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Archive for October, 2020

Failures of Project Leadership

I’m fascinated by project failure.

First, I believe we learn more from our failures than our successes. Success usually has an element of chance, of circumstances cohering… or at least not pulling out the rug. Yet in looking back (e.g., at after-action reviews/project debriefs), we rarely recognize the extent to which what-didn’t-happen played a part in our success.

Second, failure stories are often mesmerizing, especially big failures. They frequently read like thrillers, with plot twist after plot twist conspiring against the heroic project manager. Actually, at least half of them read more like lampoons, with the project manager anything but . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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

Is It Treble or Triple?
Neil Guthrie

They mean the same thing: consisting of three parts or things, three in number, three times an amount. A treble is also a singer with a soprano voice, often a choirboy, or a musical instrument in a high key. … . . . [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.Ontario Condo Law Blog 2. BC Provincial Court eNews 3. Crossroad Family Law Blog 4. BC Injury Law Blog 5. Paw & Order

Ontario Condo Law Blog
COVID policy upheld, oppression lessons and “welcome” expanded CAT

For the most part, policies passed by the board of directors

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Access to Justice Is Not (Just) About Lawyers and Judges

Imagine for a moment that starting tomorrow, every lawyer in the world could be hired at no charge. They’re not working for free — maybe Jeff Bezos has decided to subsidize every lawyer’s income for some unfathomable reason. Basically, anyone can hire a lawyer for whatever they need at no cost.

Consider this, and then ask yourself: Would this make access to justice better, or worse?

Are we likely to see more cases filed, or fewer? Court backlogs grow, or shrink? Go a little further and ask: Do you think you’d be able to hire a lawyer at all? Or . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Terminology in Family Law Fuelling Conflicts

The potential for conflict in litigation is likely no higher than it is in family law. This tension is created in part by an adversarial system around children, which should in most cases be collaborative or at least solution-oriented (child-centred, by another name), but also the terminology that is used in these conflicts.

The current legislative scheme in Ontario was recently summarized by Justice McArthur in Morrison v. Morrison, as follows,

[14] The legal issue involves what is in the best interests of the child. The court is required to consider the provisions outlined in Section 24(2) of the 

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

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.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS : Le locateur, qui a refusé de louer un logement aux plaignants et à leur fils X en raison de la présence du chien d’assistance de ce dernier, a compromis leur droit à la reconnaissance et à l’exercice, en pleine égalité, de leur droit de conclure un . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Two 800-Pound Gorillas?

Q: Where does an 800-pound gorilla sleep?

A: Anywhere it wants to.

I was recently interviewed by the South China Morning Post [SCMP] with respect to Premier of China Li Keqiang’s comment this May about China and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership [CPTPP]. A short article written with a quick turn-around time for publication does not allow those interviewed to provide an in-depth response. It is a good piece and gives an accurate snapshot of my “at this moment” view that now is not the time for China’s entry into the CPTPP.

But of course, that was . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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:

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

Law Reform Commission of Ireland Report on Accessibility of Legislation in the Digital Age

Law reform commission reports can be great sources for legal research. Many of the reports provide historical background and you can often find comparative information about how different jurisdictions have responded to an issue.

Case in point:

The Law Reform Commission of Ireland last week released a report on the Accessibility of Legislation in the Digital Age that makes a wide range of recommendations as to how legislation can be made available online in a more consolidated and comprehensive way.

Chapter 3 of the report, “Comparative Approaches to Making Legislation Accessible”, considers, from an historical perspective, legislative developments that have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Employee Angry Outburst Leads to Short Lived Termination

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

The 2019 British Columbia labour arbitration decision regarding BC Hydro and Power Authority and IBEW, Local 258 (Vanegas), Re (2019 CarswellBC 4126), considered the case where a worker with a history of poor behaviour had an outburst in a fact-finding meeting. This culminating incident led to his dismissal. The arbitrator’s decision demonstrates the traditional analysis that takes place in disciplinary cases with a consideration for various aggravating and mitigating factors. In this case, despite the worker’s poor record and lack of remorse, several compelling mitigating factors convinced the arbitrator to substitute . . . [more]

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

Back to (Law) School, COVID-Style

The Labour Day weekend typically finds professors feeling melancholy: the four months of our summer term, which we use primarily for research and writing, attending conferences, and graduate supervision, are again drawing to a close. We know that the next eight months will be focused on the equally important work of teaching, academic planning and governance, so our next opportunity to think deeply about our scholarship is a long way away.

Yet, since many of us are unabashed nerds, we are perpetually excited about the beginning of a new school year, replete with ambitious plans for our courses and keen . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education