Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for September, 2018

Roadside Drug Screening to Be Tested by Courts

On Wednesday, Ontario’s new government announced a change in policy for cannabis use, indicating that they will allow it to be used anywhere where tobacco is smoked when it is legalized on Oct. 17, 2018, and not restricted to residential homes as previously planned. This move would align the province’s policy with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) set up as the proposed regulator to issue private store licences.

One of the ancillary effects of this is that residents in the province will invariably be consuming cannabis outside of the home, and . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : a requête en exclusion de la preuve de l’accusée est accueillie notamment parce que les tests exécutés par les agents évaluateurs en reconnaissance de drogues (AERD) sont prévus au Code criminel depuis 2008 et que, 8 ans plus tard, le déploiement des AERD mis en place par . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

That Is Post Number 50 Not Hashtag 50

Over the last number of years I have been sharing my thoughts on marketing, communication and business development for lawyers and law firms on SLAW. During that time everything from Pippa Middleton and Justin Bieber, to client experience, intranets, personal branding, proposals, client meetings and social media has been written about. I have made a point to share my thoughts on how we can be better as client managers and at using the resources we have available to us.

Our industry continues to evolve as do the expectations of our clients. Our clients want more and to simple stay competitive, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Criminal Conviction or Incarceration Does Not Justify Termination

The Administrative Labour Tribunal in Quebec recently held that an employer cannot terminate a worker with a criminal conviction for acts of sexual abuse as it constitutes discrimination based on criminal records. Moreover, the nature of the criminal offence does not automatically justify the dismissal of an employee. . . . [more]

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

What Risk-Aversion Really Means

I’ve heard many times, and I’m sure you have too, that lawyers are ”risk-averse.” That description alone isn’t very helpful — after all, most people are risk-averse, which is why much of the population lives safe and sedate lives while a very small number of people create billion-dollar companies or break their legs while cliff-diving.

What I think we mean is that lawyers are unusually risk-averse. And when we say this about ourselves, we usually say it in tone of self-mocking resignation or gentle exasperation: “Well, what are you gonna do? Lawyers are risk-averse, after all. We won’t try anything . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Thursday Thinkpiece: Morton & Snow on the Harper Conservatives and the Canadian Judiciary

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.

Law, Politics, and the Judicial Process in Canada, 4th Edition

Editors: F.L. Morton & Dave Snow
ISBN: 978-1-55238-990-4 (Paperback)
Publisher: University of Calgary Press
Page Count: 693
Publication Date: August 2018
Regular Price: $49.99 CAD / $49.99 USD

Excerpt: Introduction to Chapter 11: The Harper Conservatives and the Canadian Judiciary, by F.L. . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Do We Need Right-to-Repair Legislation?

The ABA’s technology journal has an article advocating legislation to give consumers (or everybody) a right to repair their devices. What this does is prohibit manufacturers from making their devices impossible or dauntingly difficult for the owner to repair, and often for professional mechanics to do as well.

The article gives several examples of the difficulties deliberately created by manufacturers to this end. Its focus is electronic devices, but many other types of goods have also raised the question.

Sometimes repairs can be done by service centres related to the manufacturer, but even then the repairs can be very expensive, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

Copyright Notice & Notice Is Flawed

You may have read about the Supreme Court of Canada deciding Rogers can be paid its costs for telling a copyright owner the identity of movie downloading customers. What isn’t talked about is the notice and notice system that puts this in motion.

A summary of the Rogers v Voltage decision is here. Omar has written about this on Slaw as well.

This is a complex and controversial issue. The essence is that sections 41.25 and 41.26 of the Copyright Act allow the owner of a copyright (eg a movie studio) to create a notice to send to people . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

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. Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2018 ONCA 761

[1] Given the urgency of this matter, an immediate decision on this stay motion is required to ensure that the Toronto municipal elections, set for October 22, 2018, proceed in as orderly a manner as possible. In the unusual circumstances of this case, we have decided to announce our decision without delay . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The 2017 DLA Piper Breach Revisited

It was more than a year ago that the 3,600-lawyer global megafirm DLA Piper was brought to its knees by a data breach in June of 2017. One of the questions we hear most often when we lecture is, “If DLA Piper can be breached, how do the rest of us stand a chance of preventing a data breach?”

It’s a valid question. The reaction last year varied with the size of the law firm. Larger law firms focused a lot on purchasing or increasing their cyberinsurance coverage after the DLA Piper story made the headlines. They also amped up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Human Error and Data Breaches

With Canada implementing mandatory private sector breach reporting under the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) on November 1, 2018, it is worth noting that many breaches are due to human error. These breaches can be minimized with proper policies, practices and employee education as well as regular monitoring and review of an organization’s privacy policies.

Data Commissioners or Information Commissioners often report details around the number, type and sources of breaches that are reported to them.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is the public body responsible for monitoring data breaches. This office monitors breaches of personal . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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.


Corral Multiple Email Addresses Into One Email Client
Luigi Benetton

Do you have two or more email addresses? Tired of flipping between web pages to check them all? Why bother. Instead, set them all up in one email client. Here’s what this looks like on my computer. …

Research & Writing

Gallop Portal
Alan Kilpatrick

Did you know that the Gallop Portal (Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday