Should We Defund the Civil Rules Committee in Ontario?

Past Ontario Bar Association president David Sterns argues that we should defund the Ontario Civil Rules Committee. In its place we should involve new voices and take an inter-disciplinary approach to building the committee. I agree.  We need to either supplement or change the Civil Rules Committee. We must look towards engaging new people. Let’s not just … Continue reading Should We Defund the Civil Rules Committee in Ontario?

The Power of Grit and Happiness in the Law: Speaking to Global Lawyers of Canada

This June 2020, I had the opportunity to speak to Global Lawyers of Canada about grit and happiness in the law. I was so honoured to speak to the group about my research. Above is a video of our presentation. Below are links to previous blog posts outlining my research on growing grit and happiness … Continue reading The Power of Grit and Happiness in the Law: Speaking to Global Lawyers of Canada

Should the Government Grant Immunity From Civil Lawsuits Related to COVID-19?

The Ontario government is considering granting immunity from civil lawsuits related to COVID-19. Other jurisdictions have already done so to varying degrees. In New York, Governor Cuomo signed legislation immunizing health care providers for medical decisions that they make in the course of treating victims of the pandemic. (Reported in the New York Times.) Similarly, in British … Continue reading Should the Government Grant Immunity From Civil Lawsuits Related to COVID-19?

Revisiting R v. S. (R.D.), 1997: A Case About a Black Judge on “Trial” for Acquitting a Black Boy

“It wasn’t that long ago in Canada when our justice system put a Black judge on trial for acquitting a Black boy of allegedly running his bike into an officer’s leg – her offence? Speaking truth to power by stating that sometimes police over-react when dealing with Black youth.” – Professor David Tanovich @dtanovich  In R … Continue reading Revisiting R v. S. (R.D.), 1997: A Case About a Black Judge on “Trial” for Acquitting a Black Boy

Should Affidavits of Service Be Required?

Recently lawyers have been debating online about whether the rules about affidavits of service should be reformed. Particularly in the context of serving documents by email, and there is a clear record of service. Service is important. It ensures that parties know about important court events before they happen. Sometimes self-represented litigants do not know … Continue reading Should Affidavits of Service Be Required?

Ontario Court of Appeal Hearing Some Appeals in Writing

In 4352238 Canada Inc. v. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., 2020 ONCA 303, the Ontario Court of Appeal heard arguments on whether an appeal should be heard in writing only.  Deviating from the usual mode of oral and written submissions. The appellant objected to the matter being heard only in writing. Despite the objection, the court held that … Continue reading Ontario Court of Appeal Hearing Some Appeals in Writing

Can Chatbots Answer Legal Questions?

The People’s Law School in British Columbia is offering free legal information through a Chatbot on Facebook. @chatwithbeagle answers questions through Facebook messenger at https://www.messenger.com/t/chatwithbeagle. The chatbot starts off saying: I work for People’s Law School. I’m here to sniff out information to help you with common legal problems. My goal is to empower you … Continue reading Can Chatbots Answer Legal Questions?

Why the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Has Barely Missed a Beat During the Pandemic

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has been fully functional for almost the entire time period during the pandemic. The court has easily transitioned to web-based hearings at the end of March 2020, – as announced here. Hearings are being heard in their ordinary order, in the same numbers as before the pandemic. Saskatchewan’s swift success … Continue reading Why the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Has Barely Missed a Beat During the Pandemic

Helpful Tips for Drafting Affidavits

Background Rules on Drafting Affidavits: Affidavits must be based on what the deponent saw, what they heard, or what they did. Affidavits must be written in the first person, state the full name of the deponent, and if the deponent is a party or a lawyer, officer, director, member or employee of a party. Affidavits … Continue reading Helpful Tips for Drafting Affidavits

Virtual Identification, Verification, and Witnessing of Clients During COVID-19

During the OBA Law Practice Management Section series we discussed Virtual identification of client identity: What tools are you using?. You are required to identify your client when you provide legal advice. Identifying the client means obtaining certain basic information about your client and any third party instructing you. This information includes items like the … Continue reading Virtual Identification, Verification, and Witnessing of Clients During COVID-19