Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2018

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. Persampieri v. Hobbs, 2018 ONSC 368

[159] Counsel for the Defendants submitted that since the net award was less than $25,000, and as the Plaintiff’s action was commenced and continued under the ordinary procedure, the Plaintiff should in effect be penalized in costs for failing to bring her action in the Small Claims Court or under the Simplified Procedure.

[162] . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

What to Do When Your Data Is Breached

“When, not if.” This mantra among cybersecurity experts recognizes the ever-increasing incidence of data breaches. In an address at a major information se­curity conference in 2012, then-director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Robert Mueller put it this way: “I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again.”

Mueller’s observation is true for at­torneys and law firms as well as small businesses through Fortune 500 companies. There have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Shady Billing: Closing the Hall of Shame

Only “fair and reasonable” fees and disbursements can be charged by lawyers to their clients. This rule is uncontroversial, and applies across the country. Nevertheless, the following billing practices are used by some Canadian firms, and not clearly forbidden by regulation:[1]

  • a retainer contract lists current hourly rates but also provides that the firm can increase those rates as much as it wants, at any point in the future without the client’s further consent
  • a retainer can also allow a firm to both charge for each hour docketed, and charge the client whatever bonus the firm decides is appropriate
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Ethics

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

Tracing the History of the Income Tax Act
Susannah Tredwell

Tracing the legislative history of an act can be challenging, and even more so if the act you are looking at is the Income Tax Act. Here are some things to keep in mind when tracing the legislative history of the Income Tax Act


Silence Quells the Fire
Ian Hu

It was an intimidating

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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. Canadian Privacy Law Blog 2. O’Faolain 3. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 4. Official Clio Blog 5. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada

Canadian Privacy Law Blog
Privacy Commissioner thinks there’s a right to be forgotten in Canada

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Challenges Around the Right to Be Forgotten in Canada

This past Friday, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a draft position on online reputation which includes a call for several measures that help protect Canadians, including the right to ask search engines to de-index web pages and removing information at the source.

In the accompanying press release, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien stated,

There is little more precious than our reputation. But protecting reputation is increasingly difficult in the digital age, where so much about us is systematically indexed, accessed and shared with just a few keystrokes. Online information about us can easily be distorted or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

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.

RESPONSABILITÉ : Avec ce que les agents avaient comme information à la suite de leur enquête, un policier prudent et diligent se trouvant dans la même situation n’aurait pas conclu à l’existence de motifs raisonnables et probables de croire à la commission des infractions de traite de personnes, d’avantage matériel . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Cost of Doing (Marketing) Business as Usual

Most businesses – especially law firms – must market to some degree. And they do. They have a website. They print business cards. They make sure the logo is used on tombstone ads and sponsorship programs. So law firms spend some money on marketing, and some of their lawyers even spend time on marketing – taking people to lunch, playing golf, attending a board or trade function, perhaps hosting a client seminar. Year in, year out it’s pretty much the same. They base their marketing spend on what they spent last year (perhaps with a bit of a bump). They . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Thursday Thinkpiece: Chan and Magotiaux on Digital Evidence

Periodically on Thursdays, 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.


Authors: Gerald Chan and Susan Magotiaux
Foreword: The Honorable Thomas A. Cromwell
General Editors: Justice Vincenzo Rondinelli and Brian H. Greenspan

ISBN: 978-1-77255-230-0
Publisher: Emond Publishing
Page Count: 235
Publication Date: November, 2017

Regular Price: $99
Series Subscription Price: $85

© 2017 Irwin Law. All rights reserved. . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

China’s Judicial Independence and Modern Art, and LSUC Becomes LSO

China is making slow but steady progress toward what western countries consider to be judicial independence (see authorities listed below). I asked a judge in Beijing (my wife assisting as interpreter) his views of the judiciary’s state of independence. He said that they have considerable independence but some cases involve other authorities.

Paralleling that, but apparently at a faster pace is the liberalization as to what is permitted in modern art. A few years ago we went to the 798 Photo Gallery of modern art in Beijing’s fashionable 798 Art Zone, located in Dashanzi, Chaoyang District of Beijing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Data Privacy Day

January 28 is Data Privacy Day.

Privacy is becoming more challenging with new tech such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, autonomous cars, the internet of things, drones, and government agencies recording massive amounts of data in the name of security. Basic privacy concepts such as consent as we now know it may no longer be adequate to deal with some of these challenges. And the sheer number of ways our information gets used makes it almost impossible to truly understand, let alone trust, what others are doing with our information.

The IAPP is hosting Privacy After Hours events . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

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. Cozzi v. Sidiropoulos, 2018 ONSC 309

[3] At that time, as part of the transfer of the file to his carriage, Mr. Sidiropoulos undertook to Mr. Cozzi to “protect” Mr. Cozzi’s account. Mr. Sidiropoulos claims that he understood that his undertaking was contingent upon Mr. Cozzi delivering his complete file material on a timely basis in order to permit the action . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII