Focus On



Thursday, August 13, 2020 @ 1:20 PM

Call for transparency in Alberta correctional system darkskinnedhandstied.jpg

This article was originally intended to be a follow-up to a piece I penned in June of this year, about the manner in which COVID-19 has amplified access to justice issues for Alberta’s in-custody population. The previous article examined particular cases in which the messaging behind Alberta’s efforts to avert potential spread among this population suggests inconsistent priorities among provincial courts and the Queen’s Bench. ... [read more]

Thursday, August 13, 2020 @ 8:42 AM

Social equality, climate change no longer corporate side issues crisis_opportunity_sm

For several years, corporate leaders have acknowledged that businesses should play a greater role in addressing urgent challenges such as climate change and social equity. Despite their good intentions however, executives recognized environmental, social and governance matters (ESG) as secondary for themselves and their shareholders — and while all would agree that managing for the long-term health and success of a business is important, the short-term demands of the market and quarterly results often take precedence. The urgent trumps the important. This, however, is no longer the case. ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 @ 2:06 PM

How lawyers talk about themselves; why they should stop doing so lawyerlookinginmirror.jpg

When people find out I used to be a Wall Street lawyer they say things like, “Well, I won’t hold that against you.” Or, “I’m glad you made it out alive!” Even if you haven’t worked on Wall Street, I bet that sounds familiar, the casual presumption of something unpleasant. Or how about this: Now that I’m no longer practising, people often introduce me as a “recovering lawyer,” which is a strange sort of introduction. Let me introduce you to this guy who’s made some really bad career choices! ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 @ 1:53 PM

Three C’s of immigration: Trump’s loss Canada’s gain three_checks_sm

On June 22, 2020, Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation (Proclamation 10052) that suspended the entry of foreign nationals on H-1B, L, H-2B and J temporary visas until at least Dec. 31, 2020. ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 @ 12:53 PM

Buy now, pay later: Instalment payment fintechs in Canada Online shopping

“Pay in four easy payments” and similar messages have recently started appearing on the screens of Canadians checking out their online shopping carts. What’s being introduced to them is part of a growing global trend, specifically the rise of financial technology (or fintech) “Buy now, pay later” instalment payment providers (BNPL providers). ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 @ 11:54 AM

Relationships, issues around intellectual property, emerging technologies Robot typing

What is the relationship between emerging technologies and intellectual property (IP)? Innovations in emerging technologies often bring new products to market, create differentiated services, or change how consumers interact with existing products and services. IP intersects with emerging technologies in various ways, some of which are more significant than others. This note is an overview of some of the more substantial ways that IP intersects with emerging technologies, and how in turn this may influence trends in global IP law and governance. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 2:16 PM

COVID-19: Duty to accommodate workers with immunocompromised family Group of workers one in a wheelchair

Both employers and employees have been affected by the pandemic on an unprecedented scale. Federal, provincial and territorial governments have placed demands and restrictions on industries and individuals alike. In Ontario, for example, the government released the list of essential workplaces on March 23, 2020, which was revised at a later date. This decision classified our workforce into four categories: (1) essential workers remaining at work, (2) non-essential workers who had to temporarily leave their at-risk workplaces and (3) precariously employed or gig workers — soon or instantly becoming unemployed, and (4) the already unemployed, receiving employment insurance benefits and looking for work. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 1:40 PM

Gap in the law: Exposure to your ex when you don’t have a will bridge_gap_sm

The pandemic has put relationships to the test — and not all seem to be passing. Spousal separations are expected to increase, with a likely spike in divorces when things get back to “normal.” What most may not realize is that in between the time when couples say “it’s complicated” to the time they divorce, their spouses are still entitled to substantial portions of their property on death if they do not prepare a will.   ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 1:30 PM

Ontario Court of Appeal rules on marriage contract, entitlement to relief Marriage contract

On July 23, 2020, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its highly anticipated decision of Kyle v. Atwill 2020 ONCA 476. The decision makes clear that in Ontario, there is no limitation period to bring a proceeding for a declaration to set aside a marriage contract under s. 56(4) of the Family Law Act (FLA) (para. 57). This is the case for both stand alone proceedings under s. 56(4) and for proceedings that claim other relief from the FLA (para. 57). ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 @ 12:50 PM

Divorce in pandemic times: Arbitration as a potential answer Arbitration agreement

Closed or inaccessible courts during the pandemic prompted me to consider how we resolve matrimonial disputes generally, and, more specifically, how we can resolve them more effectively in these stressful and uncertain times. ... [read more]