Focus On



Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 2:00 PM

Supreme Court upholds ruling on importance of text timing in sexual assault case Teens&cellsphones

The use of text messages in trials has become more and more common over time. Both as a result of the fact that virtually everyone has a cell phone, and the seeming preference by younger people for this form of communication, information which used to be lost in the ether, is now recorded for all time. This is especially so in matters of sexual assault. Where conversations used to be had over the phone or in person, it is quite common for people to discuss their sex lives, past, present and future, via text. Section 276 of the Criminal Code limits the use to which such records can be used. Specifically, avoiding the twin myths is a key reason for such messages to be deemed inadmissible. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 10:50 AM

Chopsticks, hopscotch, J.Lo, Henein’s fireside chat | Adriana Ortiz

Diversity and inclusion is a very meaningful topic for me as a criminal defence lawyer who studied and practised abroad. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 9:27 AM

‘Constellation of failings’ by counsel spurs retrial in Alberta sexual assault case

An Alberta man faces a fresh trial on sexual assault charges after the province’s top court ruled his defence counsel’s error-strewn handling of the original proceeding rendered his convictions a miscarriage of justice. Writing for the unanimous three-judge panel in R. v. Sauverwald 2020 ABCA 388, Appeal Court Justice Peter Costigan ordered a new trial on charges of sexual assault and strangling with intent to commit sexual assault for Reno Sauverwald, the 52-year-old appellant. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 2:08 PM - Last Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 9:03 AM

New jury selection and jury trials suspended as Ontario COVID-19 cases soar Chief Justice Morawetz sm

The chief justice of the Ontario Superior Court has cancelled an earlier plan to resume new jury selection and new in-person jury trials in Toronto and Brampton effective Nov. 16 as the number of new COVID-19 cases in those regions rises precipitously. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 9:18 AM

Law Society of B.C. launches ‘innovation sandbox’ on expanding access to justice LSBC president Craig Ferris

The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) has launched an “innovation sandbox” which will look at proposals from those who are seeking to address unmet legal need in the province. Those admitted to the innovation sandbox will pilot legal services and advice under the supervision of the law society. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Juror mental health bill would show citizens justice system ‘will not let you down’: senator Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu

People who have experienced mental health issues after serving as jurors in a criminal trial may soon have more support thanks to a bill which is winding its way through the Senate. Bill S-212 would amend the Criminal Code to allow jurors the opportunity to discuss their experiences during a trial with a health-care professional, which is currently prohibited by law. The bill also requires the health professional providing the service to be authorized under provincial jurisdiction. ... [read more]

Monday, November 09, 2020 @ 11:26 AM

Consider intersectional approach to your recruitment experience | Naomi Sayers

Often the legal industry talks about how progressive their own law practice is without critical examination into how their own recruitment experience closes the doors onto so many. ... [read more]

Monday, November 09, 2020 @ 9:57 AM

Action committee offers guidance on resuming court operations in remote, Indigenous communities Chief Justice Richard Wagner

A committee of justice officials established to guide court operations as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic has issued new guidance on the safe restoration on court operations for northern, remote and Indigenous communities. ... [read more]

Monday, November 09, 2020 @ 9:29 AM

CIVIL PROCEDURE - Disposition without trial - Stay of action - Another proceeding pending

Appeal by the Director from a stay of proceedings. Director commenced a civil forfeiture action against the defendants after cash totalling $213,670 was found in a vehicle by police during a traffic stop. ... [read more]

Friday, November 06, 2020 @ 1:58 PM

Paralegal Roundup: News, analysis and opinion published this week paralegal

What is a paralegal and what legal services can they provide? Are paralegals regulated? Is “paralegal” even the proper term to use? The answers to these questions may vary depending on where you are in the country. ... [read more]