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Federal Budget 2019 Employment and Payroll Related Measures

On March 19, 2019, the federal government tabled its election budget, the 2019-20 budget. The budget expects a deficit of $14.9 billion for fiscal 2018-2019 and forecasts deficits of $19.8 billion for 2019-2020 and $19.7 billion for fiscal 2020-2021. The budget does not include any personal or corporate tax rate changes; however, the budget does include measures of interest to employers and payroll (some paraphrase included): 1. Employment Insurance premium reduction Budget 2019 will reduce th...
Tags: Law, Miscellaneous, Canada, ITA, Federal Budget, CPP, CRA, Practice Of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Election Budget, New Canada, VLPA, Canada Workers Benefit, Canada pension plan benefits


The Ten Laws of Legal Project Management

Over the next few articles, I’ll introduce the Ten Laws of (Legal) Project Management and then go into some of them in practical, how-do-I-apply-this detail. Why ten? It feels like about the right number, a manageable number that sums up basic project management maxims and guidelines. (I hear one of you saying, That’s as high as he can count without taking off his shoes. I know who you are, too.) 1. First Effectiveness, Then Efficiency Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doi...
Tags: Law, Hamlet, Gantt, Barnardo, Practice Of Law, Helmuth von Moltke, Claudius


What Should LSBC’s Futures Task Force and LSO’s Technology Task Force Do?

The Law Society of British Columbia’s E-Brief for January 2019 states that LSBC has established a Futures Task Force: “… to look at the future of the legal profession and legal regulation in British Columbia. The task force is expected to identify anticipated changes that may improve or disrupt the future market for legal services, consider and evaluate the factors and forces driving those changes, as well as make recommendations to the Benchers regarding the implications and how the Law Society...
Tags: Facebook, Justice, Law, California, Toronto, Canada, British Columbia, University of Toronto, Cabinet, Liz, Ontario, Mark Zukerberg, Grant Thornton, Law Society, LSO, R


Employer and Employee Disagree About Right to Disconnect

In France, the right to disconnect was made law on January 1, 2017, “requiring employers to have clear policies in place regarding when employees engage in workplace communication outside of the office and when on vacation.” This law is because of a French Supreme Court Case in 2001 that “held that “the employee is under no obligation either to accept working at home or to bring there his files and working tools”. In 2004, this principle was confirmed again by the French Supreme Court which adde...
Tags: Technology, Law, France, Canada, Work-life balance, Bill, Employment law, Quebec, Overtime, National Assembly, Robert Half Technology, Practice Of Law, Technology: Internet, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Office Technology, Practice of Law: Practice Management


Why Allowing Alternative Business Structures Could Help Articling Students

Recently the Toronto Star published an article on abusive workplaces for articling students. Although the broad range of abuse was not covered, it has been noted before by Dean Adam Dodek that the abuse ranges from unpaid or underpaid work, termination without cause, harassment, and the absence of proper supervision or feedback. In response, Dean Dodek called on the Law Societies to investigate the abuse of articling students. He suggested that qualitative and quantitative research be done. I wo...
Tags: Law, Ethics, Toronto Star, Hadfield, Adam Dodek, Dodek, Practice Of Law, Gillian Hadfield, Articling, Abusive Articling Workplaces, Alternative Business S, Ethics of Articling


Things You Didn’t Learn in Law School: Dealing With Vicarious Trauma and Other Issues

It’s common knowledge that lawyers suffer from disproportionately high rates of depression and addiction, while at the same time there’s the sense that they can’t really talk about what’s bothering them without breaching solicitor-client privilege, or raising questions about their own suitability for the job. We blame it on various factors: the length and stress of the working day, and on the particular personalities lawyers tend to bring to the table. But for many lawyers the depression and add...
Tags: Law, CBA, Ottawa, Mathieu, Practice Of Law, Françoise Mathieu, Raj Bhatla, Royal Ottawa Hospital


Continued Consultations on Possible Complex Canada Labour Code Changes

Important changes to the Canada Labour Code were recently made (i.e., Bill C-63 and C-86, among others), but the government’s work to modernize the Canada Labour Code isn’t done yet. On February 20, 2019, the federal government convened an independent expert panel to provide advice on five complex workplace issues facing Canadian employers and employees due to the changing nature of work. This changing nature of work is driven by several factors including among others, the global economy, techn...
Tags: Technology, Law, Miscellaneous, Canada, Bill, Gig Economy, Practice Of Law, Technology: Internet, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Office Technology, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Canada Labour Code, Right To Disconnect, Access To And Portability Of Benefits, Canada Labour Code Changes


“The Most Significant Access to Justice Gathering in a Decade”

David Steven, the head of the secretariat of the Task Force on Justice, wrapped up three days of meetings in the Peace Palace on the challenge of delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 16.3. He looked at a fulfilled and tired audience at the end of the 9th edition of the Innovating Justice Forum, the Justice Partnership Forum, and a ministerial meeting. The gathering produced an important political document that can now be invoked and used to guide strategy making and implementation: the Hag...
Tags: Law, India, Ukraine, Sierra Leone, Who, Un, OECD, Hague, Working Group, Timor, Overseas Development Institute, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, David Steven, World Justice Project, Justice Leadership Group


Wage Rate Sheet for Fellow Employees’ Personal Information Protected Under Alberta’s PIPA

A recent Alberta privacy case, P2019-ND-006 (in PDF), deals with a breach of salary information about identifiable individuals under the Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA). The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Alberta found that “A reasonable person would consider that the identity and salary information could be used to cause the significant harms of hurt, humiliation and embarrassment, particularly if shared with individuals who have a personal or professional relationship with the a...
Tags: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Office Technology, Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner, Alberta Personal Information Privacy Act, Breaches Of Privacy, Privacy Management Program


No Going Back, So Why Aren’t We Moving Forward?

When Dorothy realized she wasn’t in Kansas anymore, she stopped acting as if she were. As far as she knew, there was no going back. In 2012, the American Bar Association amended its Model Rules of Professional Conduct to confirm that a lawyer’s duty of competence includes awareness of “benefits and risks and associated with relevant technology” to legal practice. 35 states (including Kansas!) have since adopted the requirement into their own rules of professional conduct. Meanwhile, in Canada, o...
Tags: Law, Canada, Kansas, Silicon Valley, Dorothy, American Bar Association, Aba, Ontario, Standing Committee, Practice Of Law, Chesterton, Law Society of Ontario, Ontario Ontario, Federal Government the Supreme Court of Canada


The Alleged Blackmail of Jeff Bezos: Did Legal Counsel for the National Enquirer Breach His Professional Duties?

It is alleged that the National Enquirer blackmailed Jeff Bezos by threatening to publish humiliating photographs and messages. In exchange for not publishing the information, the National Enquirer wanted Bezos to stop his criticism of the paper. To manage the situation, Bezos wrote an article titled “No Thank You, Mr. Pecker”. In the article, Bezos exposed multiple emails directed at him from the National Enquirer (American Media, LLC). One of the emails included an email message from American ...
Tags: Law, California, Canada, Jeff Bezos, National Enquirer, Blackmail, Ontario, Bezos, Gavin de Becker, Practice Of Law, Pecker, American Media et al Marty Here, Bezos Parties, Bezos Parties AM, Jon Deputy, General Counsel Media American Media LLC


A Three-Step Strategy for Getting Heard

Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to get people to listen? Have you ever had a challenge getting your point across, even when it was about something of critical import? In conversations with lawyers in private practice and in-house counsel I frequently hear about the difficulties they run into advising clients and colleagues on alternative courses of action, or risk prevention measures to take. It is so easy for important advice to be discounted because the lawyer is seen as not getting t...
Tags: Law, Steven Covey, Practice Of Law


The Need for a Code of Conduct for Family Law Disputes, Part 2

Last Tuesday, I was honoured to be presented with the Distinguished Service Award for service to the community from the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association Alberta. I took advantage of the more or less captive audience to discuss the need to improve the Code of Conduct to better reflect the practice realities of family law lawyers and the needs of their clients, and the needs of their clients’ children. As my remarks were received with more interest than I’d expected, I thoug...
Tags: Justice, Law, Canada, Un, Nova Scotia, CBA, Columbia, Task Force, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, Law Society of Alberta, Canadian Research Institute for Law, Canadian Bar Review, Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Alberta Court of Queen 's Bench, Alberta British Columbia Ontario


The Coming End of Lawyer Control Over Legal Regulation

At the end of last year, as John-Paul Boyd ably chronicled on this website, members of the Law Society of BC voted on three resolutions regarding access to justice. The second of these resolutions — directing the law society to bar paralegals from providing family law services under new provincial legislation and to postpone any other enlargement of paralegals’ scope of practice — received overwhelming approval. While this was a disappointing outcome from an access standpoint, as John-Paul expla...
Tags: Law, Australia, California, US, United States, North America, Washington State, Pacific, William Henderson, Agm, John Paul, McCarthy Tetrault, England Wales, Bill Henderson, California California, State Bar


The Conundrum of the Difficult Client

From the moment I created my first public legal education family law website, BC Family Law Resource, in 2001, I have been contacted by people from across Canada, mostly in British Columbia, dealing with difficult family law issues on their own. Although a study of the users of the website’s current incarnation, JP Boyd on Family Law, found that a significant share of users are legal professionals, it was litigants without counsel and people simply browsing for legal information who I originally...
Tags: Law, Canada, British Columbia, Alexander, Supreme Court of Canada, Kirby, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, JP Boyd, Russell Alexander


Video Surveillance of Employees and Issues of Evidence

The use of surveillance cameras in the workplace in Canada is quite common. Often, surveillance cameras are installed to deter theft, vandalism, assault, harassment and suspected criminal or improper activity. However, many employees question the right of employers to record them in the workplace and state that it is a breach of their privacy. Do employees’ privacy rights compete with employers’ needs to ensure that his or her employees do their job, come in at the right hours, and don’t behave ...
Tags: Law, Canada, British Columbia, Columbia, Corporation, Practice Of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Case Comment, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Employees Right To Privacy, Reasonable Exercise Of Managerial Authority, Reasonable Grounds For Using The Surveillance, Video Surveillance of Employees, Violating Employee Privacy


Canada’s Law Societies Need a National Civil Service

This post summarizes a full-text article with the same title on the SSRN, and refers to Fasken InHouse. The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) is to have a bencher[1] election on April 30, 2019. We should vote only for those candidates that present solutions to the access to justice-unaffordable legal services problem (the “A2J problem”). Governments are now reacting without law societies. Benchers have to be something more than the present part-time amateurs who bring to the job only the expertise of...
Tags: England, Justice, Law, Wales, Toronto, Canada, Department Of Justice, British Columbia, Ontario, Martin, Supra, Statistics Canada, Monaghan, Law Society, Ontario Court of Appeal, LSO


Don’t Be That Guy

The ex-CEO of General Electric for a time had an empty corporate jet follow his own corporate jet “just in case.” But it was a paragraph in his explanation letter that I found most instructive: “Given my responsibilities as C.E.O. of a 300,000-employee global company, I just did not have time to personally direct the day-to-day operations of the corporate air team. I had every right to expect that it was professionally run. Other than to say ‘Hello,’ I never spoke to the leader of corporate air ...
Tags: Ge, Law, General Electric, Practice Of Law


British Columbia Employment Standards Reforms Coming

On December 10, 2018, the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) released its final report on the Employment Standards Act review mandated by the government. BC’s labour minister is pledging action in 2019 to implement certain of the 71 recommendations found in the BCLI final report. Background In 2014, the British Columbia government initiated a three-year review of the Employment Standards Act to examine if employment legislation has kept up with the recent boom in precarious work, and to impro...
Tags: Law, Esa, Canada, Employment law, Council, British Columbia, Columbia, Ontario, Recommendation, Minority, Practice Of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Columbia Law Institute BCLI, British Columbia Employment Standards Act


A Good Way to End the Year

The Washington Post reported on 19 December that justice was the word of the year 2018, based on data about searches on the online dictionary Merriam-Webster. Interesting. It seems there was a constant need for this word. The writer of the piece adds: “[w]hat we saw with justice in 2018 was more like a continuous sequence of bumps in the data rather than a single outstanding spike.” A movement is under way. No, not populism or Islamic extremism. A movement to get justice systems to produce bette...
Tags: Justice, Law, Washington Post, Buenos Aires, The Hague, Task Force, FREETOWN, Peace Palace, Practice Of Law, Task Force on Justice, High Level Group on Justice, 9th Innovating Justice Forum, Justice Partners Forum, World Justice Forum


Federal Omnibus Bill Employment Law Changes Passed

Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018, and other measures received royal assent December 13, 2018. This new law extensively amends the Canada Labour Code, makes changes to the Employment Insurance Act, the Wage Earner Protection Program Act and introduces a federal Pay Equity Act. Details on the employment law related changes found in the Bill were previously posted on Slaw here. Below is a brief summary on the changes. 1...
Tags: Law, Canada, Bill, Parliament, Practice Of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Canada Labour Code, Canada Gazette, Pay Equity Act, Employment Insurance Act, Wage Earner Protection Program Act, Wage Earner Protection Program Bill C, Bankruptcies Or Receivership, parental leave EI benefits


Designing Rules of Procedure for the Arbitration of Family Law Disputes

In Canada, the available sets of arbitration rules are designed for corporate-commercial disputes and general civil disputes. None are designed for family law disputes, which is especially problematic in jurisdictions like British Columbia, where the Arbitration Act specifies the rules that will be used absent the parties’ agreement to the contrary. Those rules, by the way, are the domestic rules of the BC International Commercial Arbitration Centre, which are hardly ideal for family law dispute...
Tags: Law, Canada, Columbia, Practice Of Law, BC International Commercial Arbitration Centre


Employment and Labour Law Related Changes in Ontario Bill 66 and More

On December 6, 2018, the Ontario Conservative government introduced Bill 66 – An Act to restore Ontario’s competitiveness by amending or repealing certain Acts in the legislature. Bill 66 impacts several employment and labour related laws, such as the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995. This blog post outlines the Bill 66 changes and my thoughts on these continuous employment and labour law government driven changes. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) Bill 6...
Tags: Law, Esa, Labour, Bill, British Columbia, Alberta, Columbia, Ontario, LRA, Statistics Canada, Practice Of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Employment Standards Act, OLRB


Ten Strategies for Thriving Amid Challenge

Are stress and worry a regular part of your life? Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you’ve got to do? For many of us in the workforce the answer is yes. And the good news is this doesn’t mean that something is terribly wrong. It can indicate you are leading a life filled with meaning and purpose. A 2013 study held by University of Florida and Stanford University tracked adults between ages of 18 and 78. Participants were asked to rate how strongly they agreed o...
Tags: Review, Law, University of Florida, Stanford University, Practice Of Law


The Gloomy Future of Access to Family Justice in British Columbia: Outcomes of the Law Society’s 2018 Annual General Meeting

In December 2014, the Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia unanimously agreed to act on the recommendations of its and pursue “an amendment to the Legal Profession Act authorizing it to establish and regulate new classes of legal service providers in order to address unmet and underserved legal needs.” The creation of this task force stemmed from the recommendations of the Legal Services Providers Task Force the previous year, which found that “to address unmet and underserved legal...
Tags: Law, British Columbia, Columbia, Agm, Law Society, Gordon Campbell, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, National Action Committee, Legal Services Providers Task Force, Alternate Legal Services Providers Task Force, Society of Notaries Public, BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association


Crushed

In Britain earlier this fall, three solicitors lost their careers. The High Court of England & Wales, overturning a decision by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, ruled that the three lawyers, who had each committed acts of dishonesty, should be struck off (disbarred) in order to maintain public confidence in the justice system. The SDT had previously found that although the solicitors had acted dishonestly, “exceptional circumstances” warranted replacing the usual order of disbarment with a ...
Tags: Law, Los Angeles, Britain, Walk, Gabe, England Wales, The High Court, Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Sidley Austin, Practice Of Law, SDT, Gabe MacConaill


Planning for Business Cycles and Rhythms

Planning – any planning – is better than doing none at all. For this reason, I encourage lawyers to engage in whatever level of complexity of planning they can muster. If that means spending a lunch hour talking about business goals with your partners, or writing down a few goals on a napkin, so be it. But for those who truly understand the value of focussed planning, I encourage you to go a step further to begin to truly manage your resources and take control of your business operations. You ca...
Tags: Law, Ipo, Canada, Donald Trump, Legal Marketing, Practice Of Law


Law Society Accountability for the Access to Justice Problem

[See the full text article for this summary on the SSRN, using the same title] Law societies are not trying to solve the A2J problem, but instead provide “alternative legal services”[1] that merely help that majority of the population that cannot afford legal services learn to live with the problem . That is inevitable because of the operative concept of a bencher[2] and the institutional culture of our law societies, i.e., they do only that which is compatible with that concept and with what t...
Tags: Justice, Law, Toronto, Canada, Alberta, Cabinet, Ontario, Law Society, LSO, LegalZoom, Monahan, Lao, Practice Of Law, Upper Canada, Christopher Moore, Law Society of Upper Canada


The Latest Word on Unjust Enrichment

This is an important decision for everyone who comes across equitable relief in their practice. In March 2017 a divided panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v. Sweet overturned a finding of unjust enrichment on the ground there was a “juristic reason” for the enrichment. The decision was appealed. On 23 November 2018 the Supreme Court of Canada, splitting 6-2, applying precisely the same legal test, found there was there was no “juristic reason” for the enrichment, and restored the unju...
Tags: Sweet, Law, Ontario, Lawrence, Moore, Supreme Court of Canada, Garland, SCC, Practice Of Law, ONCA, Substantive Law, Michelle Moore, Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore, Risa Sweet, Ms Sweet


Changes to ESA and LRT Passed, EHT Exemptions and Provincial Income Tax

1. Employment Standards and Labour Relations law changes On November 21, 2018, the Ontario conservative government gave third reading to Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, effectively rolling back many employment and labour law changes brought in by the previous Liberal government Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (introduced as Bill 148). Bill 47 although passed is awaiting royal assent to become law. Most of the provisions will come into force at a later date, on Januar...
Tags: Law, Esa, Bill, Ontario, LRT, Practice Of Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Employment Standards Act, Labour Relations Act, Bill 148 Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act 2017, Bill 47 Making Ontario Open for Business Act 2018, EHT Exemptions, Employer Health Tax, Provincial Income Tax Act



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