Focus On



Monday, December 09, 2019 @ 8:35 AM

Tax audit reassessments and compliance | James Alvarez

The authors of a recent study published by the International Monetary Fund found that where self-employed Americans underwent audits, taxpayers who were reassessed at the end of the audit declared substantially more income, while unassessed taxpayers claimed less. ... [read more]

Friday, December 06, 2019 @ 1:22 PM

Law firm marketing: Asking the big questions | Jana Schilder

There are two truths in law firm marketing for the coming year that have not changed in decades: One is that business is always about who is willing to give your firm the business as opposed to a competitor. And two, the best lawyers constantly take action to expand their “sphere of influence.” ... [read more]

Thursday, December 05, 2019 @ 11:47 AM

Liability for unlawful arrest and right to refuse to comply | Sylvie Rodrigue

On Nov. 29, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) rendered its decision in Kosoian v. Société de transport de Montréal, 2019 SCC 59 and unanimously ruled in favour of Bela Kosoian, overturning the decisions of the Quebec courts below and ordering the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) (the authority responsible for the subway system), the City of Laval and constable Fabio Camacho to pay her $20,000 in relation with her detention and arrest 10 years ago. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 05, 2019 @ 9:39 AM

The cumulative damage of microaggressions on minorities | Caryma Sa’d

Toronto’s Old City Hall is my favourite courthouse. A couple of weeks ago, I was in remand court. I signed the counsel list and sat on the bench where lawyers and paralegals wait to have their matters called. It was the morning break, and I was feeling whimsical. I mused about the thousands of lawyers who have occupied this space over the past century. A sharp voice pulled me from my reverie: “Excuse me. Are you counsel or the interpreter?” ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 04, 2019 @ 8:50 AM

Why legal marketing often falls flat | Kim McLaughlin

Law firms often hire me to fix their marketing programs after a period of lacklustre results. After almost a decade of marketing for Canada’s legal community, I’ve come to recognize a specific set of patterns for why a marketing program hasn’t worked. While the situations listed below are not unique to law firms, they certainly occur more frequently in law than in other industries. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 @ 8:46 AM

Legal writing in the digital age | Neil Guthrie

All kinds of questions arise from the new (or newish) technology we use in legal practice. Should you communicate with your clients by text message, for example? The answer is probably not: there are security and privacy issues, privileged and confidential information may find its way to servers in the United States (and therefore be subject to scrutiny by U.S. government officials) and your chat history may be difficult — or impossible — to retrieve if you need to establish exactly what was said and when. ... [read more]

Monday, December 02, 2019 @ 11:33 AM

Gender diversity in legislative drafting act | Lawrence David

One never truly knows to where a simple cup of vanilla chai can possibly lead. Case in point: I went to an unnamed, yet well-known coffee shop around the block after a day of writing. Aside from placing my order, I had an incredibly insightful conversation with a barista. Their name is Jaclyn, and they are an exemplar of human warmth, decency and going above and beyond preparing a customer a cup of vanilla chai. Jaclyn inspired this column and I am privileged to dedicate it to them. ... [read more]

Friday, November 29, 2019 @ 8:48 AM

Toto, I have a feeling we’re in Iowa | Marcel Strigberger

Dead or alive? That is the question. An interesting decision came out of the Iowa Court of Appeal recently. ... [read more]

Friday, November 29, 2019 @ 8:26 AM

Wellness: Smile and change the world a little | Darryl Singer

I have been travelling more than usual on business lately. In the last two months, I’ve had two conferences out of the province. I have also had discoveries and court appearances in various parts of the province. I’ve travelled on large jets and tiny prop planes, driven hundreds of kilometres, seen airports, highway rest stops and too many hotels. Travel sucks. Lineups at the airport, traffic on the highway, strange beds, and an awful lot of restaurants and fast food joints. Yet I have had nothing but pleasant experiences. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 28, 2019 @ 8:53 AM

More economic injustice for Indigenous people as result of Van der Peet | Angelique EagleWoman

Author’s note: In the first part of this two-part series, I discussed how courts have exacerbated Indigenous poverty by falsely redefining pre-contact economic activity and thereby limiting economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples. It is important to note that all of the decisions discussed involved criminal charges brought against Indigenous peoples engaged in commercial activity which was the primary point of contact with Europeans who entered North America. ... [read more]