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Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to get people to listen?

Have you ever had a challenge getting your point across, even when it was about something of critical import?

In conversations with lawyers in private practice and in-house counsel I frequently hear about the difficulties they run into advising clients and colleagues on alternative courses of action, or risk prevention measures to take.

It is so easy for important advice to be discounted because the lawyer is seen as not getting the big vision, or being too risk averse, or creating unnecessary roadblocks.

Next . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Weir-Jones Technical Services Incorporated v Purolator Courier Ltd, 2019 ABCA 49

[30] Addressing the “standard of proof” is not therefore a stand-alone test for whether summary judgment is possible or appropriate. Proving the factual basis of the application on a balance of probabilities is not in itself sufficient for summary adjudication, but merely one of the steps in determining if there . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Alleged Blackmail of Jeff Bezos: Did Legal Counsel for the National Enquirer Breach His Professional Duties?

It is alleged that the National Enquirer blackmailed Jeff Bezos by threatening to publish humiliating photographs and messages. In exchange for not publishing the information, the National Enquirer wanted Bezos to stop his criticism of the paper.

To manage the situation, Bezos wrote an article titled “No Thank You, Mr. Pecker”. In the article, Bezos exposed multiple emails directed at him from the National Enquirer (American Media, LLC). One of the emails included an email message from American Media, LLC’s legal counsel, as seen below.

From:?Fine, Jon [] (Deputy General Counsel, AMI)
Sent:?Wednesday, February

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

PMO, Minister of Justice and Attorney General; AG and SNC-Lavalin: The Possibilities

We don’t know yet what really the reality of the allegations that the PMO “pressured” (whatever that means) the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General to (in turn) tell the Director of Public Prosecutions to let SNC-Lavalin to enter into a “deferred prosecution agreement” rather than go to trial on charges of bribing officials (and engaging in fraud and corruption) in Libya is. There are a number of possibilities, ranging from “business as usual” to improper political interference that amounts to a breach of the rule of law. Let’s unpack at least some of those possibilities, relating them to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Good Counsel (Plus Thanks and a Request)
Neil Guthrie

Counsel is an ancient term for one’s legal advisers as a body (The accused did not have the benefit of counsel when he was interrogated) or for a single legal adviser (Maria acted as counsel to the federal government, for which she was made Queen’s Counsel). A judge will address a Canadian barrister as Counsel (if not . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

We Should Start Making a Business Case for Legal Aid in Canada

In countries that were early adopters of legal aid governments became major funders of legal services. This remains the case in many countries today. Funding programs that facilitate access to legal services for low-income populations was established in these years as a responsibility of the government. In nations in which the state does not accept access to justice as a government responsibility or simply cannot afford to do so, organizations with global reach, among other groups and bodies, have often stepped in to support initiatives that promote access to legal help, information, empowerment and other forms of dispute resolution. Whether . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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.?Labour Pains 2.?SOQUIJ | Le Blogue 3.?Timely Disclosure 4. NSRLP 5. University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog

Labour Pains
Arbitrator Orders Nurse Who Was Caught Stealing Narcotics to be Reinstated

Is it a discriminatory practice and potential breach of the Ontario Human Right Code

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Creating the AI in Our Own Image

Human being, as a self-absorbed species, tend to perceive ourselves as the most superior organism on the planet. The apex predator among apex predators.

This trope is is found throughout our popular culture, and often explains our relationship with other animals and the environment around us. The notion of dominance can even be found in the Bible, with humans being created in the image of the creator, specifically so that they could rule (???????) over the world (Gen 1:26). In contrast, many Indigenous cultures to North America perceive a more harmonious and interdependent relationship with the others around us.

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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 tribunal détient un pouvoir exceptionnel de rejeter sommairement une requête n’ayant aucune chance raisonnable de succès; la présente affaire en constitue une illustration et envoie le message de mettre fin aux recours extraordinaires voués à l’échec.

Intitulé :?R. c. Bruno, 2019 QCCS 65
Juridiction :? . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Need for a Code of Conduct for Family Law Disputes, Part 2

Last Tuesday, I was honoured to be presented with the Distinguished Service Award for service to the community from the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association Alberta. I took advantage of the more or less captive audience to discuss the need to improve the Code of Conduct to better reflect the practice realities of family law lawyers and the needs of their clients, and the needs of their clients’ children. As my remarks were received with more interest than I’d expected, I thought I would take this opportunity to describe in more detail the sort of changes . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Friday Roundup: Slaw Jobs

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at .

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

The Coming End of Lawyer Control Over Legal Regulation

At the end of last year, as John-Paul Boyd ably chronicled on this website, members of the Law Society of BC voted on three resolutions regarding access to justice. The second of these resolutions — directing the law society to bar paralegals from providing family law services under new provincial legislation and to postpone any other enlargement of paralegals’ scope of practice — received overwhelming approval.

While this was a disappointing outcome from an access standpoint, as John-Paul explains, it was hardly a surprising one, given lawyers’ entrenched opposition to expanding the scope of “law practice” beyond the legal profession. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law