Focus On



Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 10:01 AM

No turning back from pandemic’s changes to justice system: CBA report CBA president Brad Regehr

When transmitting the first message to officially open the Baltimore to Washington telegraph line, Samuel Morse included a simple statement: “what hath God wrought?” The same question has likely passed through the minds of many people over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses and schools and forced many people into makeshift home offices. Canada’s justice system has not been immune from that change, with trials moving online and lawyers filing their documents electronically. And now the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) says it is time to make many of those changes permanent. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 8:27 AM

Executor denied indemnity by beneficiaries for tax liability Dominos falling on a red block man

Here is a cautionary tale for executors administering an estate. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) makes executors personally liable for the estate’s final tax return. Further, executors should not be in a hurry to make distributions from the estate until a tax clearance certificate has been received from CRA. Finally, it is difficult to try to get money back after it has been distributed to beneficiaries. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 8:29 AM

Made to measure: Mental health at Canadian law schools | Sharath Voleti

The legal profession is grueling and stressful, with many lawyers facing mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and addiction issues. Common refrains from lawyers include poor overall satisfaction and work-life balance, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the legal profession has taken important steps by providing supports such as the Member Assistance Program and raising awareness through continuing education programs. Comparatively little attention, however, has been paid to law student mental health. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 @ 11:56 AM

Stocking your resilience toolbox: Being proactive in managing stress | Rob De Toni

In my article published in The Lawyer’s Daily on Feb. 3 (see below for link), I wrote about how we can proactively strengthen our resilience by using the tools we already have at our disposal. I called it “stocking our resilience toolbox,” and I focused on the physical tools that we could stock our toolboxes with. So, what mental health tools should we put in? ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 @ 9:53 AM

Bill-78: Quebec moves toward more corporate transparency People examining all aspects of a corporation

True to its commitment to address tax avoidance, criminal activity and corruption, the Quebec government introduced Bill 78, An Act mainly to improve the transparency of enterprises (the bill) last December. The bill did not come as a surprise as it substantially replicates the proposed amendments already disclosed by the Quebec government in March 2020 as part of the 2020‑2021 budget. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 @ 9:48 AM

New tax group partner for McCarthy Tétrault in Montreal

McCarthy Tétrault welcomed Michel Ranger as a partner in its national tax group in the firm’s Montreal office. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 11, 2021 @ 4:11 PM

Legal clinic suing Ottawa for refugees’ inability to get child benefit Avvy Go, Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic

An ethnic legal clinic in Toronto is suing the federal government over an inability of poor families with “precarious immigration status” to access the Canada Child Benefit. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 11, 2021 @ 1:26 PM

Stop making fun of lawyers, even when they are cats | Alistair Vigier

Over the past two days, since the “cat attorney” video went viral, the many videos of it collectively have over 13 million views. For those that haven’t seen it, here it is. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 11, 2021 @ 11:24 AM

What full cost accounting means in Nova v. Dow Three different sized stacks of coins

The Federal Court of Appeal decision in Nova Chemicals Corp. v. Dow Chemicals Co. [2020] F.C.J. No. 928 released on Sept. 15, has garnered a lot of attention and created much discussion in the intellectual property space. One of the primary reasons for this is because the decision deviated from past cases regarding the appropriate costs to be deducted from an infringer’s revenues under an accounting of profits remedy. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 09, 2021 @ 3:07 PM

CRA simplifies home office expense deduction method for 2020 Man wearing mask sits at desk looking at phone and typing on calculator

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant many Canadians are adapting to remote work. In an effort to recognize this large-scale change, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has temporarily altered and simplified the eligibility requirements for deducting home office expenses for employees working from home due to COVID-19 in 2020. Previously, CRA’s deductibility requirements for employees working from home were much more restrictive than the new temporary rules which will apply for the 2020 tax year. ... [read more]