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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Welcome to 2018 With New Employment and Labour Law Rules and Obligations Across Canada

Welcome to 2018 and a load of new employment and labour law rules and obligations across Canada.

As most of you already know, a number of new or amended laws and regulations came into effect on January 1 or will come into force later in 2018 across Canada, including marijuana legalization and higher minimum wages in Ontario, Alberta and other jurisdictions. Here is a brief reminder of the new or amended rules you need to be aware of and implement to ensure compliance. . . . [more]

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

Spam, Cold Calls and Triage

We receive dozens of unsolicited messages everyday from people seeking help with immigration problems. Every case is different and there are certain situations where we are not the best representatives to assist. For those cases, we have contacts in other jurisdictions for referrals. As a boutique law firm, we also regularly make referrals to our colleagues who practice, for example, family law or criminal law. For the remaining contacts, we have developed three (3) methods to make sure that we are a good fit for the client and that it makes sense for us to help.

Triage

In a medical . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Glance at ESA and OHSA Requirements Under Bill 148 With Implementation Dates

On November 27, 2017, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) received royal assent and is now law. Bill 148 makes significant amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, Labour Relations Act, 1995 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments are significant and have various implementation dates. This article deals with providing a timeline for provisions in force from the date of assent to January 1, 2019 under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 will be dealt with in . . . [more]

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

Book Review of the Mighty Hughes

A reader in search of a new book could be forgiven for taking a pass on The Mighty Hughes. After all, what could be interesting about the life and times of a saint who was neither mutilated nor martyred?

Such a reader should think again.

The story of the life of Ted Hughes QC, OC is a tale of aggressive virtue. His pursuit of honest outcomes and dishonourable individuals has brought him respect and fame throughout Canada. In the pages of Craig McInnes’s biography, Hughes is depicted as a heroic figure who has, at times, brandished the sword of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

Beyond the Bitcoin Crash: Ontario Law Lays a Foundation for Enforceable Smart Contracts

The not-so-smart money has pushed the price of a Bitcoin well above US$6,000. The crash is inevitable. The first-mover “cryptocurrency” is based on an inefficient proof of work model designed for anonymous transactions on a public network. The next generation of blockhain developers, like those working on the Ethereum platform, are less interested in the ideology of anonymous transactions than the practicality of efficient business applications. Corporate adopters like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance have already noted the pace of migration from anonymous public blockchain networks to a combination of public and permissioned private networks. Since “altcoin” currencies are not . . . [more]

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

Ontario Bill 148 Updating Employment and Labour Legislation Passed

Blog post updated on November 23, 2017 after publication

On November 22, 2017, an amended version of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 received third reading and passed. It is now waiting for royal assent to become law. Once it receives assent, the Bill will become law and amend significantly the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”). . . . [more]

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

Law Firms Moving Into the Innovation Space

A few firms have flirted with technological innovation, but most of the developments in Canada are coming from start-ups, institutions (i.e. incubators), and some universities. What some firms can do is leverage their name and reputation to help bring a product to market.

One example would be Hull & Hull, who not only built their name from years of practice in wills and estates over half a century, but provided free public information through their website and podcast. The podcast in particular became so popular that many estates lawyers I know routinely listen to it, even if it’s general . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Strengthening the Prevention of Workplace Violence and Harassment

Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, introduced on November 7, 2017, by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, seeks to amend both the Canada Labour Code and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to, according to the federal government, replace the patchwork of laws and policies that address violence and harassment within the federal jurisdiction, putting into place one comprehensive approach that takes the full spectrum of harassment and violence into consideration. . . . [more]

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

Accountability Justice and Mundane Justice

Syria. The scale of displacement, destruction, violence, and victimhood is unprecedented by all standards. The UN refugee organisation UNHCR tells us that 6.5 million people are internally displaced and that there are over 5 million people who have fled Syria to other countries. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported in March this year that the war had killed 465.000 people; current estimates are at over half a million. Statistics from UN Habitat say that 760.000 housing units have been destroyed, that 50% of the hospitals don’t function; the numbers are probably much higher. I have talked to credible . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

British Columbia Law Institute Blog Series on Financing Litigation

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) recently published a Study Paper on Financing Litigation that looks at six financing models that have emerged both in Canada and internationally that can help litigants pay for litigation:

  • Unbundled legal services
  • Third-party litigation funding
  • Alternative fee arrangements
  • Crowdfunding
  • Legal expense insurance
  • Publicly funded litigation funds

The Institute has started a 6-part blog series on the topic. Each blog post will showcase one of the financing models.

Two posts have appeared so far.

The first post is on Unbundled Legal Services. The second is on Third-Party Litigation Funding.

It is all part . . . [more]

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

Ontario’s Cannabis Legislation Tabled in Legislature

On November 1, 2017, the Ontario government tabled Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017, which would, if enacted, create the Cannabis Act, 2017 to provide the provincial framework for the upcoming federal Bill C-45, Cannabis Act that will legalize cannabis in Canada in July 1, 2018. . . . [more]

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

Who Dunnit? Artificial Intelligence and Unauthorized Practice

OK, I’m going to talk about AI and unauthorized practice in just a second, but first…

Who can resist those stories with the teen genius? The wunderkind trope. That Dutch teen with the Boomy McBoomface contraption setting out to heal our polluted oceans. That Mark Zuckerberg fella circa 2004, with the other face thingy.

Who is not in awe of an uncalloused mind lit by bedazzling precociousness and disarmingly naive ambition?

Take Joshua Browder, for instance. He’s surely that kid—our teen wonder—for legal automation. He taught himself to code at age 12 and first came to glory two years . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet