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Archive for March, 2021

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. R v Stephan, 2021 ABCA 82 (CanLII)

[139] Expert witnesses must accept that their methodology and opinions may well be strongly challenged given the consequential role they play in the justice system. But in our pluralistic democracy, there is no place for weighing evidence, much less determining its admissibility, based on how someone speaks the language of the proceeding. It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

A Pandemic Update on Open Access to Research

For all the lives lost and human suffering experienced as a result of this pandemic, the rapid biomedical response to this scourge has been a ray of light and hope. A number of open science approaches – including publishers making all of the relevant research open access – have led to accelerated genetic sequencing, vaccine development, three-phase clinical testing and approval and a global vaccination roll-out. The open science movement has also been spreading beyond the immediate questions of treating COVID-19.

It is influencing the opening of scholarly publishing, more generally, which is the area in which I work on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

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

Thoughts on the Oxford Comma
Neil Guthrie

When people hear I’ve published a book on writing, many of them ask for my views on the ‘Oxford’ or “serial’ comma, in that intense ‘please confirm my own view’ sort of way. The Oxford comma, so called because the University Press has long insisted on it, is used in lists: A, B, and C. Whether one needs the . . . [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 .Jumping off the Ivory Tower Podcast 2. Michael Geist 3. BC Provincial Court eNews 4. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog 5. Legal Feeds

Jumping off the Ivory Tower Podcast
Black Clients Matter

Working with a lawyer for the first time is an intimidating experience, especially

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Measuring the Impact of Legal Research

The title of this post might sound straightforward, but discussions on measuring impact in research can be confounding. 

Much of what is already written about research impact, and many of the tools that are developed to measure it, focus on the STEM and social science disciplines. These tools have been more widely developed and used for scientific research due to the significant pressure in the sciences to provide measures of impact in grant evaluations, hiring, tenure and promotion, and reputation. Measurements of impact can also be used at the institutional level too for university rankings, to support program funding, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Columns, Legal Information

What Happened, Before Applying Standard of Care

Negligence is determined by a standard of care that a relevant prudent person would undertake, rather than the results that such a theoretical person would seek to attain or avoid.

Although Canada initially inherited the reasonable person standard from England in Vaughn v. Menlove, 1837 132 ER 490, it has developed significantly since that time. It as not, however, made exceptions for mental illness as in Vaughn, but has created a number of other exceptions, most notably for experts and professionals.

The standard set by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Crits v. Sylvester, and affirmed on appeal . . . [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.

COMMERCIAL (DROIT) : La demanderesse aura droit à 320 000 $ à la suite du dévoilement à ses concurrents, par la défenderesse, de ses secrets commerciaux dans le cadre d’un appel d’offres.

Intitulé : Equisoft inc. c. Éditions Protégez-Vous, 2021 QCCS 526
Juridiction : Cour supérieure (C.S.), Montréal
Décision de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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, Oral Judgments and Leaves to Appeal granted from February 6 – March 12, 2021 inclusive.


Criminal Law: Jury Selection Process; Curative Proviso
R. v. Esseghaier, 2019 ONCA 672; 2021 SCC 9 (38861)

The curative proviso in s. 686(1) (b)(iv) can be applied to cure jury selection errors, as here where both statutory . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Social Media Posts Alleging Racism Not Defamatory

By Lewis Waring, Paralegal and Student-at-Law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In Sole Cleaning Inc v Chu (“Chu”), an individual’s disparaging social media statements about her former employer were found not to be defamatory. Chu illustrates the way the legal system may from time to time, respond to digitally published statements that disparage an organization that may indeed have negative effects on that organization’s business. In short, Ontario law may allow individual disparaging comments about the former employer and only prohibit such statements in rare cases. This high standard reflects the value that Ontario places on protecting free speech, particularly in . . . [more]

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

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

5 Kind of Litigators That Might Exist

*These characters are fictional. Any resemblance is purely accidental. This is humour.

1. The pick’m-up-truck-driving small town litigator

Small’s number is written on the local jail cell wall. Besides the odd vacation and discovery, Small’s only ever known this little town with one traffic light. Small pulled some strings to get the county judge’s kid a try-out on the hockey team. The court registrar, bailiff, trial coordinator, and, heck, all the staff, know Small on a first name basis. Small doesn’t go through security because Small has a key to the side door into the library. At the hearing Small . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Julie Macfarlane’s Going Public: Lessons for Justice System Change

It is very difficult to read about the suffering of someone you admire and care about. And yet, when I finished Julie Macfarlane’s new book, Going Public”, the story of her experiences of sexual abuse and violence, I felt enlightened and uplifted.

Why? I think it is because Julie is vulnerable about her experiences AND uses her professional wisdom, insight and experience to put her stories into a larger context.

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” Brené Brown

This book is important for many people and groups, including:

  • Survivors, their families and those supporting them
  • Professionals
. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution, Justice Issues