Thursday 21 April 2022

Family Law on Monday, Privacy Law on Tuesday, and Transportation Law on Wednesday...

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Being an articling student is one of the few times in a legal career where we are afforded the opportunity to practice several different areas of law in any given week. As you may have gleaned from the title, I’ve been given this chance during my articling term with McCague Borlack LLP.

For my development, I keep track of all the assignments I complete.

"Here’s what my daily journals
look like in a typical week..."

Monday - Family Law

My week began with completing the first draft of a separation agreement for one of our clients. It was exciting because I needed to draft terms that reflected our client’s interests. This included going through a risk analysis of each key term to see if it could be used against us. Being trained at a firm that primarily does litigation work, I have been provided with insight into the ways that contractual terms can be effectively drafted to accomplish their goals.

Tuesday - Privacy Law

I was tasked with conducting legal research around the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act [PIPEDA]. After my research, I wrote to our client to advise on whether their practices and policies were compliant with PIPEDA and helped them prepare consent forms. My newfound interest in Privacy Law is entirely because of the diverse legal work I am given at our firm.

Wednesday - Transportation Law

I began a transportation law-related action in New Brunswick. This involved researching how to bring an action in New Brunswick, reviewing all the relevant documents, drafting a Notice of Action with a Statement of Claim, then serving and filing the Claim. This wasn’t the first time I had to bring an action in another province, nor will it be the last.

Thursday - Mediation

I attended a mediation for which I prepared the mediation brief. We settled, and it was amazing to see the arguments I prepared come to life and help create a positive result for our client.

As you can see, many of my weeks and days end up being filled with various areas of law. It always keeps me engaged and I look forward to assignments that have me exploring a new area.

Monday 11 April 2022

Bringing a Motion for the First Time: Step-by-Step

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I believed to attend and speak to a motion in Court would be a cornerstone of my articling experience. 

"Luckily, last month, I was asked to assist a lawyer to bring an unopposed motion for the first time."

This was a five-step process:

  1. Submitting the motion confirmation form: The purpose of this form is to provide the Court with all necessary information regarding the motion being brought forward, including the date and jurisdiction, the estimated time required for the motion, and the position of the parties involved.

  2. Confirming the position of all parties: The motion confirmation form must be sent to all parties for their review as a part of scheduling the motion. The party making the motion must discuss this matter with all parties and each party must confirm whether they are unopposed, opposed, or otherwise consent to this motion prior to the date of the motion.

  3. Upload documents onto Caselines: Caselines is the portal used in Ontario to ensure that the judicial official has access to your materials. Uploading to Caselines is mandatory and material that is not uploaded will likely not be reviewed in advance. Using Caselines for the first time was challenging, but with help from the articling group and the lawyer I was working with, I was able to navigate this system with ease.

  4. I also learned that the Superior Court of Justice operates with strict timelines; for instance, you need to get the Civil Motion Confirmation Form to be emailed to the court by 2:00 p.m. five days prior to the hearing, excluding weekends and holidays and motion materials must be uploaded into CaseLines at least three days in advance of the hearing. Given the rigidness of these timelines, it is beneficial to begin gathering and submitting motion materials as early as possible.

  5. Attending Court and speaking to the motion: I presented the motion to the Justice and answered any questions she had about the motion. I also had to make some edits to the draft order, so I had a Word version of the Order on hand. Since this was my first time attending Court, I made sure that I knew the matter I was speaking to very well. Answering questions requires quick and agile thinking, so it is important to be fully prepared and well-versed prior to the day of the motion.

  6. Issuing the Order with the Court and serving it on all parties: Once the relief you are seeking is obtained in the form of an Order, the Order must be issued and entered at the Courthouse. Once issued, the Order is to be served on opposing Counsel.

While speaking to a motion in Court can be a daunting process, it is also one that is exciting and rewarding!

by Kritika S.