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Archive for November, 2021

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 Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs:

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

Why We Need a Canada Trade Secrets Act

To address the growing problem of trade secret theft hurting Canadian businesses and innovators, the federal government needs to consider a major legislative reform to its existing IP laws. It is time to start thinking about passing a federal Canada Trade Secrets Act.

The idea of a legislative answer to the problem of trade secret theft in Canada is not new. The Alberta Law Reform Institute proposed model legislation in 1986. The Uniform Law Conference of Canada did the same in 1987. Although these early model laws were for adoption by the provinces, they could easily be . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Leadership Advice for Lawyers

Based on a SLAW post I wrote in 2017, I was recently asked to speak at a conference for women lawyers on leadership. The article focussed on how to effectively lead practice groups and client teams. The date of the original article serves as evidence that I’ve been encouraging leadership skills development in lawyers for a long time, but it really began in the early 2000’s when I developed my initial processes for practice group management. Back then, I quickly realized that most of my training and support would need to be with the practice group leaders. They set the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, 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. Lavergne-Poitras v. Canada (Attorney General), 2021 FC 1232

[58] The Attorney General concedes that forced medical treatment, including forced vaccination, would engage liberty and security of the person interests under section 7 of the Charter. However, the Attorney General argues that the supplier vaccination policy does not mandate vaccination, and that section 7 does not protect purely economic interests, including an . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Case Conferences: Gaining Popularity

In Innocon Inc. v. Daro Flooring Constructions Inc., 2021 ONSC 7558, Justice F. L. Myers writes that “Parties should expect case conferences to be used to resolve summarily procedural issues with greater frequency. With current backlogs and resource limitations, there is simply no judicial time available to schedule short motions especially those which, like here, are tactical and do not advance the resolution of the case on its merits”.

Case conferences are on the rise for good reason. They help move cases forward by:

  • (a) providing an opportunity for issues to be settled without a hearing,
  • (b) providing an
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Assisted Decision-Making and the Proposed EU AI Regulation : An Emerging Paradigm Shift From Consent to Contextually Mitigating Human Rights Violations

Artificial intelligence is briskly transforming consequential decision-making, disrupting democratic institutions. Most recently, some 26 000 Dutch parents of immigrant background or members of cultural communities stood wrongfully accused of defrauding their government with disastrous consequences, including suicide. It later surfaced that the authorities had naively procured an algorithm to more efficiently detect the fraudulent obtention of child benefit subsidies. Unbeknownst to the AI deployers or its victims, the procured algorithm insidiously factored ethnic origin in its assessment, thereby effectively disproportionately singling out immigrants or those holding dual citizenship. Disturbingly, this occurred notwithstanding multiple stringent, time-honoured legal prohibitions on such practices . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Free North Declaration: Let’s Parse Its Call to Arms

INTRODUCTION

A group of lawyers have entered the fray against Covid-19 restrictions, issuing a document with the ringing title, “Free North Declaration” (“Declaration”) (see here for the version dated November 23, 2021). A strident endorsement of individual freedom, the document picks up on the canards that have permeated the debate over these many months.

By identifying themselves as “Canadian lawyers”, one assumes the originators of the Declaration seek to give it a veneer of authority that many protests against the various Covid-related restrictions governments have imposed lack. Here I explore the document, identifying what in my own view are legitimate . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Tale of Two Copyright Inquiries

I wish to consider two copyright initiatives currently underway in Canada and the United States, as they bear on changes in intellectual property law, and hold lessons for my efforts to increase public access to research and scholarship. Researchers are identified as a concerned party in the Canadian instance, while the American example, if tangential to scholarly publishing, still raises questions about copyright today that only serve to encourage my own thinking about copyright reform.

On July 16th, 2021, the Government of Canada issued A Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things on . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, 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.

Practice

All the Better to See With: Avoiding Wolves Dressed Up Like Clients
Shawn Erker

There’s a knot in your belly. Earlier today you received an email from your client asking you to wire the proceeds of a large real estate transaction to an updated account number. You complied, of course. It’s their money after all. … . . . [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. Labour Pains 2. Double Aspect 3. The Factum 4. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 5. First Reference

Labour Pains
Court Declines to Issue Injunction Preventing Terminations for Failure to Adhere to Covid Vaccination Policy – But Employers Beware

What is the court’s power to prevent

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Supreme Court Goes Graphical

The Supreme Court of Canada plays a special role in our constitutional democracy, but it’s often one that is not fully understood by the public, or even the legal profession.

Over 20 years ago, Lorraine E. Weinrib stated in “The Supreme Court of Canada in the Age of Rights,”

Democracy does not trump the other principles; nor is it the
raison d’etre of the Constitution. One can sum up the Court’s analysis with the following statement from an Israeli judgment elucidating the Israel’s new rights-protecting system, which is, in part, modelled on Canada’s Charter:

“true” democracy recognizes the power

. . . [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, Oral Judgments and Leaves to Appeal granted from October 21 to November 17, 2021 inclusive.

Appeals

Criminal Law: Parties to Offences; Issue Estoppel
R. v. Cowan, 2020 SKCA 77, 2021 SCC 45 (39301)

The trial judge committed an error of law in his analysis of party liability, which had a material bearing on . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday