Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for November, 2020

Finding the “COVID Boundary” in CanLII Usage Statistics 🦖

I’m no palaeontologist, but being the father of a 7-year-old boy, I talk about dinosaurs more than the average human. My son doesn’t necessarily have that of a great interest in our prehistoric friends themselves, but his thirst for knowledge about the circumstances of their disappearance is seemingly insatiable.

Those father-son discussions about the extinction of dinosaurs led me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole only to discover the existence of such a thing as the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. This boundary is a line of dark dust with high concentrations of iridium, which, according to the leading hypothesis, came from the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology

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 Securities Law 2. Diversonomics 3. Lash Condo Law 4. Civil Resolution Tribunal blog 5. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog

Canadian Securities Law
OSC Sets Out Interpretative Guidance in its Corporate Finance Branch Annual Report for 2020

The overview of the OSC Corporate Finance Branch’s

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Debating the Definition of Disability

Over 500,000 individuals and their qualifying family members received the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), prior to the pandemic. Our social supports system will be even more important in the economic recovery following the pandemic.

ODSP is a last resort income support paid to individuals who are disabled, as defined in s. 4(1) the of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997,

(a) the person has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and expected to last one year or more;

(b) the direct and cumulative effect of the impairment on the person’s ability to attend

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, 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 Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

RESPONSABILITÉ : La juge de première instance n’a pas commis une erreur manifeste et déterminante en estimant que les gendarmes n’avaient pas cherché, de façon objective, à déterminer l’existence de motifs raisonnables et probables de croire qu’une infraction avait été commise, mais qu’ils s’étaient plutôt concentrés sur les éléments incriminants . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Announcing the National Family Law Arbitration Course

I am really very pleased to announce the new National Family Law Arbitration Course, a 40-hour course organized by myself, Lorne Wolfson and the inimitable Lawrence Pinksy. This course is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes in Canada, and includes two optional 7-hour pre-course programs for mental health professionals and family law lawyers inclined toward masochism and therefore interested in working as parenting coordinators.

While good arbitration courses abound in this country, they tend to focus on employment, construction and other corporate and commercial disputes; none are designed to address the special . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

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

Using Covid to Progress Your Firm

Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter developed the theory of creative destruction to describe how something good, and even much needed, can come out of a tragedy. The theory suggests that some businesses must die and paradigms must be “swept away” in order to make room for new ones that will better survive the future.

This is a concept found in nature. For example, we know that left to their own devices, forests will burn down from time to time to clean out the forest floor and force a renewal. While it might feel heartless to apply the same principle to business, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

Understanding the Impacts of Access to Legal Help

If popular culture is to be believed, the success of a legal dispute is determined foremost by the calibre and character of one’s legal representative; the ability to deliver an inspiring closing argument is a clear signal that a favorable outcome is forthcoming. The recipe, it would appear, is one part institutional knowledge added to one part intuitiveness sprinkled with a dash of showmanship. (A devil-may-care regard for the truth and facts is optional.) Notwithstanding the oft times sensationalistic portrayal of lawyers in film, novels and the news, the role that legal professionals play in securing satisfactory outcomes for people . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Book Review: Commissions of Inquiry

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.

Commissions of Inquiry. By Hon. Stephen Goudge & Heather MacIvor. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2019. xvi, 510 p. Includes appendices and index. ISBN 9780433503118 (softcover) $120.00.

Reviewed by Paul F. McKenna
Lecturer, School of Information Management
Dalhousie University
In CLLR 45:3

This comprehensive work deals with all things related to the concept, characteristics, . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

How Amazon Will Enter the Legal Market

“The competition that kills you may not look like you”. – Richard Susskind

In “Law is Not Ready for Amazon. Is Amazon Ready for Law?”, Mark Cohen writes that Amazon will continue to encroach on the legal market. The legal market meets Amazon’s three criteria for disrupting an industry. Amazon’s three criteria that must be met include: “(1) an original approach that does not mimic existing models; (2) scalability; and (3) potential for significant return on investment.”

Currently, legal providers are fragmented. There is no Goliath. And today’s leading legal providers focus on high-end clientele, and ignore a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

An Emerging Ministers of Justice Movement

Since April, we have been calling for justice leaders of the world to get out of their national cubby holes and come together to share fears, failures, successes, and strategies, just like public health minister are doing. The COVID-19 crisis is too big and too unprecedented to deal with on your own national level. On 20 October, 22 ministers of justice did just that at the Justice for All in a Global Emergency meeting convened by Minister of Justice of Canada, David Lametti (see end for participants). It was a significant moment. For 90 minutes, they shared their experiences in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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. Attorney General for Ontario v. Persons Unknown, 2020 ONSC 6974 (CanLII)

[76] In my view, the “Persons Unknown” format does not allow the Attorney General to seek ex parte interpretations of laws to restrict unnamed respondents from suing others in future. Neither is it appropriate for the Attorney General to seek this court’s legal opinion on a hypothetical question of interpretation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII