Latest Commentary


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    No freedom to remain silent

    Nov 20, 2017

    The heated debate over the Law Society of Upper Canada’s decision to require licensees to adopt a statement of principles related to diversity and inclusion has become a distraction from the work that needs to be done. While I am in favour of the requirement, the real issue, from my perspective, is not compelled speech; it is that all lawyers, and especially white lawyers like me, do not have the freedom to remain silent on these issues if we hope to maintain the public’s confidence, irrespective of the obligations our regulator establishes. In the legal profession, promoting diversity is not about political speech or belief; rather, the public rightly expects that the justice system reflects our broader community, and so diversity is at the core of what it means to be a lawyer.

    Michael Fenrick
  • Gabrielle Giroday

    Correcting Corrections

    Nov 20, 2017

    Law Times reports that Correctional Service Canada has been found to be negligent in the severe beating of an inmate. The ruling in Fontenelle v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 ONSC 6604, comes after the attack on the inmate at Millhaven Institution, a maximum-security facility in Ontario.

    Gabrielle Giroday|Editorial Obiter
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    Time for dedicated internet libel legislation

    Nov 13, 2017

    It is often said that you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. However, it certainly hasn’t stopped the Ontario courts from giving it a try in attempting to apply Ontario’s antiquated Libel and Slander Act to defamatory publications on the internet.

    Robert B. Cohen
  • Gabrielle Giroday

    Words versus actions

    Nov 13, 2017

    In any working relationship, broken trust is hard to repair. Law Times reports that lawyers who work with indigenous groups say provisions in federal Bill C-58 would force access requesters to have specifics in terms of subject matter, time frames and types of records and will have a detrimental impact on these groups’ ability to do needed research for land claims.

    Gabrielle Giroday|Editorial Obiter
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    Evolving role of amicus curiae

    Nov 6, 2017

    For all its strengths, our adversarial system has its shortcomings. As the parties control the presentation of their case, if a fact or law is not in a party’s interest to bring up, the judge may never hear of it, however relevant it may be.

    Anna Wong
  • Gabrielle Giroday

    Expert testimony

    Nov 6, 2017

    Law Times has two stories this week that relate to expert testimony or expert witnesses. In one, the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the dismissal of a lawyer’s claim against a handwriting expert for defamation. In Deverett Law Offices v. Pitney, lawyer Michael Deverett’s firm brought a claim against a handwriting analyst who had done work for a former client.

    Gabrielle Giroday|Editorial Obiter
  • Ian Harvey

    Not all condo residents treated equally

    Nov 6, 2017

    The Toronto skyline is a long way from the suburban utopia of manicured lawns and white picket fences. While Toronto once spread out, it’s now also rising up, and since almost no one is building new apartment rental units, the demand for rentals has been supplied by condo buyers, many of whom are absent offshore investors.

    Ian Harvey|Inside Queen's Park
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    Know your rights at the border

    Oct 30, 2017

    Technology is wonderful. Laptop computers are getting lighter. Storage capacity on laptop computers, smartphones, USB keys and other electronic devices are up in the terabytes. What this means is that everyone, including lawyers, can travel with vast amounts of personal data and client documents dating back to or before the purchase of an electronic device.

    Cyndee Todgham Cherniak
  • Gabrielle Giroday

    All that glitters

    Oct 30, 2017

    Among the lawyers I know in my peer group, there was an incredibly steep drop-off rate when it came to high-paced jobs.

    Gabrielle Giroday|Editorial Obiter
  • Jennifer Quito

    Correcting the record on LSUC diversity statement

    Oct 23, 2017

    This fall, the Law Society of Upper Canada advised licensees that they must create and abide by an individual statement of principles that acknowledges their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally and in their behaviour toward colleagues, employees, clients and the public.

    Jennifer Quito
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