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Archive for December, 2021

CRTC Authorizes Broad Investigation Under CASL

The broad powers of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) were reinforced in the CRTC’s Compliance and Enforcement Decision CRTC 2020-196.

In the course of investigation of numerous complaints in relation to a short message service (SMS) phishing scam the person designated by the CRTC under Canada’s Anti-spam Law (CASL) (the “investigator”) issued a notice to produce to Hydro-Québec in relation to 10 service addresses and customer accounts.

Hydro-Québec is not the source of the SMS messages under investigation It is merely an innocent third party that has files that the investigator wants to review to assess the service, . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

What Do We Have the Right to Expect of Lawyers’ Conduct?

Do we have the right to expect lawyers to conduct themselves “better” or at a “higher plane” than ordinary mortals [😉] (that is, everybody else)? Or, put another way, do we have the right to impose on them what we, and perhaps others, consider to be acceptable behaviour?

Three recent situations involving lawyers make me wonder whether we do. I’m thinking of the expectations some people — I think mostly women — have who believe lawyers have an obligation to represent someone accused of sexual assault and the complainants in a particular way (focusing on the example of Marie . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

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

Well, That’s Different
Neil Guthrie

The data analytics unit at one of what we used to call the Big Four accounting firms exhorts us to Think different. Do different. Be different. Be different is fine (grammatically and as a matter of practice), but the other two? Oh, dear. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Challenging “Compelled Speech” Objections: Respectful Forms of Address in Canadian Courts

Pronouns are currently a hot topic in the legal profession, following recent measures by Canadian courts to prevent the misgendering of courtroom participants. Directives in British Columbia now require lawyers and parties appearing before courts to proactively identify their titles and pronouns (see the directives of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Court of Appeal, and the Provincial Court). Other Canadian courts have followed suit. For example, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario appellate courts encourage counsel and parties to share information about their titles and pronouns when introducing themselves in court.

Some object to these . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Book Review: Is Law Computable?: Critical Perspectives on Law and AI

I had the opportunity to review “Is Law Computable?: Critical Perspectives on Law and Artificial Intelligence” for the Canadian Law Library Review (46(4), 2021). This was edited by Simon Deakin and Christopher Markou and published last year by Hart Publishing (ISBN: 978-1-5099-3706-6).

This is the short version:

If you have any interest in artificial intelligence (AI), especially if it’s coupled with a desire to learn more about how developments in AI are related to law and legal technology, then this collection of papers has been compiled just for you.

While AI continues to seep into many areas

. . . [more]
Posted in: Book Reviews, 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. Michael Geist 2. Paw & Order 3. Family LLB 4. Legal Writers Collective 5. BC Injury Law Blog

Michael Geist
The Canadian Government’s Groundhog Day Copyright Consultations: The Never-Ending Lobbying Battle for Website Blocking and Weakened User Rights Continues

Privacy breaches have become increasingly commonplace as businesses

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Trouble in Digital Court Paradise

Over a year after Ontario introduced CaseLines to civil courts, nearly all matters are using this digital case management system. But it doesn’t mean they’re using it properly.

An unsuccessful partial summary judgment motion before Justice Dunphy in Basaraba v. Bridal Image Inc. illustrates this problem,

[5] I shall first refer to the unsatisfactory state of the record I am asked to rely upon to reach the level of confidence necessary to sustain a judgment on the merits. Collectively, the parties uploaded more than 2,000 pages of evidence in the form of affidavits, expert reports, discovery transcripts and cross-examination

. . . [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) : Un ancien adjudant des Forces armées canadiennes se voit imposer une peine de 6 mois d’emprisonnement relativement à une accusation d’agression sexuelle à l’égard d’une caporale.

Intitulé : R. c. Gagnon, 2021 QCCQ 11908
Juridiction : Cour du Québec, Chambre criminelle et pénale (C.Q.), Québec
Décision de . . . [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

Ontario Work-Life Balance and Right to Disconnect Law

On December 2, 2021, the Ontario government’s Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021 to promote healthy work-life balance, the right to disconnect and to further enable competitiveness by banning unfair non-compete agreements that are used to restrict work opportunities, among other employment law-related changes, received royal assent with some amendments.

Before Bill 27 was ordered for third reading, the Standing Committee on Social Policy applied amendments that were approved to some of the following provisions of the Bill: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

BEWARE: Pre-Conditions to Arbitration

I’m a strong supporter of stepped dispute resolution clauses in contracts. Business people want a chance to negotiate or mediate a solution to their problems before handing things over to lawyers for arbitration or litigation.

I often recommend stepped clauses to clients when we were negotiating technology contracts. And I still recommend them as a mediator and arbitrator.

But several speakers at the CanArb Week conference earlier this fall reminded us of some of the potential pitfalls of these clauses. And some recent court decisions have highlighted the risks.

One of the most serious is the risk of inadvertent (or . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

What Obligations Does the Court Have to Self-Represented Litigants?

In Grand River Conservation Authority v. Ramdas, 2021 ONCA 815, the Ontario Court of Appeal discusses the obligations that the court has to self-represented litigants. Below is an excerpt of some key points:

  • Self-represented litigants are required to familiarize themselves with the relevant legal principles, practices, and procedures pertaining to their case. “However, the court has a duty to ensure that self-represented litigants receive a fair hearing”. (para 18)
  • Judges must permit self-represented litigants to explain how they understand where things stand in the litigation. (para 19)
  • Judges can consider whether providing self-represented litigants with an option to give
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology