Focus On



Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 2:17 PM

Significant employment law decisions in 2020 | Stuart Rudner

Every year, I find myself saying the same thing: “You would think that by 20__, employment law in Canada would be settled.” And yet every year, we have case law that significantly alters the landscape and, in many cases, causes parties to realize that their legal position has been dramatically altered. In some cases, counsel have to update their templates to ensure that they will be upheld. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 11:53 AM

Why I’m running for office | Jerry Levitan

“I’ve been around ya know.” Al Pacino as Lt. Col. Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman    ... [read more]

Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Toronto Lawyers Association’s proposals for reform | Sarah Boulby

The Toronto Lawyers Association proposes changes which, unlike the family legal services provider initiative, would enhance access to justice for Ontarians. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 10:26 AM

What Jane Goodall Act could mean for animals | Victoria Shroff

In part one of this article I wrote about the mighty Canadian federal animal protection Bill S-218, put forward by Sen. Murray Sinclair and supported by the bill’s namesake, Dr. Jane Goodall. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 02, 2020 @ 9:23 AM

Cure worse than disease: Virtual jury deliberations during COVID Part Two | Nik Khakhar

As we discussed in the first article in this series, central to the institution of the jury is the expectation that they form their verdict exclusively based on evidence that has been admitted at trial. While the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Pan; R v. Sawyer, 2001 SCC 42  affirmed the principle of jury secrecy — which protects the content of jury deliberations from being used as evidence to overturn a verdict — the majority also maintained that information that is extrinsic to the trial is admissible on appeal. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 01, 2020 @ 8:21 AM

Cure worse than disease: Virtual jury deliberations during COVID Part One | Nik Khakhar

On Oct. 10, Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court suspended jury selection for 28 days in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspots — Toronto, Brampton and Ottawa — while allowing in-person non-jury trials with 10 people or less to continue. Despite this allowance, Justice Morawetz maintained that proceedings should be carried out remotely as much as possible. By providing the option for hearings to be held via videoconferencing technologies such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, courts can ensure that cases suffer from minimal delays despite COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings. However, Ontario courts have been reluctant to allow jury deliberations to take place online. This contrasts with some courts in the U.S., such as Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, which have overseen some of the world’s first virtual jury trials.   ... [read more]

Monday, November 30, 2020 @ 3:09 PM

Toronto District School Board to expunge suspension records: Can justice wait? | Marvin Zuker

A news release from Toronto District School Board, dated November 12, 2020 states in part: “Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have unanimously voted to expunge discretionary suspensions from the Ontario Student Record and Caring and Safe Schools Database of students who were suspended in kindergarten to Grade 3.” What is the government’s plan to support school boards to reduce the overuse of any practices that push our children out the door? ... [read more]

Monday, November 30, 2020 @ 12:20 PM

No business case family legal services providers will charge less | Sarah Boulby

The Law Society of Ontario’s consultation paper starts from the assumption that non-lawyer service providers will provide family law services at reduced costs. There is no evidence of any form provided to support this contention. There is, however, research to show that the assumption that paralegals are more user friendly or lower the cost of justice is not a reasonable one. ... [read more]

Monday, November 30, 2020 @ 11:52 AM

Takeaways from U.S. election, starring My Cousin Vinny, Dolly Parton | Stéphanie Plante

Like many people, I went to bed on Tuesday, Nov. 3 thinking we may know the results of the American elections results late the next day, or at the very least before the weekend. Some states would be very close, others would be counting ballots that arrived by the mail, but more or less we would know who the winner was and could plan for the next four years accordingly. The fact that I can now chit chat with my neighbours about provisional ballots, signature matching, voting software, Maricopa County, Four Seasons Landscaping and My Cousin Vinny is either the end of times, or a new era of civic engagement. ... [read more]

Friday, November 27, 2020 @ 3:04 PM

Locking down locking up | Marcel Strigberger

Lockdown bah! Or is it bah? That is the question. How do we best deal with containing COVID-19? In Ontario we are living in an array of colour-coded risk zones, the different colours outdoing the coat Jacob gave his son Joseph. Each zone has its own designation and the red or grey, with Toronto and Peel regions leading the way, have the greatest activity restrictions, allowing indoor business only for places providing essential services. One problem is confusion as to what essential means. ... [read more]