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Archive for December, 2018

Friday Roundup: Slaw Jobs

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

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Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Why BC’s New Environmental Assessment Act Is Worth Celebrating

Last month, BC’s Bill 51, the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) received Royal Assent. The new EA Act will replace BC’s 2002 environmental assessment law and will likely come into force in late 2019, after consultation on key regulations.

At a time when the proposed new federal Impact Assessment Act – a relatively modest proposal still making its way through the Senate – is more likely to be in the news, BC’s innovative new environmental assessment law has largely flown under the radar.

Here’s why it is worth celebrating.

Advancing Reconciliation and Sustainability

BC’s new EA Act requires the Environmental . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Federal Omnibus Bill Employment Law Changes Passed

Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018, and other measures received royal assent December 13, 2018. This new law extensively amends the Canada Labour Code, makes changes to the Employment Insurance Act, the Wage Earner Protection Program Act and introduces a federal Pay Equity Act. . . . [more]

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

Doctors: They’re Just Like Us (Lawyers)

In 2009, Dr. Atul Gawande published The Checklist Manifesto, to general acclaim. Even Malcolm Gladwell and The New York Times loved it. And it sent many legal knowledge managers into paroxysms of delight. The book helped many of us move from the drudgery of drafting templates and precedents to simplifying processes and managing matters by checklists. This dovetailed nicely with a then-emerging focus on legal project management and process improvement.

Once again, Dr. Atul Gawande is a step ahead of most of us in the legal technology community, by writing about doctors’ pure, burning hatred of the software . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: Truth and Conviction–Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice

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.

Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice

L. Jane McMillan is the former Canada Research Chair for Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Communities and chair of the Department of Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. A former eel fisher and one of the original . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

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. Bazos v. Bell Media Inc., 2018 ONSC 7462

[7] The Applicant submits that she is a public interest litigant and that she should be subject to the discretionary rule that is sometimes applied in public interest litigation that no costs, or reduced costs, are ordered. The Applicant submits that costs should not be awarded against her. Alternatively, the Applicant submits that . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Celebrating Alice

In less than 15 years in the legal academy, Alice Woolley accomplished more than many do in an entire career. As she moves onto a new stage in her professional life, this post takes a moment to celebrate Alice for all she’s done for the legal ethics community in Canada and internationally.

For those readers who missed the news, on November 21, 2018, the federal Minister of Justice announced that Alice Woolley has been appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary. And so, Professor Alice Woolley became Justice Alice Woolley. With this change in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Remembering Why a Non-Partisan Police Force Matters

One of the fundamental premises of a liberal democracy operating according to a particular view of the rule of law is that the police apparatus, while part of the executive branch, must be free of inappropriate political interference, although they may be subject to political direction within acknowledged bounds. Canada is neither a police or military dictatorship; we have civilian governments at all levels. Police have a certain discretion to act; the executive can determine how police resources are used, as long as it is not done in an arbitrary way; and there is judicial oversight of both police . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

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.


Convert PDF to Text
Law Society of Saskatchewan Library

You know what really grinds my gears? When I open a PDF file containing what appears to be digitally-formatted text and find that it is non-copyable and non-searchable. The ability to search, copy and paste text are essential functions of digital communications – so the idea that a text is born digitally and therefore ASCII (American Standard Code for . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Interested in Testing the Potential of AI on Your Own Dataset?

For the last year or so, our Lexum Lab team has been playing around with machine learning algorithms. ”Telling the fortune” of users based on their search history was one option, but this example showed us that it may not turned out according to plan. Instead our team came up with two applications promising to considerably enhance legal information retrieval. And we are currently looking for partner organizations who are interested in trying them out.

The first one is called Facts2Law. Using the latest deep learning techniques, it predicts the most relevant Canadian case law (and eventually legislation) when presented . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

From NAFTA to the CUSMA/USMCA – a New Trade Template?

Part I. The New Deal and Continued Uncertainty

On September 30th, after 14 months of difficult talks, Canada and the United States announced the successful completion of their NAFTA re-negotiations. Whether the latest U.S. deadline was “real” or not, it is likely that both the Trump Administration’s threat that it would proceed with a U.S-Mexico agreement without Canada and the risk for the United States that such a bilateral deal would not pass Congressional review spurred both countries to make the last minute concessions that led to agreement in principle on the renamed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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. Great LEXpectations 2. The Court 3. Erin Cowling 4. Canadian Privacy Law Blog OK  5. Barry Sookman

Great LEXpectations
It’s #clawbie2018 Time!

The Canadian Law Blog Awards, or Clawbies, have opened for 2018! What? You’re not familiar with a Clawbie? How can that be? They’ve been around

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Posted in: Monday’s Mix