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Archive for February, 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. Roberts v. Hamilton, 2018 BCPC 24

[39] Abbotsford is a city located within the Province of British Columbia, coincidentally the same province that Vancouver is located in. It is not in a foreign country and one may access Abbotsford by motor vehicle without having to clear Customs, ride a ferry or proceed through any sort of checkpoints. No one is asked . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Driving Mister Butterworth – 200 Years of Law Publishing

Butterworths was founded in 1818 by Henry Butterworth. I know that this momentous anniversary is being marked and celebrated far and wide. Now more frequently but not always described as Lexis Nexis, the business, with its classic brand name, remains by any measure or description, one of the handful of information icons of the Common Law world.

My own direct connection to Butterworths was fleeting, having worked for it for a short time only in London and Toronto in consequence, in 1996, of its acquisition of Tolley Publishing, where I was divisional chief executive of Tolley Professional Information. However, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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.


The Power of a Deep Breath – Find Yours
Allison Wolf

Start right now. Place your hand on your heart. Notice your heart beat beneath the palm. Think of someone or something that brings you happiness. You can’t help but gently smile. Take a slow, deep breath. Feel your chest rise as you inhale. Feel your heart beat against the palm of your hand. …

Research & Writing

When . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Youth Voice Initiative – Systemic Human Centred Design at Work

The BC Family Justice Innovation Lab is focusing on improving the well-being of BC families and children experiencing separation and divorce. One of its ‘home-grown’ initiatives is called “Youth Voices” as it focuses on the experience and well-being of children whose parents experienced separation or divorce. One of the Lab’s foundational principles is that change must start with those who are the beneficiaries (or users) of the system we are trying to change. We reached out for experiences and lessons from other sectors (including business, healthcare and education) and decided on human-centred design (HCD).

The Lab developed and is testing . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Cryptocurrencies, Discovery and Financial Statements

One of a family lawyer’s main duties is to have their client’s back when it comes to financial consequences of marriage and separation, whether it’s a cohabitation agreement, a trial, or an application to vary support because of a change of circumstances. Reasonable precautions to probe and investigate the parties’ financial affairs, including investments and business activities, are almost always required. And sometimes proactive measures are needed to protect assets pending distribution by agreement or court order.

The law has evolved, both substantively and procedurally, to equip lawyers with a variety of tools to ensure honest financial disclosure—from simple financial . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Perspectives on the Future of Law – How the Professional Should Respond to Major Disruptions

This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

The legal profession is in the midst of significant change, and is headed into a period where there will be even greater change. These changes are driven by disruptions that alter the very nature of how traditional legal services have been performed and provided to clients for decades. These disruptions include:

  • access to justice
  • client empowerment
  • technology
  • alternative legal service providers

This article will give some insights into these disruptors and suggest how members of the legal profession can respond to them.

What is a non-lawyer?

To start, a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

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. Library Technician Dialog 2. IP Osgoode 3. 4. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 5. Startup Source

Library Technician Dialog

Skiff – used as “skiff of snow” Slang in Saskatchewan for a few millimeters of fallen snow, not worth shovelling. I’d like to think

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Challenges of Enforcing Statutory Publication Bans Online

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in on this again in R. v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on an application for a mandatory injunction. Although much of the commentary on this case has focused on how the Court has modified the historic test used for injunctions, few have looked at other aspects of the ruling, including the enforceability of statutory publication bans online.

An injunction is a powerful tool wielded by the courts, but one that should be applied sparingly. A court will order or compel a party to do something, or refrain from doing something, but will . . . [more]

Posted in: 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.

CONSTITUTIONNEL (DROIT) : Les appelants ont refusé de se départir de leur kirpan pour la durée de leur visite à l’Assemblée nationale et n’ont donc pu y entrer en raison de l’application d’une directive interdisant toute arme blanche dans l’enceinte de l’Assemblée nationale; l’exclusion du kirpan relevait d’un privilège parlementaire . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Access to Justice Alarm

I want to raise an SDG 16.3 alarm and appeal for Canada to lead. Let me explain. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute the 2030 development agenda of the world, adopted by the UN’s heads of state and government in September 2015. All efforts on development are coalescing around these goals. Goal 16 is to promote “peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development”, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels”. Which is huge. So it’s broken up into 13 targets. My focus is on access to justice. This is target 16.3, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Saga of the Canada’s “Making Available Right” in Three Acts

Act One

Our opening scene begins with the internet wreaking havoc on a peaceful copyright countryside where copying and performing are distinct activities that never mix. The internet is changing the way works are distributed for consumption so that now they can be both performed (e.g. streamed) and copied (i.e. downloads) online. Moreover, pre-internet language of one of the performance rights – the telecommunication right – is broad enough to include both activities. The more foreboding menace is that the internet has facilitated widespread piracy through peer to peer networks (P2P). Partly because of the ambiguous nature of these rights . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

What Happens to Cryptocurrencies When You Die?

Blockchain removes intermediaries from transactions. For the most part that’s a good thing – but it can also have unintended consequences. For example, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin flow between people much like paper money would be handed over. No financial institution is involved in the transaction. The same is true for other assets being tracked by blockchain technology, such as corporate shares.

When someone dies or becomes incapacitated, trustees or attorneys typically get control of that person’s assets through the intermediary. For example, if a trustee knows that the person has a bank account at bank X, they merely contact the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology