS OF LAW:  Intellectual property; Internet Law; Trade-marks Act; Passing off; Goodwill

~It is lawful to use a competitor’s name as a keyword in Internet advertising, provided the resulting advertisement does not use a confusingly similar trademark, including in the domain name displayed in the advertisement. The test requires measuring the likelihood of confusion when . . . [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 (Jan. 28 – Feb. 23, 2017 inclusive).


Criminal Law: Drug Impaired
R. v. Bingley, 2017 SCC 12 (36610)

The drug recognition expert can, in this case, testify about their determination under s. 254(3.1) of the Criminal Code . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday