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Archive for November, 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. NSRLP 2. Erin Cowling 3. First Reference 4. Condo Adviser 5. Double Aspect

The License Appeal Tribunal is Unfair to Self-Represented Litigants

You’ve finally saved enough and managed to buy a new home. But after you move in, you find construction defects. What do you do?

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Discouraging Sexual Harassment Through Human Rights

Damages before the Human Rights Tribunal have historically been modest, especially when compared to similar cases before the Superior Court of Justice.

The system was transformed considerably in 2006 after Bill 107, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, which allowed the Tribunal to award higher damages starting in 2008, by removing the $10,000 limit on compensatory awards for mental anguish. Under the current provisions in s. 45.2 of the Code, the Tribunal may make any order to compensate the applicant for loss arising out of the infringement, which includes compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

Despite these . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : L’appel du jugement ayant déclaré l’appelant coupable d’incitation à la haine en raison de propos diffusés sur la plateforme Web YouTube à l’endroit des musulmans dans le contexte du deuxième anniversaire de la tuerie à la grande mosquée de Québec est rejeté; l’appel de la peine est . . . [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:

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

Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Adverse Effect Discrimination

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 28 provides a sweeping overview of the law of adverse effect discrimination. This decision specifically targets the alleged discriminatory effect of the RCMP’s policy not to allow those who temporarily reduce their working hours under a job-sharing agreement to “buy back” these periods of reduced working hours for the purposes of their pension. In contrast, those who experienced gaps in their record of service by reason of suspension or spending time on unpaid leave did have the opportunity to buy back pensionable service time. After . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Bar Exam Babies and Other Bar Exam Stories

When I was in law school I remember my aunt, a trailblazing female lawyer who was born in 1948, telling me about her bar exam. She told me she took the New York subway to the exam location in the pre-dawn hours and sat on the steps outside the building waiting for it to open, just so that she could not be late. At the time, secure in my knowledge that my bar exam was years away, her caution seemed extreme. But she told me she wasn’t alone on those steps; she shared her silent vigil with a small group . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Helpful Tips for Getting Through the Work Day

With COVID fatigue setting in and winter coming, motivation to complete work may be in short supply. The Harvard Business Review released an article this week titled “Feeling Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Get through the Workday” by Alice Boyes. 

Alice Boyes offers the following tips for beating the blues and carrying on with work:

  1. “Focus on a familiar activity”. Begin by working on a “old” activity that you have lots of experience performing. The sense of accomplishment after the completing the work will help motivate you to take on more tasks.
  2. “Tackle an unfamiliar task”. Working on a task
. . . [more]
Posted in: 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. Gorham et al. v. Behm et al., 2020 ONSC 6469 (CanLII)

[18] I find on a balance of probabilities that the Defendants were motivated to express themselves with a view to communicating with a community they were part of in hopes of bringing about positive change to that community. Their motivation strikes me as reasonable and their communication was consistent with . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Rethinking Ontario’s Anti-SLAPP Law After Bent v. Platnick

In 2015, Ontario passed legislation aimed at protecting defendants from lawsuits stifling expressions made in the public interest. One aspect of this law is that it allows defendants to successfully bring an expedited motion to dismiss even in circumstances where the plaintiff’s action has substantial merit and there are no valid defences that could reasonably be advanced at trial.

This is known as the “public interest hurdle” analysis and, more exactly, provides that an action will not be dismissed if the plaintiff can show

the harm likely to be or have been suffered by the responding party [plaintiff] as a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Ethics

Dissecting the Majority and Dissenting Opinions in Fraser

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General) (“Fraser”) illustrates the fissures on the Court in the judges’ approaches to equality undersection 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although there are also other factors explaining the differences in the majority and dissenting opinions, here I discuss three that are somewhat distinct from the facts of the case: the nature of “equality” under section 15(1); the interrelationship between the law and the social and economic context; and the role of the courts. . . . [more]

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

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

Confusing Pairs – More in a Continuing Series
Neil Guthrie

Oh, so many pitfalls. Here are a few more that have crossed the radar recently. Credible/creditable: The first means ‘believable’, as in Inconsistencies in the witness’s testimony led inevitably to the conclusion that her evidence was not credible. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Legal Publishing: Open Access, Open Minds, Open Wallets

I found it challenging recently to be asked if I have any further observations or opinions in relation to open access to the law book environment. The short answer is, “probably not”, but the fault for that is mine. However, given that the significant issues relate almost exclusively to primary legal materials, most of what needs to be argued on that is done elsewhere.

However, I do think that the question of open access in legal information publishing is entirely bound up with other related ones. Open access is part of an innovation debate. Key issues include the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing