Monthly Archives: December 2016

#ThrowbackThursday: CCLA Newsletter, December 15, 1986

Robeside Assistance readers, it’s been a terrific 2016. This will be our last blog post until the new year. I flipped through our old CCLA newsletters and was pleased to see that we had one written exactly 30 years ago today. It’s not the most thrilling of old newsletters, but some of you may enjoy taking a stroll down memory lane all the same. Have a wonderful holiday break, and we’ll see you in 2017!


news1 news2 news3



End of Year Round-Up

It’s hard to believe it’s almost 2017! (And really, good riddance 2016.) With our Clawbie noms out yesterday, we’re wrapping things up this week before the holiday break. We’re very happy with what we achieved this year with the launch of Robeside Assistance, and we’re excited to go into the new year with a whole bunch of ideas for new content. In the meantime, though, here’s a quick look back at our favourite posts that we made this year.

By far our most popular series are the Recently Published Ottawa Decisions and the Blog Rolls, so we won’t be including those, but here are some others worth a read!

  • How to Find Unreported Decisions – In our technologically-antiquated Ontario court system there’s no real good way of going about finding decisions that were never published, but here we present your best options for getting your hands on those difficult-to-find decisions.
  • Tools We Love: Doodle – We love free things that make our lives easier! Using Doodle to schedule meetings does both of those things, and here’s a quick tutorial to show you how great it is.
  • Sites Unseen: Lipad – In the Sites Unseen series we featured legal research sites and tools that might be lesser known. A newcomer on the scene and one of my favourite new resources is Lipad, which is a new interface for accessing the Federal Hansard Debates.
  • #ThrowbackThursday: Somerset House – We had so much fun researching old Ottawa photos and history for our Throwback Thursdays, and when the Somerset House came into the news this was a perfect opportunity to do so!

Thanks so much for your support and readership this year; it’s been a blast. Wishing you all the very best of holidays and a Happy New Year!


The 2016 Clawbie Awards: Our Nominees!

Clawbies Logo

It’s the most exciting time of the year for Canadian law blogs – the Clawbies! A quick recap: the Clawbies have been awarded each year since 2006 to Canadian law blogs for their work over the previous year. Nominations come from the blogging community itself, in posts like these or on Twitter (look for the hashtag #clawbies2016).

We’re super excited to name our three nominees for the Clawbies this year. We’ve kept in mind the key characteristics of a legal blog (practical, genuine, conversational, and improving the legal system), and we also wanted to pick some of our local favourites. We’re only allowed to pick three (but we love all of you, Ottawa, we promise!), so here they are:


Michael Spratt
Michael Spratt (Abergel Goldstein & Partners) / @MSpratt

We became huge fans of Michael’s work when he started doing episode recaps of the Netflix show “Making a Murderer” on his podcast The Docket.  As the old saying goes, come for the Wisconsin true crime, stay for the interesting, thoughtful, and provocative posts on the Canadian legal landscape.  Michael’s dedication to the criminal justice system inspires us, and his blog has become essential reading. 

Some of our favourite blog posts this year:


Labour Pains
Sean Bawden (Kelly Santini LLP) / @SeanBawden

Sean’s blog has been an inspiration to us for a long time. His analysis of recent labour and employment decisions and the ramifications for the reader as either an employer or employee are well written and incredibly useful. Also, we love a punny name (obviously). 

Some of our favourite blog posts this year:


Anne-Marie McElroy
Anne-Marie McElroy (McElroy Law) / @ammcelroy

When Brenda does her Ottawa Blog Roll posts, Anne-Marie’s posts are always among her favourites. Don’t tell the others, but this is the first blog name she yelled out when nomination time came! 

Some of our favourite blog posts this year:



#ThrowbackThursday: Viola Desmond (1914-1965) 1

Very exciting news today! Viola Irene Desmond (1914-1965), an iconic civil rights activist, will be the first Canadian woman to be featured on a Canada banknote. A black businesswoman and beautician from Nova Scotia, Viola Desmond was jailed after refusing to leave the “whites only” section at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, in 1946. Viola Desmond’s image will be replacing Sir John A. Macdonald’s on Canada’s new $10 bill in 2018.

Viola Irene Desmond (Winnipeg Free Press)


Viola Desmond took her case to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax – above is the Notice of Motion. (Nova Scotia Archives). More legal documents associated with this case can be viewed here.


Here is an article from a provincial newspaper covering Viola Desmond’s court case (Nova Scotia Archives).

Sources and Further Reading

Sites Unseen: Avoid A Claim

Avoid A Claim is a site of which we often advise students when they are first starting out, but it is truly a valuable resource for legal professionals at all stages in their careers. The main attraction of the site is their highly informative blog, which details all the small (and large!) things about practice management you might not know but probably should.

The site also features, under the “practicePRO Resources” menu, links to a variety of all-very-useful resources for lawyers such as precedents, checklists, fact sheets and toolkits.

I especially like their Technology section, which has sample policies and links to great articles (some examples seen below) on a variety of technologies of interest to law firms.

All this and more, free! (I’ve never felt so much like a salesperson.) So check it out, and make sure to add their blog to your RSS readers!


Recently Published Ottawa Decisions

Find below recently published Ottawa decisions, available for free through

Family Matters

Kornienko v Walsh-Kornienko (2016 ONSC 7300)
access — e-mail — weekend — child — relocate
Justice L. Sheard

Abu-Zahra v Hendy (2016 ONSC 7244)
child — school — motion — costs — offer
Justice M. Shelston

Noble v Noble (2016 ONSC 7409)
father — matrimonial home — successful — co-operate — cost
Justice A. Doyle

Zigiris v Foustanellas (2016 ONSC 7528)
income — expenses — father — spousal support — child
Justice M. Shelston

Harit v Harit (2016 ONSC 7129)
father — costs — conference — indemnity — motion
Justice S. Corthorn

Lachapelle v Leblanc (2016 ONSC 7245)
spousal support — offer — successful — costs — custody
Justice M. Shelston

Charron v Carrière (2016 ONSC 7523)
payor — tax — lump-sum payment — spousal support — recipient
Justice A. Doyle

Continue Reading…

#ThrowbackThursday: Holiday Social!

Holiday Party Flyer, 1986


I rubbed my hands together greedily when I saw this while flipping through our old CCLA newsletters. Tonight is our 3rd Holiday Social at the Knox Church (so you should come!), but this little gem is from our library and lounge drop-in in 1986. Please note: there will be no library orientation tours accompanying tonight’s festivities – just yummy eats, festive drinks, and live music!