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Archive for December, 2020

Callow, Fraser and G: Perspectives on the Role of Law and of the Courts

Three recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions illustrate the very different perspectives or philosophies the judges bring to their consideration of the cases before them. The most recent, CM Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, dealt with the duty of honest performance in contract law, while the other two were concerned with equality issues: Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), which considered whether the RCMP pension plan discriminated against members (primarily women) who shared jobs, and Ontario (Attorney General) v. G, involving the different treatment of persons found guilty of a sexual offence and those who had committed a sexual . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, 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.


The Dangers of Dopplelawyers
Shawn Erker

Be careful: There may be another you out there, lurking in the non-SEO-optimized back quarters of the internet. Another website profile with your name, maybe even your firm’s name, but with different contact information. …

Research & Writing

More Terminology: Law Students
Neil Guthrie

A friend, who is originally from the UK and not a lawyer, asked me why we call our . . . [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. Welcome to the Food Court 2. Paw & Order 3. Stereo Decisis Podcast 4. Official Clio Blog 5. The Factum

Welcome to the Food Court
Conflicting Guidance: Importing Finished Products Containing Milk Ingredients

With Canada’s strong regulatory and supply management regimes, foreign and domestic businesses know all

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Mandatory COVID Testing Upheld in Retirement Home

The rights and obligations of workers and employers in the pandemic continue to raise new and novel issues. While many businesses encourage or require their staff to work from home, there are plenty of industries which still require work in-person, especially in deemed essential services (which differ based on jurisdiction).

A particularly challenging area has been long-term care and retirement homes, where several outbreaks have been observed across the country. Not only do these facilities have especially vulnerable residents, but they are often busy and understaffed relative to the work involved and the needs of the facility. Employers continue to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 (November 21 – December 18, 2020 inclusive).

Oral Judgments

Banking: Fraud; Insurance
Co-operators General Insurance Co. v. Sollio Groupe Coopératif, 2019 QCCA 1678; 2020 SCC 41 (38938)

Kasirer J. “We are all of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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.

FAMILLE : Le juge de première instance était fondé à attribuer une indemnisation à l’intimée en raison d’un enrichissement injustifié; au terme de la vie commune des parties, l’appelant s’est retrouvé avec une part disproportionnée de la richesse accumulée grâce aux efforts combinés des parties.

Intitulé : Droit de la . . . [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

A Taxonomy for Lawyer Technological Competence

Over the past decade, many commentators, myself included, have argued that lawyers should have a duty of technological competence. This duty now exists: in October 2019, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada amended its Model Code rule on competence to include explicit reference to technological competence. Several provincial and territorial law societies have incorporated this amendment into their respective codes, and more will hopefully soon follow suit.

The fact that there now exists a formal duty of technological competence raises the question of what, exactly, does this duty entail? What does this duty require from lawyers? In a strict . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics, Legal Technology

Tribunal Finds No Link Between Disability and Dismissal

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

Neil Patzwald was an engineer who worked at FMC Corporation from March 2011 to September 2013. His short tenure was marked by multiple lengthy absences for medical reasons, disagreements with his superiors about his abilities and suitability for his position-culminating in an acrimonious end to the employment relationship. Since it became apparent the employee had a disability, the case became centered on the employer’s duty to accommodate Mr. Patzwald. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal determined that the company did not discriminate against Mr. Patzwald on the basis of disability contrary . . . [more]

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

The Paradigm Shift of Regulatory Sandboxes

Earlier this fall, the Law Society of British Columbia made headlines when it announced the creation of an “Innovation Sandbox” that would allow unauthorized providers of legal services to deliver those services in BC on a pilot-project basis while the regulator assesses their reliability and effectiveness. From The Lawyer’s Daily:

Proposals to enter the innovation sandbox must include a summary of the services that the provider is proposing to pilot, who are expected to be clients, how the services will increase access to justice, as well as information about the provider and an assessment of any risks to the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Remedies for Visitor Visa Refusals

The Temporary Resident Visa application (a.k.a. Visitor Visa) system is broken. This is not a controversial statement. Currently, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is in the midst of reviewing the system and, in particular, section 179 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). I gave testimony and they have heard from many experts. Officers often abuse their discretionary powers per R179 which may cause extreme hardship for applicants and their families. Over the past few years, Canada has developed a reputation of being extremely difficult for visitors, even for individuals who want to reunite with Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Why the “Access to Justice” Activity Should Be Trying to Solve the A2J Problem

[The content of this article is closely related to six of my previous posts on Slaw, dated: July 25, 2019; April 9, 2020; May 29, 2020; August 6, 2020; October 22, 2020; and October 24, 2020. See also the full text on the SSRN. And, the articles cited below without authors named, are mine.]

The responses being advocated for the access to justice problem (the A2J problem) of unaffordable lawyers’ services, do not involve solving the problem. Instead, they propose using: (1) “lesser legal services providers”—people of lesser qualifications as to education and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law