Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for August, 2018

When Does the Limitation Period for a Wrongful Dismissal Claim Start?

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified that the limitation period for a wrongful dismissal claim does not start at the end of employment, but rather as soon as working notice is provided. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

What the Canadian Copyright Act Fails to Recognize: The Intellectual Properties of Research and Scholarship

This post forms part of what is now a series of arguments for reforming intellectual property law in Canada (and elsewhere) to better serve researcher and public interests in the publishing of research and scholarship. Given this country’s statutory review of the Copyright Act during 2018, I have submitted a brief to the Parliamentary committee on this theme, while utilizing this series of posts to focus on particular parts of the argument, in this case, the Act’s failure to recognize changes in how research and scholarship circulate even as such works represent a major Canadian undertaking and investment.

While Canada’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

Architects of Justice: New Podcast Season Exploring Access to Justice in Ontario Launches This September

Last year, The Action Group on Access to Justice, also known as TAG, launched Ontario’s first access to justice podcast, Architects of Justice. Supported by the Law Society of Ontario and the Law Foundation of Ontario, this podcast brings together multiple perspectives and aims to spotlight different conversations about how we can make a more effective justice system.

Architects of Justice quickly earned audience interest and received positive feedback for its informative approach, thought-provoking themes and discussion about real opportunities and issues for justice in Ontario. Encouraged by this outcome, TAG produced a second season which will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Sandomirsky v. Attallah, 2018 ONSC 5012

[9] I therefore deem their marriage to be valid by the power vested in me by the Government of Canada and pursuant to section 31 of the Marriage Act.

[10] They are hereby ordered to live happy together forever.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Zuk v Alberta Dental Association and . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Free Sources of Legal Research – an Analogy

Next week I have the delight of presenting a session about free legal research to a clinic of the U Alberta Law School titled Low Income Individuals and the Law. A very collaborative team led by Professor Cathy Bell is responsible for this clinic and it is great fun to participate. My annual presentation update coincided with some renovations at Chez Mireau – no surprise – and as usual my handy work allowed me to ponder the brain work. My thesis: carpet removal, as a project, shares some analogies with legal research using free sources.


This particular renovation, one . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

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 practice, research, writing and technology.


Three Letters = One Powerful Question
Allison Wolf

Who? Who could help me with this? One of the biggest mistakes a lawyer can make is not asking for help. Help can mean many things. It can mean getting advice on a file. Many lawyers the mistake of going it alone, only to realize too late that turning to another lawyer for guidance would be the best course of . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Bencher From Amazon?

For generations, Canadian lawyers have been regulated themselves. Law Societies, with elected lawyer benchers and, more recently, with appointed lay benchers, have governed the legal profession. We refer to this as professional self-regulation.

It is increasingly recognized that legal needs are not fully satisfied by lawyers. Some legal needs are satisfied by others. Some legal needs are not satisfied at all. It is now understood that access to justice is an important and difficult policy challenge. In Ontario, section 4.2(2) of the Law Society Act now expressly states that the Law Society has “a duty to act so as to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Cherishing the Family Jewels

There are some who believe that the 80:20 rule applies to almost everything. Also known as the Pareto principle or the principle of factor sparsity, it suggests that approximately 20% of activity produces 80% of results. Conversely, in approximate terms we have 80% of population owning only 20% of wealth and other such examples in every sphere of activity, and so it goes on. I am inclined to agree.

As I look at law publishing businesses, particularly the smaller ones which are still engaged in print and book publishing, I’m sure that around 20% of their activity . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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. 2. Double Aspect 3. Slater Vecchio Connected 4. Canadian Securities Law 5. Global Workplace Insider
Alberta’s Family Violence Death Review Committee: Recent Reports, Recommendations and Reflections

Alberta’s Protection Against Family Violence Act, RSA 2000, c P-27 (PAFVA) was passed in 1999 and has as

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Significant Costs Can Curb Complex Class Actions

Class proceedings were introduced, in part, to promote access to justice, and continue to play an important role in addressing social wrongs. The Supreme Court of Canada described this in Western Canadian Shopping Centres Inc. v. Dutton as follows,

28 …by allowing fixed litigation costs to be divided over a large number of plaintiffs, class actions improve access to justice by making economical the prosecution of claims that would otherwise be too costly to prosecute individually. Without class actions, the doors of justice remain closed to some plaintiffs, however strong their legal claims. Sharing costs ensures that injuries

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, 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.

PERSONNES : Les demandeurs sont autorisés, pour une durée de 60 jours, à soigner contre son gré une jeune femme de 20 ans qui souffre d’anorexie extrême ainsi que d’un trouble de la personnalité limite, qui refuse catégoriquement de s’alimenter et qui est à risque de décès; le plan de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Team Diversity, Conflict and the Need for Robust Discussion – Part 1

This is the first of a two part series exploring how teams can operate effectively in organizations and environments characterized by complexity and constant change.

Each of us works in multiple teams. Think law firm partnership meetings, law firm committees and practice groups, professional organizational teams, project teams, pro bono teams, multi-disciplinary teams working on a large client file, etc. In the “old days”, teams were stable and relatively homogeneous. They set goals, used Gantt charts, planned the work and worked the plan.

Today, the environment in which we work is complex and constantly changing, team members come and go . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution