Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for October, 2018

Ten Things About Bitcoin That Lawyers Should Know (On Bitcoin’s Tenth Anniversary)

On October 31, 2008, someone posted a PDF to an encryption newsgroup. The post came from an account named Satoshi Nakamoto.

The PDF contained a text called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and described what we know today as Bitcoin—the biggest cryptocurrency in the word by market capitalization (about USD$110 billion as of today).

Here are ten things that lawyers should know about Bitcoin.

1. There are no physical Bitcoin coins or banknotes.

Bitcoin is modelled after physical coins and banknotes but it is purely digital. But! Most people still use a physical medium for accessing their bitcoin . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Technology

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. Bradshaw, 2017 SCC 35

[1] Hearsay is an out-of-court statement tendered for the truth of its contents. It is presumptively inadmissible because — in the absence of the opportunity to cross-examine the declarant at the time the statement is made — it is often difficult for the trier of fact to assess its truth. Thus hearsay can threaten the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Don’t Warn – Fix!

I saw a bumper sticker last week on an old Volkswagen Beetle: “Warning. Manual Transmission. May Roll Backwards.”

It made me want to put my car within inches of his back bumper, facing uphill. Well, no. I’m not really that passive-aggressive. But I owned only stick-shifts for over forty years, including a succession of well-used VW Beetles when I lived along the steep hills keeping the Hudson River in her banks. And I never once rolled backwards from a stop.

(Set the emergency brake. Put the car in first. Then put your hand on the brake release and slowly lower . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Team Diversity, Conflict and the Need for Robust Discussion – Part 2

Have you ever wanted to say something in a team meeting but didn’t because you were worried about looking stupid or being judged or losing your job? If so, you might have experienced what we call a “psychological safety deficit” – a key barrier to the kind of robust discussion that is needed in today’s complex environment.

In Part One of this series we examined why cognitive diversity is essential to effective decision-making but can lead to conflict. We need to create a safe container within which to roster healthy and robust discussion and avoid “groupthink”. In Part . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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.


Delete Unwanted Emails BEFORE You See Them
Luigi Benetton

I like exploring ways to improve my Inbox Zero habit. This habit enables me to effectively handle everything that comes at me via email. I do this by: putting the information in the right places, deleting or filing the original email. The email inbox is never the right place for contacts, calendar appointments, tasks or other things I need . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

New on Slaw: Book Reviews From CLLR

Over the years, Slaw has been fortunate to create numerous partnerships with many Canadian legal associations and groups, with the goal of providing a platform for these groups to share their views and expertise with a broader audience. We’ve also found ways to extend the reach of Canadian legal publishers, including excerpts in our Thursday Thinkpiece feature and of course, our Sunday case law summaries from SOQUIJ, Supreme Advocacy and OnPoint Legal Research.

Today I’m pleased to announce a new content partnership formed by Slaw and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD).

Slaw readers will soon be seeing book . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

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 occupational health & safety law 2. Michael Spratt 3. Family LLB 4. David Whelan 5. Labour Pains

Canadian occupational health & safety law
WSIB’s New Rate Framework For Employers

Following policy consultations that took place from August 14, 2017 to January 15, 2018, the Workplace Safety

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Tuition Burden Creates Barriers to Excellence

Law school tuition in Canada has been a contentious issue for many years now. Earlier this year, Canadian Lawyer magazine stated,

Law school tuition has steadily increased since professional school tuition was deregulated in the late 1990s. According to Statistics Canada, between the 1995-1996 and 2001-2002 school years, average law school tuition increased 61 per cent, accounting for inflation. The increase was particularly large in Ontario, where tuition shot up 141 per cent.

Since then, tuitions have risen, even at schools with relatively low tuition. McGill’s tuition, while still very low compared with that of other law schools,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

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.

CONTRAT DE SERVICES : eBay Canada n’a pas commis de faute en retirant l’annonce placée par les appelants concernant la vente aux enchères d’une paire de chaussures alors que la plus haute mise était de 98 000 $.

Intitulé : eBay Canada Ltd. c. Mofo Moko, 2018 QCCA 1735
Juridiction . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (September 21 – October 24, 2018 inclusive).

Oral Judgment

Criminal Law: Impaired
R. v. Cyr-Langlois, 2017 QCCA 1033 ; 2018 SCC (37760)

The Chief Justice: “A majority of the judges of the Court would allow . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Global Perspectives

I have occasionally sought to highlight the activities and histories of legal and professional publishing businesses which, and/or whose people, I admire, or those which for one reason or another intrigue me or about which I may have some personal knowledge and opinions. Among these articles have been: Driving Mister Butterworth – 200 Years of Law Publishing; Tolley – Cento Anni!; Not All Animals Are Equal; Then There Were Two; A Most Ordinary Curriculum Vitae.

One such publisher is London-based but internationally targeted, Globe Law and Business. I am happy to declare a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Ontario Bill Tabled to Repeal Liberal Employment Standards Reforms

On October 23, 2018, the Conservative Ontario government tabled Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 to repeal certain amendments made by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (introduced as Bill 148) that implemented reforms and more job protections under the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. In addition, Bill 47 repeals Ontario Regulation 375/18 dealing with public holiday pay and makes changes to the apprenticeship program.

Bill 47 is divided into three parts. Schedule 1 deals with changes to the Employment Standards Act, schedule 2 deals with changes to the Labour Relations Act . . . [more]

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