Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for April, 2019

The Return of Textualism to the Court

Canada has largely been a leader in the use of arbitration for the resolution of disputes. When UNCITRAL finalized and adopted in July 2014 the”United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration“, also known as the “Mauritius Convention on Transparency,” Canada became the second State to ratify it on December 12, 2016. To date, 22 states have signed the Convention, and only 5, including Canada, have ratified it.

Although the focus of this Convention was on arbitrations between an investor and a State and the implementation of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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.

MUNICIPAL (DROIT) : Le pourvoi en contrôle judiciaire visant à attaquer la légalité et la validité de la décision de l’arrondissement de Montréal-Nord ayant déclaré dangereux un chien de type pitbull qui a mordu 4 enfants et 2 adultes et ayant ordonné son euthanasie est rejeté.

Intitulé : Road to . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday


As we write this, we are a week out from ABA TECHSHOW 2019, which author Simek had the honor of co-chairing along with our longtime friend Lincoln Mead.

There was a lot of conversation before, during and after TECHSHOW about the future of legal tech conferences, especially ABA TECHSHOW itself. Before the conference began, our friends Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy recorded a Legal Talk Network podcast on-site on the TECHSHOW EXPO floor discussing the future of legal tech conferences. You may listen to the podcast here.

During the conference, we talked at length with other members of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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

Another Quebec Law on the Religious Neutrality of the State

On March 28, 2019, the Coalition Avenir Quebec government tabled Bill n°21: An Act respecting the laicity of the State to fulfill an election promise to ensure the religious neutrality of the state and prohibit many public sector employees from wearing religious symbols at work. The proposed legislation is being studied in parliament at this moment.

After the failed attempts of the Parti Québécois with its charter of values in 2014, and the Liberal Party with Bill 62 in 2017 with an Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for requests for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Thursday Thinkpiece: Fostering the Role of the Transactional Lawyer as Storyteller

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.

Happily Ever After: Fostering the Role of the Transactional Lawyer as Storyteller
20 Tenn. J. Bus. L. 491 (2019)

Karen J. Sneddon, Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law and Susan M. Chesler, Clinical Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Excerpt: Parts I through Part V, . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Don’t Change You!

We all know the power of personal branding – what it is that makes you unique, stand out or differentiate from the rest. We know that personal branding is huge in our business. The question is how can we help clients make that connection to you? Your brand is a great place to start.

Personal branding is about you. More specifically it is about embracing aspects of who you are rather than changing who you are. Often I hear lawyers talk building their brand while failing to realise that what they are trying to achieve is not part of their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Book Review: Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada’s Chemical Valley

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.

Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justice in Canada’s Chemical Valley. By Sarah Marie Wiebe. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. xx, 260 p. Includes forward by James Tully, bibliographic references, photo essays, index, and appendices. ISBN 978-0-7748-3263-2 (hardcover), $95.00. ISBN 978-0-7748-32649-9 (softcover), $32.95.

Reviewed by Nadine R. Hoffman
Natural Resources, Energy . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

“Outsiders” and “Insiders” Can Change the Justice System Together

In the last five years, the engagement, skill and experience of individuals representing themselves in the justice system has changed in a number of very important ways. NSRLP has a number of data points to reinforce this observation, including the 2015/16 Intake Report and the 2017 Intake Report which noted:

“Last year we were struck by the growing sophistication and nuance of the tips offered by SRLs to others who face similar circumstances. In 2017, we continue to see very detailed advice offered to other SRLs. Respondents offered personal experiences with preparing court documents, preparing for appearances, how to research,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

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. Toronto Transit Commission v Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, 2019 CanLII 22225 (ON LA)

Turning to the Wigmore criteria, my conclusion is that the TTC has not met its onus of establishing that these documents should be considered privileged on a case-by-case basis. As noted above, all four criteria must apply for the privilege to attach on a case-by-case basis. As . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

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

Neil Guthrie

Your prose should be tight, toned and vigorous if you want to engage rather than repel your reader. …


Consider Client Confidentiality–Disable Message Previews
Emma Durand-Wood

Today’s tip is to consider whether reminders or message previews on any of your devices could compromise client confidentiality. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

The Ombudsman: A Little Bit Country (Sweden) and a Little Bit Rock and Roll (Or Not)

When most lawyers think of administrative law, we think of administrative decision makers and tribunals, or the judicial review process. However, there is an adjunct to the administrative law process that is not technically an administrative tribunal or traditional decision-making body, yet which shares many of the concerns of administrative law. This is the Ombudsman, an administrative agency that may seem obscure to or misunderstood by some.

The Ombudsman is often a place of last resort for citizens who have exhausted all decision making remedies or for whom there is no administrative or legal process that can address their concerns . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law