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Archive for April, 2018

The EVA-Lution of Legal Research?

I’ve been out of the loop for a little while and just happened on EVA the free AI-based legal research tool that ROSS Intelligence made available earlier this year. ROSS CEO Andrew Arruda characterizes this “AI system” as ROSS’ new coworker.

Robert Ambrogi blogged about EVA’s unveilling in late January calling it a “brief analyzer.” He expanded on this description:

“…it is also a tool for checking the subsequent history of cited cases and determining if they are still good law, … [and it] also can be used to find other cases that are similar to a given case

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

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. Michael Geist 2.McElroy Law Blog 3. Double Aspect 4.The Treasurer’s Blog 5. Barry Sookman

Michael Geist
Tackling IP Misuse: Canada Takes the Lead in Combating the Dark Side of Intellectual Property Protection

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister, unveiled the government’s long-awaited

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Pitch Returns to Toronto

In 2016, the CBA hosted “The Pitch” in Ottawa, a showcase of legal innovation in Canada. The event was a natural extension of the CBA Futures Initiative, helping the organization take the lead for innovative change in law.

Winners and finalists in previous years have gone on to make further ripples in the legal industry. In 2016, Loom Analytics was voted the audience’s choice, and has gone into further development at Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone. Blue J Legal continued to develop a partnership with Thomson Reuters. The winner, Beagle, was a winner in the 2018 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

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) : La Loi sur l’exercice des droits fondamentaux et des prérogatives du peuple québécois et de l’État du Québec est constitutionnellement valide, y compris l’article qui prévoit que l’option gagnante à un référendum est celle qui obtient la majorité des votes déclarés valides, soit 50 % des votes . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Modern Legal Practice

I was invited recently to take on the role of editor of the journal, Modern Legal Practice, which is published by Globe Law and Business. I was honoured to be asked and quick to accept, even though my role as an associate editor on the Italian Law Journal and Slaw columns give me less time for other pro-bono and non-law focused activities.

Modern Legal Practice is a relatively new and growing journal which deals with a broad range of topics to do with the practice of law, embracing business and the development of it, strategy, leadership, governance, risk . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Universal Pharmacare in Canada

The federal Standing Committee on Health is recommending a single-payer, universal prescription drug plan for Canada. The recommendation came in its report Pharmacare Now: Prescription Medicine Coverage for all Canadians (in PDF), tabled in the House of Commons on April 18, 2018. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: Harrington on the Essential Associate

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.


Author: Jay Harrington

ISBN: 978-0999554524
Page Count: 244
Publication Date: March 22, 2018

Price: $23.99 (USD)

Also available via Amazon and Kindle.

© 2018 by Jay Harrington / Harrington Communications LLC. All rights reserved.

Excerpt: . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Law Schools’ Dirty Little Secret

Left-leaning social justice warriors have captured Canadian law schools. So goes recent commentary in the National Post (see, e.g. recent columns by Barbara Kay, Bruce Pardy and Christie Blatchford). Law profs “espouse and impose a particular set of values or opinions and a way of thinking” (Blatchford, emphasis added).

I am not persuaded. As explained below, this commentary is unsupported by relevant evidence and inconsistent with core features of Canadian legal education. I do, however, accept one of its basic premises: law schools have a public interest mandate. They have duties to their students, to the system of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education, Legal Ethics

Why Everyone Should Take Mediation Training

Over the years I have been asked many times, by lawyers, law students and others, whether they should take mediation training. Most were interested in mediation, many participated as counsel at mediation but few planned to be full-time mediators. My standard answer has been that mediation training was valuable to everyone as it provides key life skills that are useful in all parts of our lives, not just in our legal career. Mediation training teaches us about the dynamics of human behaviour and provides a fundamental suite of skills for dealing with inevitable conflict in healthy ways that prevent conflict . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Comeau, 2018 SCC 15

[2] The respondent, Mr. Gerard Comeau, contends that s. 121 is essentially a free trade provision — in his view, no barriers can be erected to impede the passage of goods across provincial boundaries. On the other side of the debate, the appellant, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Brunswick (“the Crown”), argues . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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

Coming Into Force of Statute Revisions
Susannah Tredwell

One of the (many) confusing things about historical legislative research is the fact that revised statutes don’t necessarily come into force in the year of their citation. For example R.S.C. 1985, which consolidates the text of the statutes in force on December 31, 1984, came into force almost four years later on December 12, 1988. Any changes made after

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Good News and Bad News for Law School Clinics

When I hear “I have good news and bad news, which do you want to hear first?” I always want to hear the bad news so I can end with the good news. For Canadian clinical legal education, here is the bad news.

Bill C-75 – Unintended Consequences?

The federal government introduced Bill C-75 for first reading in the House of Commons on March 29. This bill includes many significant and progressive reforms to the Criminal Code.

The bad news in the bill is s. 319, which amends s. 387 of the current Code:

319 Section 787 of the Act

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Education