Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for August, 2020

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 Appeals Monitor 2. Erin Cowling 3. Slater Vecchio Connected 4. The Every Lawyer 5. Thoughtful Legal Management

Canadian Appeals Monitor
A New Ground to Challenge the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements – An Analysis of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller

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Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Show Not Tell: Why I Am Declining to Participate in a Runnymede Society Debate

I was recently invited to participate in a Runnymede Society debate against Asher Honickman—a co-founder of the Society—on “the future of legal education and curriculum.” I paused. I consulted. I reflected. And now, I am declining that invitation. But I want to explain why.

As a former debater and mooter, I love to argue. But as a legal scholar—and especially, a scholar of critical race theory—I am mindful of power and its inseverability from the conversations we engage in. Thinking about power, and its particular dynamics within the context of this proposed Runnymede Society debate, is ultimately what led me . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Where to With Social Host Liability

Tort law in relation to alcohol-related injuries continues to grow and evolve over time, especially with a better understanding of how alcohol use can create a public harm, requiring a greater assumption of duty of care in certain circumstances.

In 1974, the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in Menow v. Jordan House Ltd., which evaluated a frequent and well-known patron of a hotel who became intoxicated there contrary to liquor licensing legislation. The patron was ejected by the defendant when he started to annoy the other customers. However, the patron knew that he would have to walk . . . [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.

TRAVAIL : L’arbitre saisi d’un grief contestant la destitution d’un policier, lequel est relatif à l’application de l’article 119 de la Loi sur la police, n’est pas lié par la décision qu’a rendue le Comité de déontologie policière.

Intitulé : Fraternité des policiers et policières de Gatineau c. Moro, . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part III: Get Notified When Your Field of Expertise Evolves

On August 26th, Lexbox benefited from a major update. Among the new features included in this release is the capacity to link to the CanLII website the legal citations from your documents, as discussed in last month’s post. We invite you to try it out by submitting a few of your own files to your Lexbox account and checking how they get interconnected with CanLII’s content.

But this post is about Lexum’s next step in providing Knowledge Management as a Service (KMaaS): making it easier for you to keep track of changes to public legal information affecting the issues . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Trial Advocacy Training Online? Successful Pilot Creates New Possibilities

If you’re reading this blog and are a litigator in Toronto, there’s a fair chance that you’ve been involved either as a participant or an instructor in Osgoode’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop (ITAW). ITAW is a multi-day program that has run every summer for the last 40 years and has had thousands of participants from Toronto, from across Canada, and from other parts of the world. It’s a rigorous program, characterized by advocacy performance in a supportive environment, personalized feedback from experienced instructors from the Bench and Bar trained in ITAW’s teaching methods, and a culminating mock jury trial presided . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Education

Employee’s Mitigation Efforts Under Fixed-Term Contract Reduces Employer’s Liability

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

What is the employer’s liability to a former employee who is dismissed from a fixed-term contract without cause, when that employee mitigates his or her loss by finding another job? Faced with mixed jurisprudence from other jurisdictions, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal answers this question for that province in Crook v Druxbury, 2020 SKCA 43 (CanLII), rendering a decision that is harmonious with the state of the law in Alberta and British Columbia. As a result, in those three Western provinces, the former employee’s mitigation of his or her loss serves . . . [more]

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

University of Victoria Faculty of Law Responds to the COVID-19 Challenge

It was not a surprise to us when classes and events were cancelled on campus mid March 2020. As an international lawyer with an interest in international disaster law I had been following the international response with dread. A faculty-led COVID-19 response team was already in place and meeting daily when the call came to transition to on-line delivery. Although we largely had to cancel our events, courses that had materials left to be delivered moved swiftly to online platforms and the exam schedule was revised from primarily sit-down, to entirely take-home. At the forefront of our deliberations was the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Thursday Thinkpiece: The Productivity Pivot

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.

The Productivity Pivot: Building a Profitable Legal Practice by Selling Yourself One Hour Every Day

Jay Harrington is an attorney, author, coach and consultant to lawyers and law firms. Prior to starting his consulting firm, Harrington Communications, Jay practiced law at large law firms Skadden and Foley & Lardner, and also co-founded . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Online Juries: Is It Possible?

It has recently been reported that jury trials may resume soon. The Toronto Star reported the following: “Canada’s justice system has no intention of holding Zoom jury trials — or cancelling them. That means … thousands of others may soon find themselves called into an Ontario courthouse, reporting for jury duty amid the ongoing pandemic — a prospect that’s left the legal community wondering how it’s all going to work.”

Perhaps blockchain technology could be used for jury trials? I previously discussed the use of blockchain for juries. I have reposted part of the article below as a potential solution . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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. Marchi v. Nelson (City of), 2020 BCCA 1 (CanLII)

[20] Certain of the impugned decisions of the street clearing crew may properly have been characterized as operational in nature. Arguably, the decision not to further extend the hours of snow clearing and the decision not to move snow into particular parking spots, leaving access to the sidewalk open in other areas . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The ATA in the Age of Vavilov

Eight months and a pandemic ago, the Supreme Court of Canada released the Vavilov trilogy (Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65). While Vavilov may have introduced a significant change in how the standard of revie is determined, it confirmed that there remain only two standards: correctness and reasonableness. However, in British Columbia, the third standard of reasonableness simpliciter remains fossilized through the provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, SBC 2004, c. 45 (“ATA”). What interests me at this point is how the BC courts have applied Vavilov, given the . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law