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Archive for December, 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. Erik v McDonald, 2019 ABCA 217

[149] Courts should strive to fashion legal principles that promote positive community values – good relations between neighbors, increased property values[85] and attractive landscape features – and discourage negative community values – bad relations between neighbors, diminished property values and unattractive landscape features.

[150] Granting access to the entire surface of a water body clearly . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Struggling for Accommodation

Written by Silvia Battaglia and Shannon Meikle, law students and NSRLP Research Assistants

The NSRLP receives a great deal of mail from our community, and every week we receive emails from people sharing their experiences as self-represented litigants (SRLs). Last year, we began receiving a lot of emails from SRLs who had requested accommodations in the legal process, needing courts to recognize and adapt to their cognitive disabilities (requesting, for example, more time to respond, frequent breaks in hearings, etc.). In a nutshell: they were not being accommodated. We read their stories with concern and became aware of the need . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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

Find Plain Language Summaries of SCC Decisions
Karen Sawatzky

Did you know? Plain language summaries of SCC decisions are available under “Cases in Brief”: “Cases in Brief are short summaries of the Court’s written decisions drafted in reader-friendly language, so that anyone interested can learn about the decisions that affect their lives. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Smartphone Phishing Attacks Escalate, Bedeviling Law Firms

Just When You Thought You Had Perfected Your Cybersecurity Training for Law Firm Employees . . .

Time to think again. It’s no secret that cybercriminals have increased all kinds of phishing activity since the pandemic. More people utilizing consumer grade equipment in a less secure work-at-home environment creates a fertile ground for phishing attack victims.

According to a ZDNet report, phishing attacks are shifting to mobile devices. That’s not surprising since mobile devices are the primary computing technology for more than 50% of users. The goal of the attackers is to obtain usernames and passwords that could be used . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Importance of Reasons for Judgement in Transparency

Anyone even within the vicinity of the justice system in Canada these days can easily tell that it is overwhelmed. The sheer volume of cases alone is cause for concern, and that doesn’t begin to illustrate the significant delays to everyone involved.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently released a decision in R. v. Artis, 2021 ONCA 862 which illustrates the types of problems the bench is facing, overturning a conviction and sentence in a case where the reasons for a verdict were provided about 31 months after the Notice of Appeal was filed.

The court stated,


. . . [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.

CONSTITUTIONNEL (DROIT) : Il est possible de rattacher les dispositions de la Loi visant à renforcer la lutte contre le tabagisme à la fois au droit criminel et à toute matière de nature purement locale ou privée par l’intention qui les réunit de protéger la santé publique; par conséquent, le . . . [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

Survey of Law Library Plans for Print Materials Collections

Primary Research Group is a New York-based publisher of research reports and surveys about universities, libraries, law firms, hospitals, museums, and other institutions and law libraries in particular could learn a lot from their publications.

The group’s reports tend to gather information from a wide variety of library types, both in the United States and Canada, and on topics such as staffing levels, the use of artificial intelligence, database licensing trends, spending on e-content, views of library services by law faculty members, and much more.

Their most recent publication is the Survey of Law Library Plans for the Print Materials . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Force Majeure Clauses: Part of Your Emergency Toolkit

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

Force majeure clauses are commonly included in commercial agreements to reduce the effect or risk of disruptive events that are beyond the control of the contracting parties. The concept of force majeure is related to the contract law doctrine of frustration since they both deal with the implications of an event that affects a party’s ability to comply with the contract. Force majeure provisions are distinct, however, in that they seek to define the types of events that qualify as force majeure, and they should define the contractual consequences that flow . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Students Face Acute Mental Health Needs During Pandemic Learning

A SLAW Commentary by: Richard Jochelson, David Ireland, Melanie Murchison, Tan Ciyilepe, and Silas Koulak

The Pandemic has posed a number of new challenges for law schools in Canada and we are faced with new questions which will need to be settled in the near future. Immediate issues include: what will the acceptable quantum of online course delivery be after the Pandemic according to the National Requirement set by the Canadian Federation of Law Societies; will student and administrative meetings continue to be held via videoconference; should support staff, students or Faculty commit to some form of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Seeing Red: The McGill Guide, 10th Edition

Disclaimer: I am required to teach legal citation to keen 1Ls that are learning about snails in bottles, individuals masturbating in windows, cannibalism at sea, and cricket games. I am never surprised that they do not find legal citation particularly exciting. However, unexciting does not mean unimportant. I understand and value proper citation and appreciate the efforts that McGill Law students and faculty have put into the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation since 1986. Please note that my comments address only the English content.

Slaw is no stranger to posts about the Canadian Guide . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Innocon Inc. v. Daro Flooring Constructions Inc., 2021 ONSC 7558

[84] Parties should expect case conference 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 . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII