Focus On
The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Editor-in-Chief’s must-read items from this week

Friday, September 11, 2020 @ 2:52 PM | By John Carson


John Carson %>
John Carson
Stepping in for the Managing Editor, here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Supreme Court twice weighs in on Ontario anti-SLAPP legislation
Canada’s highest court has for the first time zeroed in on Ontario’s anti-SLAPP laws via two rulings, finding in one that a developer’s lawsuit aimed at statements by a residents’ association was a SLAPP and went against the public’s interest in hearing the group’s environmental concerns, while deciding in another the advancement of a doctor’s defamation case is of greater public interest than the defendant’s right to expression.

Ontario Court of Appeal flinches in face of 500-page factum
How do you solve a problem like a 523-page factum? If you’re the Ontario Court of Appeal, you respond with a polite and well-reasoned “no thank you,” as it did in its recent decision in OZ Merchandising Inc. v. Canadian Professional Soccer League Inc. 2020 ONCA 532.

Criminalization of Indigenous journalism contradicts reconciliation | Pamela Palmater
What does it take to get arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)? Well, if we go by recent events around 1492 Land Back Lane, it looks like the arrest criteria include being Indigenous, an award-winning journalist and covering First Nation land defence stories. Because that is exactly what happened to Karl Dockstader, an Oneida journalist and radio host embedded with Haudenosaunee land defenders and providing daily updates via social media and video. What’s worse is that the OPP refuses to tell Dockstader what he has done wrong.

Why are lawyers so depressed? | Warren Urquhart
Why do you want to be a lawyer? For those aspiring to join the legal profession, this question is omnipresent. It’s asked by friends, family members, law schools, possible employers and hopefully, by yourself to yourself.

When Me Too shows up in Tax Court
The Tax Court of Canada has for the first time recognized gender discrimination as a valid basis for the directors’ due diligence defence to personal liability for corporate tax obligations. In Penate v. R. 2020 TCC 63 (Penate), the Tax Court accepted that a female business owner was absolved of vicarious liability for her company’s delinquent GST/HST remittances because of sexual harassment by customers unwilling to pay invoices without sexual favours.

John Carson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Lawyer's Daily.