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Archive for April, 2019

When Are Government-Mandated Messages Constitutional? (Preliminary Thoughts)

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the health-related warnings mandated by the federal government to cover about 50% of a cigarette package were constitutional. But are all mandated messages constitutional? The current provincial government is mandating that gas stations place on the pumps an anti-carbon tax message. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines. But is this requirement constitutional? The province is also changing the slogan on licence plates to “A Place to Grow” from “Yours to Discover”, perhaps both of them equally anodyne, but otherwise not particularly objectionable; however, the government will be using . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

The Gift to Law Publishing of the English Language

As someone of relatively proud Irish and Italian heritage, among others, no doubt, and while daily rejoicing in the good fortune of being able to have the City of London, England, as my primary place of work and residence, nevertheless, I would not necessarily put England and “Englishness” at the top of any preference lists. I value my many English friends, family members, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances enormously and with much affection but I rate the place, apart from London, its history, traditions, political structures and culture, no higher than those of any other great country; I am . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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.


It’s Not What You Say; It’s How You Say It: Using Typefaces to Write More Persuasively
Shawn Erker

When drafting documents, the voluminous typeface options at our disposal may sometimes leave us overwhelmed and relying on the safety of default options, such as Calibri in the case of Microsoft’s Office Suite, or Arial for Google’s suite of cloud-based applications. But venturing beyond the confines of the defaults can . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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 Combat Sports Law Blog 2. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog 3. Canadian Privacy Law Blog 4. Rule of Law 5. Excess Copyright

Canadian Combat Sports Law Blog
Let’s Talk New York’s “Low Blow” Rule

Tonight Terence Crawford defeated Amir Khan. The bout ended after Khan could not

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Access to Justice: More Legal Aid Funding Is Not Enough

The Legal Aid crisis in B.C. is yet another indication that the justice system is simply not working for most Canadians. Access to justice has become a major problem across Canada and it requires a holistic solution, including both more money to Legal Aid services as well as the promotion of new types of service models for people to choose to represent themselves.

On March 29, the B.C. government and the Legal Services Society announced a one time grant of $7.9 million to temporarily increase payments to Legal Aid lawyers. This was in response to a threatened strike by Legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Convocation Approves Ryerson’s Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC)

This week, Convocation at the Law Society of Ontario voted to approve the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IRC) for Ryerson’s new law school. This will make Ryerson the second school in Ontario, following Lakehead University in 2014, to adopt this model.

Approval of the proposed curriculum, which is available online, is based on the 2014 list found in the Integrated Law Practice Program for Law Schools document, which reviews exposure to specific skills and tasks, and demonstration and assessments. What this approval means is that graduates of the new law school, which are expected in 2023, will not have to complete . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : L’appel est accueilli, car le juge de première instance a commis une erreur de principe en refusant la suggestion commune des parties; sous le couvert de l’intérêt public, il a plutôt imposé une peine qu’il trouvait plus appropriée dans les circonstances, ce qui ne respecte pas les . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Chipping Away at Access to Justice Barriers – One Innovation at a Time

How can we find ways to connect lawyers and paralegals to those who do not have access to legal services? How can we reduce linguistic, geographical, socio-economic and other barriers that make it harder for people in need of legal services to get them? What innovations might help address these challenges?

One area for innovation to facilitate access to justice is regulatory innovation. To make lawyer and paralegal services more accessible to the province’s most vulnerable, the Law Society of Ontario recently implemented a new regulatory framework that enables lawyers and paralegals employed by civil society organizations (CSOs), such as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Under the Circumstances, the Employee Cannot Claim He Did Not Receive Written Notice

The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board had to decide whether or not the employee received the written notification that he had been dismissed for cause, as required under the Employment Standards Act, and whether the employee is entitled to the statutory notice.

What happened?

The employee worked for the employer as a meat cutter for more than five years.

One day, the employer called the employee back into the office to fire him. The employer handed the employee a copy of the termination letter that contained written reasons for the employee’s dismissal. However, the employee stormed out without . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Forget Efficiency – Be Effective! Laws 1 and 2 of the Ten Laws of Legal Project Management

This is the second column of a series on the Ten Laws of (Legal) Project Management. I’ll recap the ten laws at the end of this column, but for this month, let’s focus on the first two, which revolve around the misunderstood idea of effectiveness vs. efficiency.

1. First Effectiveness, Then Efficiency

Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing the right things.

Efficiency is easy… for a consultant. For every process, there is often a more efficient way to do it – something that will save a little time, offer a slightly better result, create just a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Book Review: The Misery of International Law: Confrontations With Injustice in the Global Economy

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 Misery of International Law: Confrontations with Injustice in the Global Economy. By John Linarelli, Margot E. Salomon & Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. iv, 304 p. Includes bibliography and index. ISBN: 978-0198753957 (hardcover) $125.00.

Reviewed by Humayun Rashid
Head of Cataloguing & Reference Librarian
Bora Laskin Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews