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Focus On

From autonomous cars to smartphone zombies, analysis and opinion highlights of 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018 @ 9:35 AM | By Richard Skinulis and Peter Carter


Richard Skinulis and Peter Carter %>
Richard Skinulis and Peter Carter
Here are 16 memorable and outstanding stories from 2018, as selected by The Lawyer's Daily Analysis Editors Richard Skinulis and Peter Carter.
 
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
How the Rise Women’s Legal Centre helps the most marginalized | Thomas Cromwell
One of the biggest of the access to justice challenges is the gap in availability of legal services. So many people fall in the gap between eligibility for legal aid and the ability to retain private counsel. One innovative initiative to help fill parts of this gap is the Rise Women’s Legal Centre in Vancouver.

BUSINESS
New opportunities and risks: How CPTPP might affect Canadian business
It is expected that the CPTPP will play a major role on how Canadian businesses will need to shape their commercial strategies and operations to face increased competition in their industry or benefit from new market opportunities. If Canadian stakeholders are not currently preparing for the entry into force of the CPTPP, now is the time to start.

CIVIL LITIGATION
Aggressive pharma litigants sanctioned by massive costs award
The decision of Justice Phelan is a painful reminder to Canadian litigants that the pursuit of even a large, bet-the-company kind of case does not dispense a party from the obligation to litigate reasonably and strategically.

CRIMINAL  
A modest proposal concerning bias in the jury system
The late Colten Boushie’s family and others have raised concerns about the jury selection. I am suggesting a different approach — one that requires political courage on the part of the Crown Attorney office but which could alleviate some of the concerns about a biased jury when the victim is Indigenous.

FAMILY
Bill C-78 amendments to the Divorce Act: Rearranging the deck chairs
To be candid, the current hoopla over C-78 seems eerily similar to the excitement over the maiden voyage of the Titanic.
 
IMMIGRATION
A hard look at Canada’s own child refugee problem
Canada does separate families — specifically refugee families — all the time. The principal way this happens is that Regulation 176 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations does not include parents as “family members of a protected person.”

INDIGENOUS ISSUES
Indigenous inquiry a slow motion implosion | Pamela Palmater
Canada owes the families and communities better if the prime minister meant what he said that there is no relationship more important to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples.

IN-HOUSE COUNSEL
Complying with PIPEDA’s new breach reporting rules
In light of the increased risk of reputational damage — and exposure to lawsuits — organizations will need to consider whether they should protect their internal investigations by means of legal privilege.  

INSURANCE
Where auto insurance meets autonomous cars
With the advent of autonomous vehicles quickly approaching, auto insurers have been considering and developing insurance products that take into account this new technology.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Search and seizure of electronic data: Too much of a good thing
Seizures of electronic data have become the equivalent of trying to catch trophy fish using bottom trawling nets. Like large, weighted fishing nets dragged across the seafloor, unselectively scooping up everything in their path, seizures of data invariably and easily net their own form of digital bycatch.

LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
Workplace cannabis: Where theres smoke, is there fire? | Stuart Rudner
With the growing acceptance of cannabis as medication, along with the legalization of recreational usage, has served as a timely reminder that employers need to have effective and realistic drug and alcohol policies.

NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Nova Scotia's tidal energy generation: Commercialize this
Making the most of Nova Scotia’s unique geography, Nova Scotia is developing a regulated marine renewable energy industry that is the first of its kind in Canada and perhaps globally.

PERSONAL INJURY
Arrival of the smartphone zombie
There is little doubt, these changes to the Highway Traffic Act should cause drivers to think twice and be more aware of their surroundings. However, it fails to take into account the fact that all too often pedestrians are distracted walkers.

REAL ESTATE
Growing, consuming legal cannabis may still be prohibited in condos, apartments
Ultimately, it is up to individual condo corporations or landlords to decide, as a matter of policy and risk management, whether prohibitions on cannabis cultivation and the smoking or burning of any substance, including cannabis, should be implemented at the residential premises.

TAX
Secrets of the carbon tax
If Ottawa is successful in arguing that the carbon tax is constitutionally valid then we can expect the issue to be very alive in next year’s election with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer already disputing the government claims that Canadian taxpayers won’t be out of pocket.

WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATES
Proving incapacity to marry the key to fighting predatory marriages
Predatory marriages are a growing phenomenon. Taking advantage of the elderly and vulnerable is a serious concern of their adult children. The victim is not only the elderly spouse, but his entire family.

Richard Skinulis and Peter Carter are the Analysis Editors for The Lawyer’s Daily.