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Archive for July, 2020

Reasonableness Prevails in Ruling on Due Diligence

By Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In R v Kal Tire, 2020 ABCA 200 (CanLII), the Alberta Court of Appeal clarified the law on an employer’s defence of due diligence when charged with an occupational health and safety violation. The matter came before the court when Kal Tire appealed its conviction under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“the OHSA”) for failing to ensure that a truck was rendered sufficiently inoperative while it was being serviced by one of its employees. . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: By the Court–Anonymous Judgments at the Supreme Court of Canada

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.

By the Court: Anonymous Judgments at the Supreme Court of Canada

Authors: Peter McCormick and Marc D. Zanoni

ISBN: 9780774861724
Publisher: UBC Press
Page Count: 268
Publication Date: March 1, 2020

Regular Price: $32.95 (paperback)

Excerpt: From the Preface

This book represents an unusual co-authoring partnership, between a senior (and now emeritus) . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Community-Based Access to Justice: Impact and Opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging and profound impacts on our society. The crisis has led to a surge in legal problems related to tenant rights, employment issues, domestic violence and other areas. Most would agree that, pandemic or not, access to justice is still a goal that is far beyond our grasp. Making real headway is complicated and no easy solutions exist, but in this moment there is opportunity for meaningful change. Can we seize it?

This week CLEO released a new report, Community Justice Help: Advancing Community-Based Access to Justice. It is the product of a fellowship . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part II: Linking Your Legal Citations to CanLII Material

A month ago, I introduced Lexum’s first step in providing Knowledge Management as a Service (KMaaS) via Lexbox. This development has made it possible for Lexbox users to start searching their own documents alongside the public legal information made available on the CanLII website. This post covers the upcoming release of the second feature tied to that approach. In a few weeks Lexum will integrate its citator to Lexbox, automating the linking of legal citations included in the body of documents submitted by users to the corresponding cases and legislation on CanLII.

The idea of enabling users to auto-link their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

The Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of Its Passing

In the “Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of its Passing”, trial lawyer Robert Katzberg reminds readers of the importance of the jury trial, why it is in danger of vanishing, and what makes a good trial lawyer. His arguments are grounded in stories from his experience of being a trial lawyer for over 40 years.

Katzberg began his career clerking, moving on to become a public prosecutor, then entering private practice. Where he has been till this day, specializing in white collar crime.

In the book, Katzberg describes the transition to the defense . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Technology

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. Nanda v. McEwan, 2020 ONCA 431 (CanLII)

[41] In my view, expressions concerning racism, sexism, corruption, abuse of union funds, and misconduct by a candidate for President of the Toronto Local of a Canadian public sector union relate to a matter of public interest. In the words of McLachlin C.J.C. in Torstar, at para. 102, “[i]t is enough that some . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

What We Already Knew About Shameful COVID-19 Hotspots

Without exhausting the list of populations where the coronavirus has found an enthusiastic home in Canada, there are two that have led to much tutting and promises to reform: the elderly living in long-term care homes (where sometimes younger people with certain challenges also live) and migrant workers employed on farms. But we already knew the conditions in these settings left much to be be desired. Nevertheless, in both cases, the rules and laws governing regulatory oversight have told us what happens when those responsible lose sight of the human reality and when those responsible for implementing the law fail . . . [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.


Post-Pandemic Planning Tip
Sandra Bekhor

It’s hard to believe that the COVID-19 lockdown began only three months ago. It feels like forever! And yet, many are predicting that we are just getting started. My tip? Use this time for business planning. Don’t just dust off any old run-of-the-mill template, mind you. Take an honest and deeply introspective look at your future. …

Research & Writing

Six Horrors
Neil . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Online Conferences: The Good, the Boring, and the Unmuted

For Academic Law Librarians, June and July are the conference season. Many law schools don’t have summer classes, and so what would otherwise be a slow part of the year ends up turbocharged with preparing presentations, finalizing travel arrangements, and taking care of other professional development. This summer, of course, most of us will not be attending any conferences in person. The silver lining is that I’ve been able to attend conferences I would not necessarily have been able to attend in person, such as the CALL/ACBD (Canadian Association of Law Libraries/L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit) conference, the LLNE . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Lawyered Podcast 2. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog 3. Alcohol & Advocacy 4. Library Boy 5. Eva Chan

Lawyered Podcast
57: Artificial Intelligence Law (Noel Corriveau) – July 8, 2020

On this episode, we’re looking to the future with technology lawyer, Noel Corriveau, about the evolving world of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Genetic Discrimination Measures Upheld

In Chapter 11 of the “Canadian Health Law Practice Manual,” Genetics and the Law, Amy Zarzeczny, Tracey M. Bailey and Timothy Caulfield state,

One concern that consistently emerges in relation to obtaining genetic information is the worry that an individual may be discriminated against on the basis of his or her genetic make-up and, specifically, on the basis of a predisposition to a certain condition or disease.

Discrimination can of course occur on a wide variety of fronts including, but not limited to, employment, education, housing and insurance…, not to mention on a social level.

Whether or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (June 12 – July 10, 2020 inclusive).


Contracts: Arbitration Clauses; Unconscionability
Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller, 2020 SCC 16 (38534)

Mr. Heller started a class proceeding against Uber in Ontario for violations of employment . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday