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Archive for May, 2022

The Milgaard Story’s Importance for the Presumption of Innocence

David Milgaard is reported to have passed away this weekend at the age of 69. He spent 23 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit.

Milgaard was convicted in 1970, and spent the ages of 16 to 39 in prison, following the discovery of a nurse’s body in the snowbank. His appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal was dismissed the following year, and the Supreme Court of Canada refused him leave to appeal. That same year, a pattern of sexual assaults committed by Larry Fisher came to light, which matched the offence in question. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, 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) : Étant d’avis qu’il incombe aux tribunaux d’utiliser les moyens fournis par le Parlement afin de s’attaquer au mal sociétal qu’est la conduite avec les facultés affaiblies, le tribunal impose une peine d’emprisonnement de 16 ans à un accusé impliqué dans une collision ayant causé la mort 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

Use It or Lose It: Trademark Management

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

Businesses that have a registered mark, name or symbol have to properly manage it if they seek to maintain their brand image as a source of economic value and stability. The value of proper trademark management is the key takeaway in the recent Federal Court decision Milano Pizza Ltd. v 6034799 Canada Inc, 2022 FC 425. In that decision, poor trademark management came back to haunt the plaintiff’s pizzeria. . . . [more]

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

Book Review: Cross-Examination: The Pinpoint Method

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Cross-Examination: The Pinpoint Method. By Kyla Lee. Toronto: LexisNexis, 2021. 135 p. Includes table of contents and index. ISBN 9780433514329 (softcover) $150.00.

Reviewed by Joanna Kozakiewicz
Reference Librarian
City of Toronto, Legal Services Division
In CLLR 47:1

Cross-Examination: The Pinpoint Method, written by criminal defense lawyer Kyla Lee, is . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Indemnity Claims in Federal Court IP Disputes

As a statutory court, the Federal Court only has the jurisdiction provided to it under federal legislation, which includes shared and exclusive jurisdiction in the area of intellectual property. In 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal concluded that the court has jurisdiction to handle contractual issues touching on intellectual property. A recent reported decision has applied this to indemnity claims against third parties.

When determining liability for infringement of patent, trademark and copyright, the intention of the defendant is typically not relevant. A party that uses an infringing product may still be liable for patent infringement even if they merely . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

And Now the Driverless Keyboard

We appear to have crossed another great divide in artificial intelligence. It is not just the constant shuffle of driverless cars in my Silicon Valley neighborhood on their endless driving lessons. Nor is it the machine learning gains in diagnostic accuracy that exceed those so expertly trained in radiology and dermatology. Those are visual advances in machine learning. This time it’s language.

Steven Johnson, in a marvelously well-done article in the New York Times Magazine, sets out what machine learning is making of writing. It is the driverless car equivalent of the keyboard. Just feed in your destination and it . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

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. Brahma v. HR Services, 2022 ONSC 2645

[44] The Plaintiff’s breach of the deemed undertaking rule does not, in my view, automatically attract an award of elevated costs. It turns on the particular facts of each case. The Plaintiff’s counsel was unaware that any information was provided to his counterparts in the Florida action. The evidence before me regarding the breach is . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Loose-Leaf Legal Publications: A Dialogue

[What follows is an imagined dialogue between a lawyer and a librarian, regarding a fictional loose-leaf publication]

Lawyer: I’d like to see what you have in the library on the crime of jabberwock-slaying, please.

Librarian (without consulting the catalog): Yes, the seminal treatise on the topic is Carroll on Jabberwocks, shelved under call number… you know what, I’ll just grab it off the shelf for you.

Lawyer: Thanks, I’ve never really understood what call numbers are, anyway.

[Librarian returns carrying four heavy, ugly binders]

Lawyer: So, which one should I use?

Librarian: Well, you just . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, 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

Re: Re
Neil Guthrie

Someone recently made this comment on LinkedIn: I’m so excited re: the below. (The colon may or may not have been there.) Why not I’m so excited about this instead of the commenter’s mish-mash of somewhat immature enthusiasm and the lawyer jargon of re and the below? … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Are the Courts Slip-Sliding Away?

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

♫ Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away… ♫

Lyrics, Music and Recorded by Paul Simon.

Something extraordinary is taking place in Ontario.

Family law lawyer Russell Alexander of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Law Lawyers of Toronto and six other locations in Ontario, Canada has started an online petition on entitled: “Petition to Amend the Requirement For In Person Court Attendances.”

What are they petitioning for, you ask? Good question:

“We, the undersigned lawyers and paralegals who practise family law, hereby petition . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Direct Democracy Ends Up in Court

A provincial election is currently scheduled in Ontario for June 2, 2022. The process for this date is set under the Election Act, where the the Lieutenant Governor in Council proclaims a date for an election on a Wednesday.

Although this date was was generally anticipated, there are often a number of legal issues that emerge prior, during and following an election. In this election, just days after the election date was proclaimed, an individual sought to reserve the name Direct Democracy Party of Canada with Elections Ontario.

The process for registration is governed by s. 10 of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions