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Editorial: Duty to report

Law Times reports new Law Society of Upper Canada rules will mean lawyers and paralegals must report other legal professionals whose conduct raises “substantial questions” about their honesty, trustworthiness, or competency. In my experience, people are loath to tattle on their neighbours if they must continue living next to them. It is a fundamentally human instinct to know that throwing mud on another can mean you end up getting dirty, even if you have well-placed suspicions or knowledge of wrongdoing by another. 
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Social Justice: Expert witness cross-examination conundrum

There are various strategies available to counsel in attempting to impeach an expert’s credibility. Cross-examination on the basis of prior inconsistent statements is a well-known strategy. As seen in the recent Jian Ghomeshi acquittal, this technique is a powerful weapon in attacking the credibility of any witness. Another strategy is cross-examination to establish bias, attempting to establish the witness’ partisanship.
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Editorial: Terrible trickle-down

Bureaucracy has a way of deadening the soul to the very real and very serious consequences of denying each person the right to a fair and timely court hearing.
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A Criminal Mind: Excluding ill-gotten evidence necessary

Excluding relevant evidence from a criminal trial — especially where it leads to the acquittal of a guilty accused — is never a very popular business, but it’s sometimes necessary. Section 24(2) of the Charter says the point is to avoid bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. Courts have been trying for more than 30 years to give meaning to this vacuous phrase, and provide some structure to its application.
It’s a difficult problem, since the words of s. 24(2) really only tell us that exclusion isn’t automatic, as the American exclusionary rule is reputed to be. Giving some kind of predictable structure to the analysis has been a long-term challenge for the courts at all levels.
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Labour Pains: Enforceability of termination clauses

Written employment contracts are relationship management tools. Their goal is to provide certainty of the terms of employment. If an employment contract fails to conform to the provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, it will be invalidated. A recent case in point is Garreton v. Complete Innovations Inc., 2016 ONSC 1178, where the Divisional Court confirmed that a termination provision’s “potential” violation of the ESA in the future is sufficient to void it. Notably, it clarified that the termination provision’s conformity to the ESA is to be assessed as of the time the employment contract was executed and not at the time of the employee’s dismissal.
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Editorial: Stuck in the Stone Age

The unwillingness to move with the times can be extremely arrogant, self-destructive, and even plain old unreasonable.
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Speaker's Corner: Employees’ interests reign

There’s good news for some employees from the Ontario Court of Appeal. In Howard v. Benson Group Inc., the court ruled that employees under a fixed-term agreement generally do not have an obligation to mitigate their damages on a without-cause termination before the end of the term. Employees are generally entitled to damages for the unexpired portion of the term, and they can take that money and run without having to account for any re-employment income.
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Editorial: Under pressure

A recent ruling related to independent medical examinations signals tolerance by courts for biased experts may be running short.
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Speaker's Corner: Where are the clowns?

After intense parliamentary debates spanning six years, the Copyright Modernization Act finally came into force in June 2012. While many of the changes to Canada’s copyright laws had been hotly contested, one widely embraced provision was the expansion under the fair dealing provision to include parody and satire.
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Editorial: Not a knee-jerk reaction

There’s a familiar lament about the havoc the Internet is wreaking on both traditional business structures of law and traditional business structures of journalism. The lament centres on the disintegration of an old-guard structure, and the Wild West atmosphere of a confined landscape broken open.
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Speaker's Corner: A story of unchecked power

In March of this year, two men died within a week while in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency in Ontario — one in an immigration holding centre and the other in a jail. One of them reportedly committed suicide, and the cause of death of the other is still unknown. In December 2013, a woman in CBSA custody in British Columbia died in hospital after trying to hang herself at an airport holding centre; the death was not publicly reported until a month later.
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Editorial: Mind the Charter

How embarrassing. Police entities across Ontario are under the microscope right now. There is a heightened attention from the public and media to various police enforcement tactics, and a recent Court of Appeal ruling had some strong words for an Ontario officer who Justice Peter Lauwers said violated the Charter doing a vehicle search.
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Page 7 of 77

  • Access to Justice
    Access to Justice The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) strives to inform the public on the importance of the people having access to legal resources and…
  • Legal Aid lawyers rally for collective bargaining rights
    Legal Aid lawyers rally for collective bargaining rights Legal Aid Ontario lawyers held three protests in July to push the provincial government to support their attempts to unionize. The lawyers have been in…
  • Jane-Finch community gets employment law help
    Jane-Finch community gets employment law help Osgoode Hall Law School's Community Legal Aid Services Programme recently opened an employment law division for Toronto's Jane-Finch community.Phanath Im, review counsel for the division,…
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Law Times poll

Law Times reports that lawyers are expressing concerns over the timing of the rollout of extensive draft regulations by the provincial government to amend the Condominium Act. Do you feel this will leave little time to bring clients up to speed?
Yes, the government expects the first phase of legislation to be implemented later this year, and this leaves little lead time for lawyers.
No, the changes leave appropriate time for lawyers to digest all the regulations and help clients understand them.