News & Analysis

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BARE BONES BRIEFS: Judges: counsel still wasting courts’ time | Post-Pandora crackdowns target lawyers | Survey: Lawyers profit most from class actions | Top 5 law firm bulletins & webinars

By Julius Melnitzer | January 10, 2022 JUDGES: LAWYERS STILL SCREWING UP COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS “The file is in a state of near total disarray”: these are nothing less than the opening words in a recent Federal Court judgment. That’s perhaps not surprising in a case where the applicant was unrepresented. But what is surprising is […]

Energy workers switch to other professions in droves as work dries up in once booming sector

Beset by layoffs, Canada’s energy and mining workers have been bucking tradition and seeking opportunities in other sectors — quite successfully, by all accounts. “The cyclical changes in the resource sector are giving way to structural changes,” said Jeanette Sutherland, director of the multi-stakeholder Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project (EDGE UP) at […]

New Brunswick to allow windup of pension plans with missing members

By Julius Melnitzer | January 3, 2022 New Brunswick’s new unclaimed property regime, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2022 and is the fourth such provincial regime in Canada, will finally allow defined benefit pension plan sponsors with unlocatable or missing members to fully windup their plans. The governing legislation, the Unclaimed Property Act, […]

Share transfers to executives, employees are income not capital gains: appeal court

By Julius Melnitzer | December 23, 2021 A Federal Court of Appeal ruling will make it very difficult for executives and employees to treat share transfers from their companies as capital gains rather than income. The decision involved Kitchener, Ont.-based D2L Corp., whose intention was to distribute appreciated shares of the company, held in a […]

Ottawa’s last-minute interventions in energy projects eroding Canadian regulators’ independence

By Julius Melnitzer | December 22, 2022 Uncertainty about who ultimately makes energy decisions and how they are made is among the largest stumbling blocks to Canada’s chances of achieving net zero by 2050, according to a recent study from the University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy group. “The road to net zero requires an unprecedented […] gives hope to unrepresented litigants

By Julius Melnitzer | December 17, 2021 While still a law student, Heather Hui-Litwin, founder of, found herself and her husband, a banker, involved in a lawsuit with a contractor. The proceedings dragged on for more than ten years – – – during which legal costs became unaffordable. The couple decided to represent themselves, […]

Why Supreme Court ruled Alta Energy’s ‘treaty shopping’ not abuse of tax planning

By Julius Melnitzer | December 13, 2021 Short of abusive behaviour, companies are allowed to minimize their tax liability In November, the SCC rejected Ottawa’s claim that the taxpayer, a Luxembourg resident, should be denied the benefit of the Canada-Luxembourg tax treaty because it engaged in treaty shopping and its economic ties to Luxembourg were […]

Women with pencil on shoulder putting check marks on clipboard list

BARE BONES BRIEFS: OCA reverses heroin trafficker’s conviction after judge delays reasons for 4 years | Woman lawyers working 100 more hours than men | 90% of UK lawyers resisting return to office | EU pushes gig workers’ rights | Top 5 law firm bulletins & webinars

By Julius Melnitzer | December 6, 2021 JUDGE TAKES FOUR YEARS TO DELIVER REASONS AFTER THREE-DAY TRIAL The trial involved only three days of evidence. But Judge Kofi Barnes of the Ontario Superior Court took four years to deliver reasons. And that was some 31 months after Shane Artis appealed his conviction and 10-year sentence […]

Altalink ruling underscores Crown’s duty to consider Indigenous groups’ economic interests when making decisions

The ruling can be a roadmap for a win-win relationship with First Nations By Julius Melnitzer | November 30, 2021 Resource developers are welcoming an Alberta Court of Appeal ruling in October requiring the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to address Indigenous groups’ economic interests in its decisions. The ruling followed on an appeal by AltaLink […]

Employee who didn’t read terms of stock option agreement has case overturned

By Julius Melnitzer | November 28, 2021 The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned a Superior Court decision that allowed an employee to receive his stock option awards throughout his 24 months of reasonable notice on the grounds that the employer had failed to provide adequate notice of termination. “The decision gives important guidance to […]

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