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Archive for December, 2023

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 October 27 – November 16, 2023 inclusive.

Oral Judgment

Criminal Law: Assault; Defence
R. v. Lindsay, 2022 ABCA 424; 2023 SCC 33 (40569)

Jamal J.: “We are all of the view that the appeal should be dismissed. We do not accept the appellant’s submission that . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Adding a ‘New’ Voice to Loss Prevention

I’ve been fortunate in my career to be part of new innovative projects and to help expand the scope of longstanding organizations. My most recent role is Policy and Communications Advisor with the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association (CLIA). Never heard of CLIA? For an organization that has been around for 35 years, we have an image problem. Or perhaps a lack of image problem. Many of the lawyers we insure have never heard of us.

CLIA is a reciprocal insurance exchange formed in 1988 as a direct response to a need for more effective professional liability coverage for Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

A Ripple or a Wave? the Supreme Court’s Opinion on the Impact Assessment Act

This is a brief summary of the Impact Assessment Act reference case by Anna Johnston, counsel for the intervenors West Coast Environmental Law Association and Nature Canada on the file. You can find a more detailed analysis here.

On October 13, 2023, the Supreme Court of Canada released its opinion on the constitutionality of the federal Impact Assessment Act (IAA), with a 5-2 majority, led by Chief Justice Wagner, finding that the main scheme of the Act is unconstitutional.

West Coast intervened in the case along with Nature Canada, so we had a front-row seat to the arguments. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Lawyers’ Ethics and Lawyer Regulation in 2023: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

The end of a calendar year invites reflection on the months just passed. Inspired by Alice Woolley (now Justice Alice Woolley) who compiled several year-in-review lists when she was a professor (see, for example, here, here, here and here), in this column I look back on five areas of key developments in lawyers’ ethics and lawyer regulation in 2023. I also flag several major court cases and disciplinary proceedings from 2023, many of which are ongoing.

Five Areas of Key Developments

1. Generative AI and the delivery of legal services. In November 2022, ChatGPT was released to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Thursday Thinkpiece: A Basic Guide to Canadian Family Law

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.

A Basic Guide to Canadian Family Law — What Everybody Needs to Know About Canadian Family Law but Could Never Afford to Ask

Authors: Julien D. Payne; Marilyn A. Payne
Publisher: Irwin Law Inc.
Imprint: Irwin Law
Publication Date: October 18, 2023
ISBN: Print (Paperback): 9781552217146
ISBN: Digital (PDF): 9781552217153
Page . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Beware the Ontario Court of Appeal’s Invitation?

I was intrigued by the Ontario Court of Appeal’s “Supplementary Reasons” in Working Families Coalition (Canada) Inc.v. Ontario (Attorney General) (“Supplementary Reasons”), recently reported in the December 15, 2023 Ontario Reports.

On March 6, 2023, the Court of Appeal released its decision in the Working Families Coalition’s (“The Coalition”) challenge to the third party spending limits added to the Elections Finances Act (“EFA”). (I wrote a six post series on section 3 and other issues under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, using the Superior Court of Justice decisions (here and here) and the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Legislation

Access to Justice and the Promise of Virtual Proceedings

The Canadian justice system experienced an unprecedented transformation during the Covid pandemic, when court and administrative proceedings across the country moved from in-person to remote hearings. Much discussion ensued on the implications of this transformation for the judiciary, the legal profession and their clients, as well as access to justice more broadly. However, self-represented litigants were not directly engaged in most of these discussions and as such, their perspectives and experiences respecting remote proceedings did not form part of the access to justice assessment. Early on in this process shift the NSRLP started hearing from SRLs anecdotally about their experiences . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Gratitude: It’s Not Just for Gift Giving

Hello my dear readers.

I have not as yet had the privilege of writing about wellness on this amazing platform, however, I am not new to the topic.

As lawyers and legal professions, we are not very good at taking time to care for ourselves. We are in the business of helping and caring for others and at the end of the day, there is usually very little time left for us.

My goal is to welcome you all into this space and invite you to give yourselves permission to take a few moments to recharge, breathe and find some . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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. Canadian Securities Law 2. The Lean Law Firm 3. À bon droit 4. Le Blogue du CRL 5. Avoid a Claim

Canadian Securities Law
OSC Proposes Fee Increase for Restricted Dealers, Including Crypto Asset Trading Platforms

The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) recently proposed amendments (the “Proposed Amendments”)

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

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) : Le juge de première instance n’a pas erré en rejetant la défense de croyance sincère mais erronée au consentement; le témoignage de l’appelant, qui démontrait qu’il avait «tâté le terrain» alors que la victime était passive et qu’il avait ensuite procédé à une pénétration anale sans même . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Announcing the National Family Law Arbitration Course, 2024

Mark your calendars, the third iteration of the National Family Law Arbitration Course begins in January 2024.

Courses in arbitration practice are available from organizations across Canada. While these courses are of a generally high quality, their primary focus tends to be the arbitration of employment, construction and corporate/commercial disputes. Family law disputes, however, have important differences that set them apart and demand a special approach to their management and resolution. Family law cases cannot be handled with the same off-the-shelf approach that might be used to resolve other civil cases.

The National Family Law Arbitration Course provides a complete . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Opening the Door and Bringing the Students In

Teaching a class on Foreign, Comparative and International Legal (FCIL) research makes complete sense in Tucson, Arizona. The city of Tucson is located an hour away from a major international border which is constantly featured in local, national and international news. The proximity to the US-Mexico Border makes the University of Arizona College of Law, the ideal place from where to study and analyze other national legal systems, how to compare them and the impact of international law and transnational emergencies. These are some of the themes students engage with in my class, among many others. However, I also strive . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information