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Archive for May, 2020

New ESA Termination and Severance Pandemic Regulation

On March 19, 2020, the Government of Ontario created a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, which created a new emergency leave to protect workers who were sick from COVID-19. This was an important protection to ensure that workers were not dismissed as a result of being sick during the pandemic.

As the pandemic drags on, and social isolation and distancing rules create significant economic barriers for businesses, many lawyers have been considering whether there would be an enormous wave of employment litigation following the conclusion of the pandemic. Many employers have had to reduce wages, modify the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

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 Ju stice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

FAILLITE ET INSOLVABILITÉ : Vu l’état d’urgence sanitaire, il convient d’accueillir la demande d’ordonnance omnibus produite par la surintendante des faillites et visant à assurer une plus grande flexibilité dans tous les dossiers de faillite de la province de Québec.

Intitulé : Proposition de St-Pierre, 2020 QCCS 1374
Juridiction . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Friday Jobs Roundup

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):

  • Managing Director (Full-time) | Toronto, ON
    (Legal Information and Resource Network (LIRN)
. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Society’s Income-Inequality Unrest and Law Society Access to Justice Failure

[See the full text of this article on the SSRN. This one is related to my two previous Slaw posts dated: July 25, 2019, and April 9, 2020]

Law society bencher-based[i] management structure: (1) has caused and perpetuates the very destructive access to justice problem (the A2J problem) of unaffordable lawyers’ services for middle- and lower-income people; which has a cause-and-effect relationship with, (2) increasing the negative consequences of society’s equally destructive income-inequality problem. Law societies are thereby abandoning that majority of society such that those many millions of people will have no choice but to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Lawyers Helping Law Students (In Smaller Bites)

You’ve likely come across Peter Sankoff’s #100interns project over the past few months. Peter executed a very successful campaign of connecting law students with various practitioners, small firms and educational institutions around the country.

Students with an interest in Criminal law were paired with practitioners or researchers; giving them the experience they would normally have found during summer intern positions. The idea of filling this “COVID gap” for law students is incredibly admirable; though the project has since finished, and was limited to those seeking criminal law experience.

Over the past couple weeks I have been contacted about two student-led . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training

Provincial Insolvency Decision Hangs in Balance

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

On March 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Canada v. Canada North Group Inc., 2019 ABCA 314 (CanLII). The decision canvasses the priority that attaches to money that is borrowed in restructuring proceedings to preserve value in an insolvent company. The decision considered whether these charges rank ahead of other claims that are also granted priority under federal legislation. The issue, therefore, was the relative ranking of “super-priority” court-ordered charges in proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Double Whammy on Law Firms: COVID-19 and the Troubled Economy

When lawyers turned the calendar page to January 2020, they could not have dreamt of the two-fold nightmare that would descend upon the profession so quickly. A global pandemic and a tanking economy at the same time? We thought we had seen the end of hard times when we finally emerged from The Great Recession in 2009. Some of our lawyer friends still have lines of credit to pay down from that recession.

While government leaders say the economy will “come roaring back” or “I’ll bring the economy back,” most lawyers are skeptical, to say the least.

The New Normal

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Book Review: Assisted Death: Legal, Social and Ethical Issues After Carter

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.

Assisted Death: Legal, Social and Ethical Issues after Carter. Edited by Derek B.M. Ross. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018. xlii, 544 p. Includes table of cases. ISBN 978-0- 433-49868-1 (softcover) $125.00.

Reviewed by Kim Clarke
Director, Bennett Jones Law Library
University of Calgary
In CLLR 45:2

Considering that Carter, 2015 SCC 5, . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Should Affidavits of Service Be Required?

Recently lawyers have been debating online about whether the rules about affidavits of service should be reformed. Particularly in the context of serving documents by email, and there is a clear record of service.

Service is important. It ensures that parties know about important court events before they happen. Sometimes self-represented litigants do not know that they must serve materials before filing. Requiring an affidavit of service before filing prevents litigants from unintentionally bringing ex parte motions.

However, we may be able to reach the same outcome without requiring affidavits of service. We can design a better system.

On Twitter . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Dealing With the Death of a Lawyer

I had another article ready to go but in these unusual times, talking about marketing plans felt a little like ignoring the elephant in the room. So today I’ll post what I’ve been dreading but what is inevitable -and potentially very valid these days. It is also an important and necessary skill for anyone assisting with Law Firm Marketing: dealing with the death of a lawyer.

Throughout my career, I’ve had to deal with the death of a Partner, and advise clients on how to deal with the death of lawyers in their firm. It’s not surprising, really. Like taxes, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

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. Meads v. Meads2012 ABQB 571

[1] This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Constitutionality of Interprovincial Boundary Closures (Part II)


In my post last week, I blogged the background to an analysis of constitutional challenges to interprovincial border closures. I briefly referred to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Comeau, which considered the constitutionality of barriers to interprovincial trade represented by section 134 of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act limitations on the amount of liquor and beer that someone could bring into New Brunswick from another province. I also set out some of the border closures established by provinces and territories during the coronavirus pandemic, with an emphasis on the situation as the jurisdictions begin . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law