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Archive for October, 2018

Advocating for a Mentally Healthy Attitude Toward Mental Health

A couple of things you may not know about heart surgery: patients are given “cough pillows.” They use them the first few weeks after surgery, hugging them to their bodies to lessen the pain that comes with coughing, sneezing or even laughing after your sternum has been cut open.

And did you know that severe depression is often a side-effect of open-heart surgery?

Two years ago, CBA President Ray Adlington was recovering from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm, clutching his heart pillow and too depressed to do much more than go from his recliner to his bed, where he . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Thursday Thinkpiece: Sossin & Lawrence on Advocacy Before a Department or an Administrative Agency

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.

Administrative Law in Practice: Principles and Advocacy

Title: Administrative Law in Practice: Principles and Advocacy
Authors: Lorne Sossin and Emily Lawrence
Foreword: The Honorable Justice Freya Kristjanson, Ontario Superior Court of Justice

ISBN: 978-1-77255-141-9
Publisher: Emond Publishing
Page Count: 320

Publication Date: June, 2018
Regular Price: $129 (print), $109 (e-book)

Excerpt: “Advocacy . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

PIPEDA Breach Notification & Recording Starts Nov 1 – Are You Ready?

Starting Nov 1 2018 PIPEDA requires businesses to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of any privacy breach that poses “a real risk of significant harm”.

It also requires businesses to keep a record of all breaches of security safeguards that involve personal information, even if there is no risk of harm. It must include details of why a breach does not pass the reporting threshold.

So simply dealing with a potentially harmful privacy breach when and if it happens is not sufficient compliance.

The Commissioner can ask to see that breach record at any time. Failure to comply . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, 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. Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103, 1986 CanLII 46

1. The Chief Justice‑‑This appeal concerns the constitutionality of s. 8 of the Narcotic Control Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. N‑1. The section provides, in brief, that if the Court finds the accused in possession of a narcotic, he is presumed to be in possession for the purpose of trafficking. Unless . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Law Review in the 21st Century (Or Legal Scholarship in the Twitter Age)

Let me share several observations about legal scholarship in general and law reviews in particular.

First, we cannot simply continue to do things the way we have always done them. That is a recipe for irrelevance at best and for obsolescence at worst. This statement applies equally to the practice of law, to the justice system and to legal education. It applies in equal if not stronger force to legal scholarship because unlike legal education in this country at least, the forces of globalization, technology and competition are exerting pressure on traditional legal scholarship in this country.

An aspiring law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Law, Regulation, Policy, Rule, Guideline, or Mere Suggestion?

Or As My Kids Might Say, “Do I Have To?”

For some who do not routinely work in the field of administrative law, the idea of statutory authority is generally thought of as the statute itself and whatever regulations might be created by cabinet in relation to the statute. However, administrative law is replete with examples of statutes that grant administrative bodies the authority to create regulations or other kinds of rules.

There is also ample case law regarding scope of an administrative body’s authority to create regulations, rules, guidelines, or other principles by which it might compel or direct. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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.


Remove Formatting From Copied Text
Luigi Benetton

Researching articles. Writing school assignments. Quoting other people in blog posts. During each activity, I usually cut text from one document and paste it into another. …

Research & Writing

Is It OK or Okay?
Neil Guthrie

Not a question that arises in connection with drafting a contract or pleadings (one hopes), but certainly in composing e-mail. Both are recognised forms. . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Still More on Electronic Wills

Here are some further thoughts on how Canada might authorize electronic wills. Perhaps the Uniform Law Conference of Canada could use them in the mix of policy proposals when and if it takes up the topic, as it is almost bound to do sooner or later – as companion jurisdictions move towards law reform.

Speaking of those jurisdictions:

• In July, 2018, the Uniform Law Commission in the US gave first reading to its Uniform Electronic Wills Act. No further draft has been released to follow up on the discussion. The developments in that project so far are online at

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

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. Risk Management & Crisis Response 2. Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog 3. IFLS at Osgoode 4. Civil Resolution Tribunal blog 5. Know How

Risk Management & Crisis Response
DOJ launches FCPA investigation into Major League Baseball

The U.S. Department of Justice (the DOJ) has reportedly commenced an

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

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.

FAMILLE : Alors que certaines dispositions du Code de procédure civile viennent conférer aux notaires le pouvoir d’accomplir des actes autrefois réservés aux avocats, le demandeur n’a pas démontré qu’il est du ressort exclusif de l’avocat de rédiger la demande conjointe sur projet d’accord réglant les conséquences de la séparation . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Rights and Responsibilities Of Self-Represented Parties in Arbitration

About eight years ago I published a document called The Rights and Responsibilities of Self-Represented Litigants that took rights-based approach to the role of litigants within the justice system and the expectations they should have as to how they will be treated. It was a response to the attitude, common among the bench and bar at the time, that litigants without counsel are irritating interlopers who gum up the finely oiled machine that is the justice system, and was intended to spell out, in a positive way, the expectations such litigants should have as they navigate the justice system.

As . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Ontario’s Third Annual Access to Justice Week Begins on Monday, October 22

Improving access to justice is about pushing boundaries in our understanding of key issues at the forefront of the justice sector. It’s about engaging in discussions to move the dial forward, to break down barriers and develop meaningful solutions. This cannot happen in the justice sector alone. It takes stakeholders and experts from a diverse range of backgrounds, each with their own unique relationship to the law, to bring their perspectives and experience forward.

How does a senior investigative correspondent for the CBC understand mental health challenges in the justice system? How can we close the gap in representation in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues