Your Only Source for Paralegal News: Dec. 19

In R. v. Mondor, 2014 ONCJ 135, Justice Mara Greene determines whether section 31 of the Canada Evidence Act allows the admission of electronic evidence for truth of its contents without complying with section 30 or some other common law hearsay exception for the truth of its content.

Mondor was charged with accessing child pornography. At trial, the Crown sought to admit purchase orders/invoices as business records for truth of their contents. Mondor was alleged to be a customer of AZOV Films, a film company that had a website promoting the interests of “naturalists.”

“Where electronically stored information is created by humans, then the evidence is not real evidence, and is not admissible for its truth absent some other rule of admissibility”
Using the AZOV Films’ computers, the police were able to re-create purchase orders/invoices that were said to indicate that the defendant had purchased the child pornography. The Crown also submitted credit card statements indicating that Mondor has purchased the films.

When Electronic Evidence is Real Evidence

In considering the admissibility of electronic evidence, Justice Greene refers to “Electronic Evidence in Canada,” by Graham Underwood and Jonathan Penner:

New at CanLII & CanLII Connects
  • “Good faith” is an implied term in all contracts: Supreme Court
  • A few CanLII Connects contributions on SCC decision creating new contractual responsibilities
  • More on contract law: 2249778 Ontario Inc. v. Smith (Fratburger), 2014 ONCA 788 (CanLII) – Standard of Review, Contractual Interpretation, effect of mixed fact-and-law analysis, applying Sattva principles
  • Promissory Estoppel – “A promise, whether express or inferred from a course of conduct, is intended to be legally binding if it reasonably leads the promisee to believe that a legal stipulation, such as strict time of performance, will not be insisted on.”
  • Police reading patrons’ text messages on casino surveillance cameras = wiretapping
  • Illegal “horseplay” – When cheating is evidence of intent to defraud – R. v. Riesberry, 2014 ONCA 744.
  • Written reasons released in R. v. Smith, 2014 ONCJ 595 (CanLII) – Analysis of s. 24(2) , s.8, s. 10(b)
  • 407 ETR – When does limitation period commence, for unpaid invoices? Some clarity, some fog: 407 ETR Concession Co. v. Ira J. Day
  • Alberta Court of Appeal – Collective agreement provides exclusive forum for dispute resolution
  • Flirting with frivolity: Immigration lawyer accuses woman of defamation; judge finds “being upset” is not worth $125,000 in damages
Gay-justiceA paralegal firm has been removed as the Applicant in an Ontario Human Rights matter, in an interim decision that clarifies whether those wishing to file applications on behalf of others may charge a fee. The firm had charged a filing fee in the case, while at the same time representing the claimant before the Tribunal.

The case is G.M.K. v. Lakefield College School, 2014 HRTO 1581 (CanLII). Adjudicator Paul Aterman, Vice-chair, held that the legislative purpose in allowing applications to be brought on behalf of another is undermined when a fee is charged:

“When a law firm or paralegal firm acts as an applicant on behalf of another, it may have professional and ethical obligations to retain counsel in order to avoid a conflict of interest between their dual roles as licenced law professional and applicant before the Tribunal”
    “Although the Code is silent on the question of whether a fee can be charged, I think that it should not be interpreted in a manner that allows a fee to be charged to the person on whose behalf the application is brought when, if that person had brought the application on their own, they would have done so at no cost.”

The Claimant is a former student who was expelled. Through his litigation guardian, the former student alleges discrimination with respect to services because of place of origin, citizenship, ethnic origin and disability. Affordable Immigration and Paralegal Support filed an application with the Tribunal on G.M.K.’s behalf.

Section 34(1) the Code allows another person to bring an application on behalf of another who believes their Part I Rights have been infringed, and if the claimant consents. The adjudicator determined that the Legislature did not intend the section to be used “as a vehicle for public interest litigants to launch applications in the absence of a delegation of authority to do so from a claimant who alleges a violation of their Code rights.”

Tribunal Orders & Decisions
Professional Regulation Committee
No More Paper Invoices
William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award
Public Education Equality & Rule of Law Series Events: 2014 -- 2015
Paralegal Resources & Information Sources

Go Virtual: Lawfactory Solutions

Working from home by choice, or saving on overhead costs when just starting out… a new service provides virtual legal practice management solutions.

Paralegal Al Ricci, a former technology executive, started Lawfactory with one goal in mind: make it easier for solo and small practitioners to leverage technology so they can spend more time with clients, while keeping expenses down. The new business launches Sept. 2.

“Technology, when implemented effectively and efficiently, can have a real impact on a person’s access to justice,” Ricci noted.

After a 17-year career in software and productivity solutions, Ricci returned to school in 2012 to pursue his interest in the law. Even before he graduated, Ricci saw the need for a service that combines the cost-saving features of virtual office space with leading technology solutions.

Leverage technology & turnkey practice management productivity solutions, to serve clients from anywhere, any time, on any budget
“The idea for Lawfactory arose from the need to simplify the often-daunting task solo or small legal practitioners face when starting a practice, and to help a solo or small practitioner already in practice, to maximize their operational efficiencies,” Ricci says. “By delivering secured cloud-base communication and productivity solutions paralegals and lawyers can leverage our platform to manage their practice.”

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