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?

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

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

Using Apps for Contact Tracing: Can We Protect Privacy?

Governments in Canada have yet to officially use phone data to track and trace people who may be infected with COVID-19. However, there has been discussion around using a system in Canada similar to Singapore. In Singapore, the app being used to track and trace people who may have contracted COVID-19 is “TraceTogether”. TraceTogether uses … Continue reading Using Apps for Contact Tracing: Can We Protect Privacy?

Changes in Court Process due to COVID-19 Social Distancing

This post is from an interview with lawyer Heather Hui-Litwin, co-founder of Self-Rep Navigators. It is posted on Self-Rep Navigators website. Courts in Ontario have implemented changes to accommodate the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation. Lawyer Heather S. Douglas explains to Heather Hui-Litwin (Self-Rep Navigator Co-founder) what these changes are. QUESTION 1: What is the current … Continue reading Changes in Court Process due to COVID-19 Social Distancing

Should Judges Confront Big Companies for Failing to Pay Jurors for Time Off Work?

Jury duty is an obligation dreaded by some and evaded by others. Medical reasons, familial obligations, travel plans, and the loss of an income are some of excuses used to avoid jury duty. Recently, Justice Robert Goldstein of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto wrote to Canadian Tire about their policy on paying … Continue reading Should Judges Confront Big Companies for Failing to Pay Jurors for Time Off Work?

Should Law Society Fees Be Progressive?

Recently lawyer Elsa Ascencio @elsaasce tweeted about the Law Society fee structure. In her initial tweet she pointed out that the fees prevent her from servicing her clients. In response, many lawyers chimed in. Jessica Prince @jesshwprince tweeted that the barristers in England and Wales have a progressive fee structure based on last year’s earnings. … Continue reading Should Law Society Fees Be Progressive?

#LawNeedsWellnessBecause

Recently the #LawNeedsWellnessBecause hashtag was trending on Twitter. Lawyers weighed in on why mental health should be a priority. Amongst the #LawNeedsWellnessBecause tweets, the structure of how lawyers practice was pointed to as a contributor to stress, anxiety, and burnout. Despite the structural factors influencing mental health, there is almost an exclusive focus on fixing … Continue reading #LawNeedsWellnessBecause

In Praise of the Honourable Justice Clement Gascon

Recently, the Honourable Justice Clement Gascon of the Supreme Court of Canada addressed his momentary absence from work on May 8th, 2019. For over twenty years, I have been dealing with a sometimes insidious illness: depression and anxiety disorders. This is an illness that can be treated and controlled, some days better than others. On the … Continue reading In Praise of the Honourable Justice Clement Gascon

Celebrating the Everyday Lawyer

  Benchmark Litigation recently posted this list of the top trial lawyers in Canada. Twitter was abuzz. Many people questioned the selection of the lawyers. Not over competence. The lawyers selected are all outstanding trial lawyers. But whether a list composed of almost all white men was truly representative and unbiased. In the journal article, … Continue reading Celebrating the Everyday Lawyer