From Legal Subject Areas

Obergefell v. Hodges’ invocation of liberty and due process, instead of substantive equality

The release today of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges will today be debated by popular pundits, and in the days and years to come, studied by legal scholars and school children.  Beyond the debate among American conservatives and liberals, the decision of a sharply divided court continues a philosophical debate as old as the American Constitution itself.  What is “liberty” and can the state deprive its citizens of it without due process? The dissenting opinion warned us that the interpretation of liberty in the Due Process provisions of the U.S. 14th Amendment to encompass the right to…

B.C. Minister’s reason for revoking TWU’s J.D. hurts the legal academy

Virk revokes ministerial approval of twu’s j.d. program Opponents of Trinity Western University (TWU) in its bid to open a law school celebrated earlier this month when, on December 11, 2014, the British Columbia Minister of Advanced Education, Amrik Virk, revoked Trinity Western University’s authorization to grant undergraduate law degrees (J.D.).  He explained his decision as follows: Based on the current situation, I have decided to revoke my approval of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University. This means the university cannot enroll any students in its proposed program. The current uncertainty over the status of the regulatory body approval means…

Canada’s Marbury v. Madison? Not quite.

As reported in the Globe and Mail, Justice Colin Westman has joined a chorus of Canadian judges refusing to apply the law, as a protest against the federal government’s criminal sentencing legislation.  Whatever the merits of their political views on the subject, the rebellious judges threaten a constitutional showdown which they will not, and should not win.  As lawyers and law students, it is important for us to understand why judicial rebellion is not judicial independence.  Judicial rebellion harms judicial independence.  To see this, one has to understand the source of judicial power.

CGL Policies – the Russian Doll of Business Insurance

Few subjects beguile new lawyers more than the interpretation of commercial general liability insurance policies (CGL). This includes many corporate-commercial lawyers contributing to complex agreements running into hundreds of pages.  Show them a CGL form, and their eyes glaze over. But most CGL policies are only a few pages long, and the longest run a few dozen pages.  Once you “get” the basic structure of the agreement, as described by Justice Rothstein at paragraphs 26-28 of the 2010 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Progressive Homes v. Lombard, you’ll wonder why you ever thought the subject so daunting:

Case Law

The reward for approaching every case with an open mind … Is the chance to see your name in print as counsel. Lee Akazaki has appeared as counsel in over 79 judicial decisions reported in Quicklaw, as well as 24 decisions in print reports such as the Ontario Reports (O.R.), Dominion Law Reports (D.L.R.), Ontario Appeal Cases (O.A.C.), Canadian Patent Reports (C.P.R.), Canadian Bankruptcy Reports (C.B.R.), Real Property Reports (R.P.R.), Canadian Cases in the Law of Insurance (C.C.L.I.), Canadian Insurance Law Reporter (I.L.R.), Carswell’s Practice Cases (C.P.C.), Ontario Trial Cases (O.T.C.) and All Canada Weekly Summaries (A.C.W.S.)

Uniform Law Conference of Canada

In August, 2008 and 2009, I was the Ontario Bar Association delegate to the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.  The photo is from 2009 in Ottawa, in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.  Click here for my report to the OBA Civil Litigation Section: CIV_Sept08   Terms of use / Mentions légales

Medical Malpractice in Crisis

Click on the link to read my article, “Medical Malpractice in Crisis”  (February, 1999), 21 The Advocates’ Quarterly 163 21AdvocQ163.  Should doctors receive unlimited publicly-funded legal aid defence and liability funding?  Why not lawyers?  Or anyone else? Terms of use / Mentions légales

Wrongful Birth: An Ironic Name for a Cause of Action in the Law of Medical Malpractice

Click on the link to read my article, “Wrongful Birth: An Ironic Name for a Cause of Action in the Law of Medical Malpractice,”  The Advocates’ Quarterly Vol. 22, 1999, reprinted by On Examination, Medico-Legal Society of Toronto, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1999, 22AdvocQ102.  I have been proven wrong through subsequent case law, but I think the judicial treatment has skirted around the real moral question: when can the birth of a disabled child be considered an actionable wrong? Terms of use / Mentions légales

1% Liability: Fact or Fiction of Apportionment in Tort Law?

Click on the link to read my article, “1% Liability: Fact or Fiction of Apportionment in Tort Law?” The Advocates Quarterly, Vol 30, 2005 30AdvocQ104.  It was updated and redacted in 2007 here: civmayweb08. Putting the 1% principle to the empirical test – will it survive scrutiny?  Will you ask for your tuition back from your torts prof? Terms of use / Mentions légales