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Archive for July, 2023

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.

FAILLITE ET INSOLVABILITÉ : La règle anti-privation, dont l’existence dans les provinces de common law a été confirmée par la Cour suprême du Canada dans Chandos Construction Ltd. c. Restructuration Deloitte Inc. (C.S. Can., 2020-10-02), 2020 CSC 25, SOQUIJ AZ-51712024, 2020EXP-2239, trouve également application au Québec.

Intitulé : Syndic de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Cardinal Workplace Sin: A Notable Case in Point

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

Don’t steal. Don’t steal. Don’t steal. It’s a short but super-important mantra that every employee with access to their employer’s money (and those who don’t) should live by. 2023 BCSC 892 (CanLII) illustrates the anti-theft message in a hyperbolic way. To quickly illustrate: the opening three sentences of this article were 882 reminders short for the employee in this case. It seems she was a compulsive thief over her six-year tenure, to the tune of over $1.9 million. It’s hard to say if the defendant will ever see the money it’s . . . [more]

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

What Law Firms Can Learn From Plagues

You might have heard of the online game, World of Warcraft. It has 8 million players in any given month. On September 13, 2005, the game became infected with a blood plague. It was started intentionally by the game designers and was to have been restricted to a particular area of the game. But somehow, it got out and in no time, was killing off everything in site, including characters that players might have spent years building up.

The game developers and members of the community attempted to slow the spread by warning other players to avoid certain areas of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

Thursday Thinkpiece: Reflections on Allyship

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Reflections on Allyship

Authors: Andrea Menard x Marc Bhalla
Publisher: Shadow of the Law Publications
Publication Date: July 1, 2023
ISBN: Print (Paperback): 978-1-7780840-4-1
50 pages; 6″ x 9″; $33

*** $20 from each book sold is being donated to Moose Hide Campaign,
an Indigenous-led grassroots movement to end gender-based violence
. . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

The Cream of the Crop? King’s Counsel and Certified Specialists in Ontario

So, you need a lawyer. Who are you going to call? There are more than 50,000 to choose from in Ontario. Each one is officially licensed to handle any and all legal needs, but most are not competent to help with your particular need, and an even smaller number would be ideal for you. It can be very difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, especially if you haven’t worked with lawyers in the past.

If a would-be client is confused by the options, and doesn’t have someone knowledgeable they can ask, it would be sensible to look at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Of Practice Directives and Legal Citation Guides: A Brief Reflection on Citing Generative AI “Sources” and Content

The Practice Directions

On June 23, 2023, the Court of King’s Bench of Manitoba (MBKB) issued its Practice Direction on the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Court Submissions. Shortly thereafter, on June 26, 2023, the Supreme Court of Yukon (YKSC) issued its Practice Direction on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Tools. (As of the date of drafting this post, no other court practice directions from Canadian courts are known to the writer.)

Digressing for a moment from the subject of legal citation, one can’t help but observe that the two practice directions have been the subject of some . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. Susan On The Soapbox 2. Barry Sookman 3. The Lean Law Firm 4. 5. The Trauma-Informed Lawyer

Susan On The Soapbox
Harper’s Handshake

Recently former prime minister Stephen Harper tweeted about the “importance of centre-right parties strengthening their collaboration” The tweet was accompanied by a photo

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

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 June 22 to July 19, 2023 inclusive.


Criminal Law: Jury Instructions; Criminal Organizations
R. v. Abdullahi, 2021 ONCA 82; 2023 SCC 19 (40049)

Appellate courts should adopt a “functional approach” to the review of jury instructions for legal error. This respects the jury’s role . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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) : Les verdicts d’acquittement à l’égard de 2 chefs de séquestration résultent d’une erreur de droit, mais ils sont conciliables avec les déclarations de culpabilité sous les 2 chefs d’agression sexuelle, de sorte qu’ils ne sont pas déraisonnables et sont donc à l’abri d’une intervention en appel.

Intitulé . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Canada Stakes Out Its Bid for Election to the UN Human Rights Council

Canada has announced its candidacy for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council to begin in 2028. According to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, Canada wants to reaffirm its “leadership in championing human rights around the world” given that human rights are under attack globally.

When setting up the UN Human Rights Council in 2006, the UN General Assembly decided that all Council members would be required to live up to “the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” Canada has a vaunted international reputation for human rights, but closer examination reveals . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The King’s Counsel Title and the Need for a “Reasonable Evaluative Process”

The controversy over the Ontario government’s resurrection of the King’s Counsel designation is now in its third week. And interest in the controversy is not limited to the legal community alone; yesterday, the Toronto Star reported (at the top of its website): “Advertising ‘King’s Counsel’ titles may violate Ontario lawyers’ rules on misleading marketing, experts caution”.

Let’s explore that further.

The Star article quoted four experts: a law professor (Slaw legal ethics columnist Amy Salyzyn); two former Treasurers of the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”); and the current Treasurer, Jacqueline Horvat, who, according to the article, had . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Does Legality Always Capture the Purpose? the Example of the Granting of Citizenship

We have several expressions denoting the relationship of a set of circumstances to the law: does they conform to “the letter of the law”? Should we apply “black letter law”? Or do they not meet the strict confines of the law, but are in “the spirit of the law? Is the law permitting or proscribing this particular set of circumstances? Of course, there are many other words and phrases associated with law. In this post, I consider whether simple legality really captures the purpose or sense of granting citizenship.

Under the current requirements, those who satisfy the qualifications for citizenship, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous