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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Workplace Accident Is Not Enough to Prove Employer Committed General Duty Offence Under OHSA

Following a fatal workplace accident, the Alberta Court of Appeal provided a more comprehensive framework for the actus reus requirement of the general duty provision in Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and clarified that the mere occurrence of a workplace accident does not prove the employer committed a violation.

Fatal workplace accident – Did the employer violate its “general duty” to ensure the health and safety of an employee?

During a “tripping out” procedure on December 20, 2010, at an employer’s drilling rig, an employee suffered a workplace accident and died from blunt cranial trauma and multiple cranial . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Recent Publications of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, an independent organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, closed on 31 August 2018. The closure of the Institute is somewhat of a national tragedy, given that it was one of the very few organizations conducting empirical research on family law, justice processes and access to justice in Canada, and was the inevitable result of today’s singularly infelicitous funding climate.

The Institute has conducted some remarkable, innovative and often ground-breaking work over the 31 years of its existence. Highlights include some of the first work on the financial consequences of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Why a Scent-Free Policy Not a Solution in the Detection of Cannabis Impairment

There is a recent article that suggested that implementing a scent-free or fragrance-free environment policy would help employers know if their employee is high at work from cannabis use, and what actions to take when they catch them high at work.

Most people are familiar with smoking dried cannabis in hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes or water pipes-but people can consume cannabis in many forms, including: “vaping”; eaten in cannabis-infused foods called “edibles” (e.g., cooking oils and drinks); applied as oils, ointments, tinctures, cream and concentrates (e.g., butane hash oil, resins and waxes); and of course, ingested as oral pills and oral . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Riverview Law Sees the World Through EY

The recent announcement of EY’s proposed acquisition of one hundred percent of the shares in Riverview Law (closing at the end of August, 2018) has elicited a number of different responses around the globe all speculating on what this transaction means for the future of legal services? Was this a lifeline to Riverview Law? Will clients really want legal and accounting to be done by the same firm? Aren’t the Big Four just marginally less clunky than Biglaw? Will BigLaw be worried? Some of those comments are here.

But like all fast-breaking stories, there is some fog. So it’s . . . [more]

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

New Brunswick Workplace Regulation to Prevent Violence and Harassment

New Brunswick violence and harassment provisions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and General Regulation 91-191 aimed at identifying and preventing violence and harassment in the workplace will take effect September 1, 2018. Currently, New Brunswick is the only Atlantic province that does not specifically address the issue of workplace violence in its health and safety laws. All Atlantic provinces do not currently address harassment in health and safety laws. New Brunswick will be the first.

While certain occupational groups, such as health-care workers, tend to be more at risk of workplace violence or harassment, these new regulations will . . . [more]

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

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2018

Fastcase, an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), has unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2018.

“Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.

Simon Fodden, the founder of Slaw.ca, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Federal Accessibility Law Tabled in Parliament

On June 20, 2018, the federal government introduced Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada, the long-awaited national accessibility legislation which will enable the government of Canada to take a proactive approach to end systemic discrimination of people with disabilities.

The Bill also known as the Accessible Canada Act would establish a model to eliminate accessibility barriers and lead to more consistent accessibility in areas covered by federally regulated sectors such as banking, inter-provincial and international transportation, telecommunications and government-run services such as Canada Post and federally funded organizations. Moreover, the Bill aims to “identify, remove and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Future of Lawyer Licensing: In Defense of an LPP-Like Program for Articling

Knowledge is fundamentally what the professions offer. As we transform from a print-based society to a technology-based Internet society, the role of the profession will change.

In “The Future of the Professions”, Richard and Daniel Suskind define knowledge as having particular characteristics. Its use by one does not diminish what is left for others. It can be turned into machine-processable bits. It is difficult to prevent non-payers from using it. For now knowledge resides in the heads of professionals, in books, in systems of their institutions. However, this is at odds with how knowledge is shared in a technology-Internet based . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Rethinking the Role of Professional Membership Organizations

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is quoted as saying the only thing that is constant is change.” As lawyers, we often resist the tides of changes, by resting on the comfort of status quo and the notion that stare decisis is written in stone.

The Court in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) recognized that the doctrine of precedent is fundamental to our legal system, as it provides some certainty, but stated at para 44,

However, stare decisis is not a straitjacket that condemns the law to stasis.

Changing societal contexts and shifts in our understanding of the law have allowed the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Right to Terminate Group Benefits at 65 on the Road to a Successful Challenge

The number of workers over the age of 65 has risen significantly in recent years. The increasing number of older employees who choose to remain in the workplace, combined with the elimination of mandatory retirement across Canada, has put into question the issue of the termination of benefits after an employee reaches the age of 65.

While most employers routinely terminate benefits at age 65, the changing workforce demographic has created a demand for benefits coverage for older workers. However, providing benefits to employees past the age of 65 can be difficult because insurers either will not provide the coverage, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Should Mandatory CLE Require Technology in Particular?

Some states in the US, notably now including North Carolina and Florida, require that part of one’s mandatory continuing legal education include education on techology. Florida’s rule requires three hours over three years – so an hour a year, but if one took a three-hour course (which might be a more useful format than three one-hour sessions), one could fulfill the duty. At least in NC, their annual requirement is 12 hours, same as in Ontario.

This is all in the context of the ABA’s Professional Conduct rules – adopted in many states – that expressly requires competence in matters . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list