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Archive for January, 2023

Tips Tuesday: Finding PDFs on Google

A very short tip today! You can limit your search results on Google to PDFs by adding filetype:pdf to your Google search.

PDF isn’t the only file type that Google will recognize; you can also limit your search to file types such as .ps, .dwf, .kml, .kmz, .xls, .ppt, .doc, .rtf, or .swf.

Susannah Tredwell . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Tips Tuesday

What’s the Point of Competition in Law School?

“Look to your left; look to your right. Only one of you will be here in a few years’ time.” I’m not the first Slaw columnist to be skeptical that that phrase was ever directed at first-year law students in this country. And based on my own experience, it’s nonsense: About 95% of my first-year class at Queen’s Law in 1990 graduated three years later. Getting out of law school isn’t the hard part; getting in is.

But the myth’s perniciousness points to a fundamental (and I think deeply flawed) feature of law school: its competitiveness. From Day One, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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) : La juge de première instance n’a commis aucune erreur en écartant l’application de la maxime de minimis non curat lex aux gestes commis par l’appelant, qui a donné 4 coups, ou «bines», à l’épaule d’une agente correctionnelle.

Intitulé : Yombo c. R., 2023 QCCA 12
Juridiction :  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Considering the Time Element in Law

Law is a unique and important dataset: to a large degree it is a record of governance. It also tends to be conservative, so people can know what is likely to happen in the future based on what has happened in the past. Structurally, it has elements in common with other large text-based collections, such as aggregations of literary works. However, socially it has more in common with other high stakes bodies of information like medical research, with concerns like privacy and direct impact on people’s lives being necessary considerations. These attributes combine to make law as data a strange . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology

Can AI Pass Canada’s Citizenship Test?

Artificial intelligence has been in the news since late last year when OpenAI released ChatGPT, a large language model machine learning chatbot that provide surprisingly good responses to questions. This system can write essays, draft legal documents, and produce computer code.

To get a sense of the potential, consider Canada’s citizenship test. Applicants for Canadian citizenship must pass an online multiple-choice exam with questions about Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws, and important symbols. The government maintains a study guide to help applicants prepare, and many organizations, including the Toronto Public Library offer online practice questions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics, Practice of Law

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

ABA TECHSHOW’s “Startup Alley”: The Canadian Contingent

Leading up to ABA TECHSHOW 2023 this March 1st thru 4th, our Slaw friend and occasional writer Colin Lachance has alerted me to these five Canadian legal tech startups who have made the Top-40 for this year’s Startup Alley.

  • CiteRight is an essential litigation tool that simplifies legal research and writing by allowing users to save cases, generate automatic citations and produce court documents.
  • Jurisage AI accelerates legal research through instant access to case law insights.
  • Fidu helps legal teams ditch the billable hour for good in exchange for flat fee and subscription legal services by systematizing and scaling
. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Fired for Physical Flare Up Following Phone Find

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

You’re familiar with the scenario: a momentary physical flare-up over nothing provides the employer with arguable grounds for termination. They’re arguable because there are no hard-and-fast rules that termination results in every case of physical violence. In a legal challenge, arbitrators pay close attention to anything the employee says to take responsibility for his or her actions or to show remorse. In 2022 CanLII 112111 (CA LA), we see how significant the mitigating factor of an apology-or the lack of one-can be. . . . [more]

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

Why Should Associates Stay With Their Law Firm?

While I help law firms deal with a myriad of issues, the top focus of my consulting advice in 2022 had to be Associate churn. So, here’s a two-part post on this issue. First, I want to speak to Associates who are considering leaving their firm. Next, I’ll speak to law firms about how to create conditions that will lesson Associate temptations to leave.

Last year I wrote an article for SLAW called “When Should You Leave” to help Associates understand when it makes sense for them to move firms. But today, I want to talk about why . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Book Review: Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life

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.

Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life. By Colleen Sheppard. Toronto: Irwin Law, 2021. 222 p. Includes table of contents, bibliographic references, and index. ISBN 9781552215371 (softcover) $39.95; ISBN 9781552215388 (PDF) $39.95.

Reviewed by Julia Forward
Guelph, ON

Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life by Colleen Sheppard provides . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Thursday Thinkpiece

Digital Detoxing: A Lawyer’s Best Friend

The Authors Are Detox Veterans

While that heading might seem a little silly, it is absolutely true that fighting digital addiction is a true battle. It took us a long time to realize how deep our addiction was – and winning our battle against the “drug-like” compulsion to be online was not an easy victory.

So . . . if you know you need a digital detox, we hope that what follows with be useful to you. And take heart, there are many of us who have now graduated from addiction to a MUCH healthier way of living!

The History

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Using AI for Legal Research

Prof Sean Rehaag recently published, “Luck of the Draw III: Using AI to Examine Decision-Making in Federal Court Stays of Removal”. This research entered my feed as it pertains to immigration and refugee law. Indeed, the research demonstrates interesting trends related to Federal Court decisions and Stay Motions. For example, Winnipeg has the lowest grant rates across Canada at only 16.2%. For immigration practitioners, I will briefly discuss the conclusions of this paper and my own analysis. Prof Rehaag focused this paper on statistics and his methodology. The paper offers scant analysis of the underlying numbers. The paper is invaluable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet