Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for February, 2019

Continued Consultations on Possible Complex Canada Labour Code Changes

Important changes to the Canada Labour Code were recently made (i.e., Bill C-63 and C-86, among others), but the government’s work to modernize the Canada Labour Code isn’t done yet. On February 20, 2019, the federal government convened an independent expert panel to provide advice on five complex workplace issues facing Canadian employers and employees due to the changing nature of work. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Book Review: The Judicial Role in a Diverse Federation: Lessons From the Supreme Court of Canada

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

The Judicial Role in a Diverse Federation: Lessons from the Supreme Court of Canada. By Robert Schertzer. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. ix, 338 p. Includes tables, bibliography, and index. ISBN 978- 1487500283 (cloth) $52.50.

Reviewed by Kim Clarke
Director, Bennett Jones Law Library University of Calgary
In CLLR 43:4 . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

New Skills for Lawyers and Conflict Management Professionals

Two important new articles came across my desk in the last week or so. They each offer lists of new skills and aptitudes that will be needed by lawyers and conflict management professionals (mediators, arbitrators, negotiators etc.) in the “new world”.

In the first article, Noam Ebner and Elayne E. Greenberg explore this topic with the provocative title “What Dinosaurs Can Teach Lawyers About How to Avoid Extinction in the ODR Evolution.” (Note 1) They begin with the following salvo to the legal profession:

This paper is a wake-up call for the legal profession: Heed the justice changes

. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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. Ruston v. Keddco MFG. (2011) Ltd., 2019 ONCA 125

[18] It does not follow from the fact that this is the same conduct which the trial judge referred to in making the aggravated damages award that an award of punitive damages amounted to either double recovery or double punishment. That is because aggravated damages aim to compensate a plaintiff for heightened . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

“The Most Significant Access to Justice Gathering in a Decade”

David Steven, the head of the secretariat of the Task Force on Justice, wrapped up three days of meetings in the Peace Palace on the challenge of delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 16.3. He looked at a fulfilled and tired audience at the end of the 9th edition of the Innovating Justice Forum, the Justice Partnership Forum, and a ministerial meeting.

The gathering produced an important political document that can now be invoked and used to guide strategy making and implementation: the Hague Declaration on Equal Access to Justice for All by 2030. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Solving the Issue of Access to Justice by Redefining “Access to Justice”

“Justice is open to all; like the Ritz Hotel.”

In the article “Clients Need Legal Services But Not Necessarily Lawyers“, Mark Cohen writes about the issue of access to justice. He points out that improving access to justice does not always mean improving access to lawyers. He refers to new products that provide legal services. These products include a chatbot that helps fight parking tickets, LegalZoom, Hello Divorce, and alternative legal service providers (like in house departments) that are not built on the profit per partner model.

Cohen also refers to the scholarship by Rebecca Sandefur in explaining . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Education, Unbundling, Pro Bono, Lawyer Surcharge, Judicial Intervention-What’s the Answer to Achieving A2J?

We know that too many litigants are forced to represent themselves, sometimes with some form of assistance. These are people who cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for legal aid. (I am concerned here with people who would prefer to have a lawyer rather than those who want to represent themselves.) They may not even become litigants, but, where they are able, give up the opportunity to seek the justice they believe they deserve. They may then, legal problems left unresolved, find themselves spiraling downward into other problems. We know all this. But what we don’t seem to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The Cost of Becoming a Lawyer

The Law Students Society of Ontario (the “LSSO”) recently surveyed Ontario law students to better understand the debt load experienced by them and its effect on them. The LSSO Report provides important insights into the effects of increased law school tuition costs.

The LSSO Report has been well received and rightly so. However, the point of this column is not just to laud the report but to engage with it and its observations. In order to seriously address the observations in the LSSO Report, it is necessary to consider the report and to look at the cost of becoming a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education, Legal Ethics

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.

Research & Writing

Henry VIII Clauses
Susannah Tredwell

The general rule of thumb is that acts are amended (or repealed) by acts and regulations are amended (or repealed) by regulations. Some acts do explicitly state that they can be amended by regulation, although what can be amended is usually minor (e.g. making changes to a schedule to an act). …


Upgrade Your Device Charge Cables
Emma Durand-Wood

I . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law

The 17th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law will take place in Montreal, Quebec this year June 17-21. Aptly the venue will be the Cyberjustice Laboratory at the Université de Montréal. This is a biennial conference organized by members of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law.

The Cyberjustice Lab is international in scope and pursues a multidisciplinary approach, assembling “stakeholders, legal professionals, public actors and academics to rethink the justice system and both overcome its modern challenges as well as improve access to justice.” They investigate with a view that “technology, and especially AI, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

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. Le Blogue du CRL 2. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 3. Legal Sourcery 4. Kate Dewhirst 5. David Whelan

Le Blogue du CRL
Sélection SOQUIJ – Guimont c. Bussières, 2019 QCCA 280Upcoming Research Training

COMMUNICATIONS : La Loi sur la presse ne s’applique pas à

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Investigating Issues of Intersectionality

The notion of “intersectionality” has become a popular buzzword in pop culture and social activist groups. It describes the notion that various grounds of discrimination, such as gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc., can affect and interact with each other in overlapping and complex ways.

First coined within the feminist movement in the early 80’s to help illustrate the exclusion of racialized women from many feminist initiatives, it helped illustrate how advocacy on behalf of a discriminated or marginalized group can also inadvertently create its own patterns of oppression and exclusion, not only towards other discriminated groups, but within . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions