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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Rainbow Cupcakes at the Office for Pride: That’s So Sweet – and Sort of Strange?

This submission comes from WeirFoulds LLP Law Library Manager Nairne Holtz, who is a member of the firm’s EDI (equality, diversity, inclusion) committee. When Nairne was asked to write a piece in support of legal history and Pride month in Ontario, the end product turned out to be more of a personal account. In the spirit of Canadian legal storytelling, and in support of Pride, Slaw is happy to be able to share Nairne’s story.


I met my wife at work, a Bay Street law firm, in 1996. You could say we met cute. I was working in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

5 Kind of Litigators That Might Exist

*These characters are fictional. Any resemblance is purely accidental. This is humour.

1. The pick’m-up-truck-driving small town litigator

Small’s number is written on the local jail cell wall. Besides the odd vacation and discovery, Small’s only ever known this little town with one traffic light. Small pulled some strings to get the county judge’s kid a try-out on the hockey team. The court registrar, bailiff, trial coordinator, and, heck, all the staff, know Small on a first name basis. Small doesn’t go through security because Small has a key to the side door into the library. At the hearing Small . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

There Ought to Be a Law: Vaccine Queue Jumping

As coronavirus vaccines have begun to be available, we have seen several incidents of people “jumping the queue” and obtaining vaccines for which they are not eligible. Eventually, this should not be a problem, but now, when vaccines are scarce, it has been important to prioritize who is to be vaccinated in the first and next groups. Although different in different provinces (since vaccine distribution is a provincial matter), these groups have generally included residents and staff in long-term care homes and health-care workers, particularly vulnerable people and those who care for them. Should there be a penalty when others . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Adducing Sensitive Evidence and Writing Decisions: Where Do We Draw the Line?

In my November 17th Slaw post “Making the Hard Decisions: Ethical Lawyering”, I discussed Dean Embry’s refusal to make certain arguments and call certain evidence and witnesses in his representation of James Sears, editor of Your Ward News (YWN), a community newspaper. Sears was convicted of spreading hate and, despite his accepting these views about what might be successful in his defence, a ground of his appeal was that Embry was incompetent because of his (Embry’s) failure to argue the truth of the content of YWN. In this post, I’m raising another issue related to the trial decision in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Miscellaneous

Cheifetz, Apportionment of Fault (1981) – PDF Available

Apportionment of Fault In Tort (1981) – David Cheifetz

An unrestricted PDF of Cheifetz, Apportionment of Fault in Tort is now available. The text has been out of print for about 2 decades.

The “price”, for Canadian purchasers, will be a donation of CDN $20 to either the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children or the Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Purchasers from other countries should chose a suitable children’s hospital or equivalent in their jurisdictions.

If you want the PDF: Send a request to me at with a copy of the donation confirmation and the email address to which you want . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Does the Proposed 25% LSO Fee Reduction Make Any Sense?

The last six months have been a challenge for everyone. The impacts of the pandemic have differed but no one has been spared. Lawyers and paralegals are no different. We have all been affected, in varying degrees and in varying ways. For many of us, the fact that we provide professional services rather produce goods or provide retail services has helped as many professional services need not be provided in person. Remote work has been possible for many. But some have been particularly affected. The incomes of those who are employed, whether in business, government, larger firms or otherwise, have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

10 Legal Writing Tips for Law Students

Legal writing is typically about persuasion. You are usually trying to persuade your reader about your thesis, your ideas, your arguments, your client’s case, etc. So how do you do it? Legal writing is an art and a science. Different people approach it differently. However, in our view, there are some commonalities for what makes legal writing effective – what makes it persuasive. With the start of a new academic year, and the introduction of legal writing to incoming law students, we again had the opportunity to put our minds to what makes legal writing “good”, and how to approach . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

When Law Doesn’t Work: Outlier Theory

When I was articling, eons ago, I came across a judge who smoked in court, made off-hand comments affecting his decisions without any evidentiary basis (“everyone knows what a second hand Lincoln costs”) and made sexist comments towards me (“bring this young lady into my chambers”). He was well-known in the particular legal community (I was merely “visiting” on a discovery issue) and no one thought there was a way to contain him. Indeed, as I sat in the courtroom waiting my turn, I was warned about him. I think of this judge as an “outlier”, beyond the reach of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What We Already Knew About Shameful COVID-19 Hotspots

Without exhausting the list of populations where the coronavirus has found an enthusiastic home in Canada, there are two that have led to much tutting and promises to reform: the elderly living in long-term care homes (where sometimes younger people with certain challenges also live) and migrant workers employed on farms. But we already knew the conditions in these settings left much to be be desired. Nevertheless, in both cases, the rules and laws governing regulatory oversight have told us what happens when those responsible lose sight of the human reality and when those responsible for implementing the law fail . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Constitutionality of Interprovincial/Territorial Boundary Closures (Part I)

Efforts to respond to and get under control the coronavirus pandemic have led to government actions that many people would be unlikely to accept in less dire times. Many of these have been at the provincial and municipal levels with emergency measures that have restricted a wide range of business, social and recreational activities that we had previously taken for granted. Another set of restrictions have been in relation to whether we can visit other provinces. Some provinces closed their boundaries early in the pandemic and some are now restricting who can enter provinces as they open their business, social . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law


Knowledge management (KM) professionals know that there are several elements that will make or break the success of a KM initiative. One such element is mostly humans: Will the lawyers in your organization actually adopt the industry leading enterprise search system that you are spending big bucks on? At the same time, anyone who has a close or remote encounter with the law in Canada has open on one or several devices. The site, heavily used by Canadian lawyers, is a good example of a widespread adoption of technology by the legal profession and the judiciary. Also, if you . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous

Reopening Society: Thoughts on Some Legal Questions

Yesterday (April 27, 2020), the Ford government released “A Framework for Reopening our Province“, a three-stage process that is likely to be applicable until a vaccine is available. The Framework is based on some important principles and it includes on-going reassessment and review to ensure the spread of COVID-19 has not recurred. With this Framework in mind, as well as steps already taken elsewhere, it is worth considering the kinds of legal questions that might arise as we seek to reopen our society fully. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous