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Archive for December, 2023

Employee Was Sexually Harassed but No Tie to Termination

Written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

In September, 2023, the Chair of the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission decided that a female employee was indeed sexually harassed while she was employed with the employer. Therefore, she was awarded $15,000 in general damages for mental anguish, humiliation, affront to dignity and/or emotional injury. Additionally, the Panel ordered the employer to create an anti-harassment policy (accepting direction from the Panel), and to pay for sexual harassment training for all staff members in a form that was satisfactory to the Human Rights Commission. . . . [more]

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

Could Mediators Be Replaced? Examining Fears About the Role of AI in Collaboration & the Future of the Mediation Profession

My mother instilled within me the mentality of not going along with what everyone else is doing. It is a fairly common parental lesson, really. Typically presented in the context of all of one’s friends jumping off of a cliff with the question posed of if you would, too. While I wonder why everyone is jumping – there might be good reason and that information is needed to determine the best course of action – Wikipedia explains the lesson as “a rhetorical question used to discourage the interlocutor from blind obedience”.

There are no less than 20 articles already on . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Systemic Racism, Clients, and the Law Societies

Systemic racism is a reality in Canada. At many junctures in life, a person’s access to opportunities and fair treatment will be affected by their race, skin colour, or indigineity. The legal profession, in order to do its essential work in our society, must recognize and confront systemic racism.

So far, most formal efforts to do so have focused on racism’s effect on lawyers, law students, and others who work in the law. (See for example the action plans from the law societies of BC and Ontario, as well as Alberta’s “My Experience” project). These are worthy . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Library Boy 3. Legal Feeds 4. David Whelan 5. Lawyered Podcast

Susan On The Soapbox
And Now for Something Completely Different

Politics in Alberta feels like a Monty Python comedy sketch, only not as funny. But that’s not why I’ve used John

. . . [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.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS : Un homme âgé dont le fils a retiré plus de 100 000 $ de ses comptes bancaires n’a pas été victime d’exploitation financière puisque ces retraits, qui étaient conformes à la volonté qu’il avait exprimée avant d’avoir des troubles cognitifs, ne l’ont pas placé dans une . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Why I Joined the CanLII Board as a Director

Last October, I was appointed a director on the board of Canada Legal Information Institute (CanLII). Becoming a director on the board of CanLII is a dream come true for me. It represents not only a personal achievement but also an opportunity to give back to a cause I deeply believe in – free access to legal information. I’ll share my journey and the reasons behind my decision to join CanLII’s board as a director.

A Quest for Access to Legal Information

My journey into the world of legal information access began during my time as a law student in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

One Swing at Bat

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., content editor, First Reference Inc.

You only get one shot. One chance. A single try. No matter how you say it, in 2023 HRTO 1610 (CanLII), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario delivered this message to a would-be complainant, dismissing his claim. . . . [more]

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

The Courts Can Help Solve the A2J Crisis — by Doing Less

In a recent edition of my Substack newsletter, I made eight predictions about what the legal sector would look like in ten years’ time. The eighth entry on that list was titled “Unfulfilled Justice”:

Universal access to justice is still a distant dream. Regulatory change has made it easier for people to become lawyers and para-professionals, so the supply side of the market is growing. But the demand side still suffers from a lack of civic education around legal rights and remedies, and legal institutions (especially the courts) have held out against change.

That last parenthetical observation about the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

No New Tort of Family Violence: Ontario Court of Appeal Rules

In Ahluwalia v. Ahluwalia, 2023 ONCA 476, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned part of the groundbreaking decision of Justice Mandhane in establishing the tort of family violence. Justice Benotto writing for the Ontario Court of Appeal explained that existing torts adequately address the issue of damages for family harm and that Parliament has not shown an intention to create a new cause of action.

When amending the Divorce Act, Parliament could have revised the legislation to create a new tort, but they did not. Instead Parliament made provisions for fines and contempt orders to address harm suffered . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII? – November 2023

At the beginning of each month, we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII in the previous month and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this past month, the three most-consulted English-language decisions were:

  1. Jessica McGaw v. Sobeys Capital Inc, 2023 ONSC 6279

[7] While this witness was on the stand, counsel for the Plaintiff searched called up on their computer images of Charles Manson and then huddled together and laughed between themselves. Evidently, counsel were of the view the witness bore some . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Hopefulness in Times of Hate – Letters to and From a Law School

It has been challenging times for law students these last several years. The current 3L cohort began their studies in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic and has been attending law school in times of economic uncertainty, technological change and heated world conflicts. Recently, students have been struggling with processing the crisis in the Middle East including the deadly and horrific terror attacks of Hamas on Israeli civilians, its hostage taking, the ensuing devastating Israeli military action and the death of too many Palestinians. Our student communities are suffering. So many of them have friends, relatives and loved ones . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Tips Tuesday: Smile File

Ever have those days where you need a smile? Allow me to introduce you to the Smile File. Throughout our careers we may receive letters of encouragement from peers or mentors; well wishes from clients or appreciation about a job well done; experience career milestones; or receive other electronic or written communications that make us smile. Take these communications, letters, well wishes, and milestones and put them into a file folder that you keep – either electronically or in a drawer – and pull them out on those days that you need a smile. On those days, you’ll be able . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management