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Tip or Other Gratuity: Proposed Credit Card Processing Fee Exemption Under ESA

In general in Canada, restaurant and bar patrons are expected to leave a tip amounting to approximately 15 percent of their total bill when dining out or drinking. However, we usually do so without asking ourselves how the money will be divided among staff members. Well, it seems in Ontario, it is a common practice for restaurants to require servers to share their tips and gratuities with their managers and the owners.

Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 (Bill 12), amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) to provide that employers are prohibited from taking any portion of an employee’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Access to Consumer Justice – What We Need to Know

One of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice’s primary mandates is improving access to justice. How do consumer issues relate to access to justice? For consumers, access to justice is partly about holding retailers and suppliers accountable for the promises they make and for the safety of their products and services. In 2014, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) conducted the “Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada” survey with over 3000 participants across Canada. According to the CFCJ data, access to consumer justice is an issue. While formal justice mechanisms for . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

E-Mail – More Secure Than a Postcard

The Apple – FBI tempest got me thinking about email security. (Even though that fight was over device security, not email platform and transmission security.)

Email security has improved over the past couple of years, no doubt in part due to the Snowden – NSA revelations. Many providers of hardware, software, internet infrastructure, and online services have taken steps to implement encryption in general, and to plug the gaps in the chain where encryption was missing. Some, for example, had gaps as they passed email to other mail providers unencrypted, even if they encrypted it while they had it. Encryption . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Is There Copyright in Klingon?

Major Hollywood studios are suing the makers of a fan-generated short Star Trek film for violation of intellectual property rights, including the film’s use of the Klingon language invented by the creators of Star Trek.

Does the claim about the use of Klingon make any sense? I don’t believe that the claim focuses on substantial use of passages of text from existing screenplays. The characters in the fan film are using their own texts according to the rules of the artificially-created language.

If not copyright, is there some other kind of intellectual property that might be infringed by the use . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Public Speaking: Some People Love It, Some People Hate It, Yet We All Have to Do It

“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.”?– Sir Ralph Richardson

No matter the job, all lawyers need to speak well. Below are some helpful pointers for public speaking:

  1. breath deeply using your diaphragm and talk while breathing out;
  2. use lots of air while talking;
  3. do not hold your breath while talking;
  4. start your sentence in a lower tone;
  5. emphasize the end of the sentence (end your sentence in a low pitch);
  6. emphasize the key words in your sentence;
  7. pause for effect;
  8. emphasize points through alliteration;
  9. use inclusive language when drafting your presentation (e.g. we, us, you, I
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

A New Way to Oppose the Admissibility of Records

Soon, the very procedures used to produce a National Standard of Canada (an NSC) upon which the electronic records provisions of the Evidence Acts depend, will create another way of opposing the admissibility of records. That will undermine litigation based upon records, particularly criminal prosecutions. So you’d think the federal Department of Justice would be rushing to protect the Crown’s case. Well read on, then think again.

In regard to best evidence rule issues, admissibility of electronic records requires proof of the “systems integrity” of the electronic records management systems (ERMSs) in which the records are recorded or stored; see . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. R. v. Ghomeshi, 2016 ONCJ 155

[128] I have very deliberately considered the evidence relating to each of the charges separately. Each complainant in this case had a different and unique experience with Mr. Ghomeshi. However, there are certain common aspects to their cases. Each had some involvement in the arts and entertainment world, which brought them into contact with the . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Of Conference Debriefs and #ABATECHSHOW 2016 Chicago Travel Tips

A good conference can leave little?time to explore a city?itself. Hence, I’ve?pathetic little Chicago lore?to pass on. No Field Museum meditations, no Magnificent Mile shopping tips.?Chicago may?not best be described as “the appurtenance to?the?Hilton along Michigan Ave” but honestly, after attending the 2016 ABA TECHSHOW, I am hardly in a?position to describe it any better.

The only souvenirs I acquired bleeped?in?when I disengaged airplane mode on a layover in Minnesota… 95 Twitter notifications from lawyers and startups I engaged with at?the?conference. Fellow conference attendee, LSUC’s Phil Brown, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

The Tension Between Library Collections and Other Work in Law Libraries

There has been an interesting trend in law firms recently of gradually reducing staff in libraries, but adding information specialist positions with various job titles to business development groups. It seems like a missed opportunity for firm libraries to redefine their roles, and for library staff to explore interesting work that increases the return on investment of the library budget. Wondering why this is happening in this way, I started to think about what work takes the majority of library staff time in a firm. It seems that the likely target is the commitment to maintaining print collections, which still . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on research and writing, practice, and technology.

Research & Writing

Use a Checklist
Susannah Tredwell

As a great fan of checklists I highly recommend Atul Gawande’s book on the subject, The Checklist Manifesto. In his book Gawande makes the case that a checklist is valuable even if you have done a specific task many times before and know exactly what you are doing. He illustrates this point by giving examples of how checklists are used . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Testamentary Freedom Reaffirmed

Early this month Ontario’s Court of Appeal released its decision in Spence v. BMO Trust Company, an important statement on the supervisory jurisdiction of Ontario courts regarding gifts in a Will that offend public policy.

The court affirmed that?at common law, “… a testator’s right to dispose of her property and to choose her beneficiaries as she wishes, even on discriminatory grounds”, is protected.

Background

The deceased had two daughters. He moved to Canada after divorcing their mother. His daughter Verolin followed her father to Canada. The other daughter remained with her mother in England.

The deceased, a black . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

New Lawyer Cyber Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Like the local bank, your practice holds valuable information and money. Your computer systems may contain client information, trade secrets, and intellectual property. Your trust accounts have large sums of money. A cyber breach or trust account theft will harm your clients and potentially cripple your practice. Security guards, specialized safes, and sophisticated procedures protect the local bank. What safeguards have you put in place for your practice?

Perceived to be less sophisticated than banks and big companies, lawyers make easy targets for tech-savvy criminals. The payoff, which can include emptying trust accounts and taking advantage of confidential information, is . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet