2018
    • July
    • Canada’s Top Court is Way Less Politicized Than in the U.S.

      In the U.S., Supreme Court justices are household names, whereas most Canadians cannot name a single sitting member of their highest court. Eugene Meehan, Q.C., along with other legal experts weigh in on why Canada’s Supreme Court “isn’t the partisan hockey puck it is down south”. Read the full National Post article here.

      June
    • Three-line Decision Released in the Alta. C.A.

      The Alberta Court of Appeal released a mere 50-word decision in in R. v John, 2018 ABCA 217, on June 13, 2018. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the decision in this The Lawyer’s Daily article, which has some lawyers raising their eyebrows and some trial judges “scratching their judicial heads”, read the full article here.

      Supreme Advocacy LLP Introduces Fantasy Courts

      This week marks the inaugural launch of a new website which allows Canadians to demonstrate their superior knowledge of Supreme Court decisions in an online fantasy court challenge. Therein, players can predict how the SCC will rule on upcoming decisions as well as see how their picks stack up against other lawyers and students. Partner Thomas Slade who spearheaded the new site says in this The Lawyer’s Daily article: “this is a fun way to be able to track what the Supreme Court if doing.” Read the full article here.

      TWU Ruling Leaves Some Questions Unresolved

      On June 15th, The Supreme Court of Canada rendered its much-anticipated rulings in Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 33 and Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University, 2018 SCC 32. The Court did not address many of the intriguing legal questions raised by the nearly 30 interveners. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in: “As with many cases engaging freedom of religion issues, not every issue was necessarily explicitly decided, but they gave us answers to the most pressing ones, and enough information to distill some answers for some remaining issues”. Read the full article on The Lawyer’s Daily.

      Ruling in TWU

      The Supreme Court of Canada will deliver a ruling tomorrow which will determine whether Trinity Western University, a private evangelical Christian post-secondary institution can operate a law school at its Langley, B.C. campus and be accredited in Ontario. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on this landmark case that pits religious freedom against LGBT rights. Read the CBC news article here.

      May
    • SCC to Keep Court Records Secret for at Least 50 Years

      Judges of Canada’s highest court have ensured documents disclosing their secret inner workings will not be revealed during their lifetime with a 50-year embargo on public access to files from the time they rule on cases. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the announcement in this The Globe and Mail article. Click here.

      SCC Revisiting Dunsmuir Judgment

      The Supreme Court of Canada plans to revisit its landmark judgment on standard of review in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick 2018 SCC 9. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. describes the expected trilogy on standard of review as “catnip for law nerds”. Read the full The Lawyer’s Daily article here.

      March
    • McLachlin Appointed to Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal

      It is not necessarily uncommon for Canadian judges to make a contribution in other spheres upon retirement. Such is the case with retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin who has been appointed to Hong Kong’s highest appellate court. Hosting up to 30 non-permanent rotating judges, McLachlin will be the first Canadian to sit on the court and will be amongst the first women appointed. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. states in this Canadian Lawyer article: “the multi-disciplinary depth of Canadian judges, including their experience with the Charter and Constitutional law, is internationally respected and clearly sought after.” Read the full article here.

      Rising Number of Oral Judgments in the SCC

      The Lawyer’s Daily states that concerns are being raised about the seemingly growing number of oral judgments from the SCC. Eugene Meehan, Q.C., along with four colleagues in the profession, weigh in on the issue that is leading many lawyers and Supreme Court watchers to wonder what’s driving the shift. Read the full The Lawyer’s Daily article here.

      Liability for Auditors

      Supreme Advocacy’s Thomas Slade discusses the significance of the SCC’s decision in Deloitte & Touche v. Livent Inc. (Receiver of), 2017 SCC 63 in the Law Times article “Supreme Court sets out liability for auditors”. He notes the importance for all professionals to be clear with clients about the services they are undertaking to provide.

      February
    • Chief Justice Richard Wagner Promises a New Era of Transparency in the Supreme Court of Canada

      Newly appointed Chief Justice Wagner spoke at the University of Western Ontario’s faculty of Law in London, Ontario on Wednesday. In a society where much of the public receives its information from social media and the internet, promoting the need for transparency in Canada’s democracy was the main focus of his lecture. “You have to make sure there are clear decisions accessible in clear language,” Wagner said. He also called on judges to come out of the institutions and address the public more directly than they have in the past and that transparency is an “essential ingredient” for maintaining the public's faith in the legal system. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the issue, stating that “encouraging judges to be more social on social media may come with some risks”. Read the full The Globe and Mail article here.

      January
    • Who Will Carry the Tax Torch in the SCC Going Forward?

      Many in the tax bar are wondering who will carry the tax torch now that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Marshall Rothstein have left the Supreme Court or Canada. Eugene Meehan, Q.C., along with several other lawyers, share their predictions and thoughts in this Law Times article. Click here for the full article.

    2017
    • December
    • SCC Broadens Protection Against Employment-related Discrimination

      The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, allowing the appeal. The decision broadens discrimination in the workplace beyond harassment perpetrated by a supervisor to include co-workers, even if they have different employers. Eugene Meehan Q.C. weighs in on the ruling by saying: “the landmark ruling represents a tectonic shift in both employment and human rights. For example in a restaurant, employment discrimination can come from the owner, manager, co-worker or patron as a result of the decision. Most importantly, one is not forced to bring a claim only to an employer but can now direct one to an individual perpetrator.” Read the full The Lawyer’s Daily article here.

      New Chief Justice Named

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau names Justice Richard Wagner as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. This decision adheres to the practice of switching between judges from Quebec and the rest of Canada—a tradition that hasn’t always been followed. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. welcomes the appointment and further states: “having somebody from Quebec is helpful; having Wagner because he's so qualified is helpful; and even apart from him being from Quebec, he's a very strong judge".  Read the full Toronto Star article here.

      Chief Justice Hears Her Final Case

      After 28 years, sitting on Canada’s top court, 18 years as its leader, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin heard her final case today. Eugene Meehan, Q.C., along with two other colleagues in the profession, express their thoughts about the retirement and what her years on the bench meant for Canada during many momentous legal debates over the past three decades. Read the full The Lawyer’s Daily article here.

      November
    • New Judge Appointed to the SCC

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces Alberta-based Sheilah Martin is appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. According to a media release from the Prime Minister’s office; this nomination maintains the gender balance of the court, which remains four women and five men. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the new appointment in this Canadian Lawyer article.

      Senate 150th Anniversary Medal Recipient

      Eugene Meehan, Q.C. is awarded the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal. This Medal was created to recognize Canadians or permanent residents actively involved in their communities who, through generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work, make their hometowns, communities, regions, provinces or territories a better place to live.

      Lawyers Are Turning their Attention to the Supreme Court’s TWU Hearing

      In a rare two-day hearing on Nov. 30 and Dec.1, the Supreme Court will consider whether to maintain or overturn decisions by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Law Society of British Columbia regarding accreditation of Trinity Western University’s law school. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on this pivotal freedom of religion and equality rights case in this The Lawyer’s Daily article.

      September
    • Lawyers Unhappy with CBA Over Tax Stance

      The Canadian Bar Association is calling on the federal government to drop proposed tax changes for small business owners and professionals. Some lawyers have complained that the CBA did not adequately consult its membership on the issue. Eugene Meehan, Q.C., who was former national president of the CBA (2000), comments on the issue. Read the full Law Times article here.

      TWU’s International Repercussions

      Eugene Meehan, Q.C., along with four other lawyers from the legal community, weigh in on the potential effect the TWU matter could have on other graduates from religiously affiliated universities in Canada and abroad. Read the full The Lawyer’s Daily article here.

       

       

      August
    • All Voices Will be Heard

      Eugene Meehan, Q.C., along with three other lawyers from the legal community, weigh in on the Chief Justice’s decision to vary an order from her colleague Justice Wagner. Read this full The Lawyer’s Daily article here.

      SCC Explains Variation of TWU Intervention Order

      Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin varied the order made by Justice Wagner with respect to motions to intervene in the TWU appeals. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. discussed Justice Wagner’s initial decision with The Globe and Mail: “His job was to consider which ones are best able to assist the Court – ultimately, that’s the role of an intervenor, not to be an advocacy group. That’s not optics, that’s doing the judicial job, exercising one’s judgment thereon.” Although it is the Court’s practice to not provide reasons for decisions on motions to intervene, the SCC issued a press release and Justice Wagner gave additional comments. Read the full article here.

      July
    • Payout Fallout

      July 4, 2017 —  The government’s payment of a $10.5 million settlement to Mr. Omar Khadr sparks debate. In 2002, Khadr was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court of Canada found the government at that time acted unconstitutionally and that Canadian officials were complicit in the interrogation of Khadr, who had been subjected to sleep deprivation, and then handed that information to the American government. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on this controversial issue in this Globe and Mail article saying: “After the Supreme Court ruling in Vancouver v. Ward, it was made clear that Canadians can claim damages when the government violates their Charter right.” And, in terms of monetary payout, Mr. Meehan states: “The failure to request his repatriation was part of the Charter breach, and therefore part of the compensation”. Read the full article here.

      June
    • Who Will Replace the Chief Justice?

      June 21, 2017 — Rumours are circulating amongst the legal community as to who will be replacing Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin after her retirement on December 15, 2017. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on this discussion, stating that a lot of focus is on Justice Richard Wagner as he is “the Goldilocks candidate” in the sense that he “is ‘right in the middle’ when it comes to seniority, strong in both English and French and has demonstrated his skills in both common law and civil cases.” Mr. Meehan concludes by saying, “The practical reality is every single judge sitting on that court is qualified to be chief justice and would bring their own unique blend of skill and talent.” Read the full Canadian Lawyer & Law Times article here.

      McLachlin’s Retirement Prompts Speculation

      June 13, 2017 — Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin announces she will retire December 15, 2017 – nine months before she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75. This gives Prime Minister Trudeau the challenging task of filling her seat, ultimately shaping the Court for generations to come. Some see this as an opportunity for the Prime Minister to put his stamp on the institution, although experts say Canada’s highest court is almost impossible to steer in any given direction. Eugene Meehan, Q.C., former Executive Legal Officer to Chief Justice Lamer, says: “In choosing the next Chief Justice, Trudeau would serve himself and the country better by picking a strong leader. It's not so much a ‘prime ministerial stamp’ as an opportunity to place another solid judicial captain at the helm, to steer Canada's legal system into the decades ahead.” Read the full CBC News article here.

      April
    • Bill on Genetic Privacy Going to the SCC

      April 24, 2017 — The federal government has signaled that it will be referring a public bill by the Senate on genetic privacy to the Supreme Court of Canada once it has been given royal assent.  Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the bill, which criminalizes the illicit sharing of genetic information and adds genetic characteristics as a prohibited ground for discrimination under human rights and federal labour laws.  “The draft Bill not only creates the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act but also amends the Canada Labour Code and Canadian Human Rights Act. Given the potential wide reach of the amendments, the fastest way to see if it will pass a constitutional litmus test is to go straight to Canada’s top court — fast-tracking to the terminus instead of a constitutional litigation milk run.” Read the full Law Times article here.

      February
    • Fate of TWU’s Law Program Remains Up in the Air

      February 6, 2017 — Three years after Trinity Western University received preliminary approval from the Federation of Law Societies and the B.C. government to open a law program, the fate of the program remains up in the air and is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on this controversial debate in this Canadian Lawyer article. Read the full article here.

      January
    • Northern University Names Justice Abella as Global Jurist of the Year

      January 16, 2017 — Justice Abella has been named the global jurist of the year by Northern University. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. states, in this Canadian Lawyer & Law Times Blog article, “Justice Abella is now the second most senior judge on the court. Though some try to peg her as being of this or that school of thought, on this or that issue, the reality is she’s a chameleon that’s able to muster majorities among different groups of allies – yet still feel strongly enough on issues of importance to her to write the lone wolf dissent.” Read the full article here.

    2016
    • December
    • December 22, 2016

      In this McGill Law Journal podcast, Thomas Slade gives an overview of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2016 Fall session.  Listen here.

      December 8, 2016

      The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Windsor (City) v. Canadian Transit Co., 2016 SCC 54. At issue: does the Federal Court have jurisdiction to decide whether a municipality’s bylaws apply to a company’s residential properties. The SCC allowed the appeal, finding that the case should be decided by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, where the parties have already been engaged in proceedings. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. is quoted in the Canadian Lawyer & Law Times Blog as saying: “This decision is a potential constitutional game changer, going forward, we could see more division of power and jurisdiction-based cases being challenged in the courts.” (Marie-France Major acted as co-counsel for Federation of Municipalities, in this case). Read the full article here.

      September
    • September 30, 2016

      Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the issue of standard or review and exception clauses in Ledcor. The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously allowed the appeal in Ledcor on Sept. 15, 2016. In this Lawyers Weekly article,  Eugene, who acted as counsel for the successful appellant states, “The Supreme Court’s holding that the trial court’s interpretation of standard form contracts are reversible if they are incorrect is important for the construction and insurance industries, but its impact goes much further than that.” Read the full article here.

      September 23, 2016

      The Law Society of Alberta adds non-benchers to its disciplinary tribunal. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. is quoted in Canadian Lawyer and Law Times as saying, “When we think of law societies, we tend to think of an ‘organization for lawyers, by lawyers’ — but in practical reality it’s now a mixture of lawyers, paralegals and non-lawyers — all of which reflect the public we serve”. Click here for the full article.

      September 15, 2016

      The Supreme Court of Canada released the decision in Ledcor today; whereby they overturned an Alberta Court of Appeal decision that had found an insurance company was not required to cover the cost of replacing windows that had been scratched by cleaners on a construction site. The disputed clause in the insurance contract excluded the “cost of making good faulty workmanship” but made an exception to that exclusion for “physical damage” that “results” from the faulty workmanship. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. who represented Ledcor Construction in this appeal states in this Canadian Lawyer & Law Times Blog: the decision is “welcome, positive and necessary clarification to an increasingly complex yet fundamental area of insurance — the interpretation of coverage, exclusion, exception clauses.” Read the full article here.

      August
    • August 2, 2016

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces a new process for judicial appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada. What was once-private information related to the process will now be shared with the public. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. is quoted in the Canadian Lawyer & Law Times blog as saying, “given how long the process for selecting Supreme Court justices has been a concern, having a clear process set down in writing is a welcome change for the legal community and public alike.” For more quotes by Mr. Meehan along with the whole article, click here.

      June
    • June 29, 2016

      In this piece, presented through The Advocacy Club, Eugene Meehan, Q.C. shares his tips on how to use social events for business development. Here he offers a few suggestions from “his own experience”. Click Here to read the full presentation.

      March
    • March 22, 2016

      Justice Cromwell announces his retirement from the Supreme Court of Canada. Cromwell has been on the Court for seven years, making him the third most senior judge of its current composition. He was described as one of the Court’s leading lights and a possible replacement for Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, whose mandatory retirement date is in 2018. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. is quoted in The Globe and Mail as saying, “He did just about everything from A to Z, from aboriginal to zoning.”

      January
    • January 18, 2016

      Macdonald-Laurier Institute released a report on dissent at the Supreme Court of Canada. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. speaks to Legal Feeds, the blog of Canadian Lawyer & Law Times, about the need for some disagreement in group decision-making and that some claims as to lack of consensus may be overstated.  Read the whole article here.

      January 15, 2016

      Eugene Meehan, Q.C. comments in The Globe and Mail on the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to extend the Criminal Code ban on physician assisted death by four months. He called the decision bold and said, “The easiest route here would be for the Supreme Court of Canada to do nothing. The court has responded in a practical way to practical realities.” Read the whole article here.

    2015
    • December
    • December 09, 2015

      A Law in Quebec article ‘Expert evidence under the spotlight’ discusses the Quebec Court of Appeal setting aside a second degree murder conviction. A forensic scientist with 14 years experience as an expert witness submitted a conclusion during cross-examination at a jury trial that did not match her preliminary written report and testimony. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the issue:  “The Supreme Court made it plain that the duty that experts owe is a duty to the court. It has the potential for a transformative difference in litigation where experts are used.” Click Here for the full article.

      December 03, 2015

      The CJC has reviewed the recommendations of its inquiry panel on Québec Superior Court Justice Michel Déziel and recommends he remain on the bench. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. called it “a classic case of trying to balance past conduct versus present good conduct.” Click Here for the full article on the Canadian Lawyer & Law Times blog.

      October
    • October 6, 2015

      The Honorable Justice Russell Brown is officially appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Eugene Meehan, Q.C. speaks with TheCourt.ca about the criticism of the appointment: “This Supreme Court is a particularly strong one – they are butter, not margarine. Justice Brown’s diverse experience is a strength that will fit with an already-strong court.” Read the entire article here.

      September
    • September 29, 2015

      The Supreme Court of Canada will start its fall session October 5th, 2015. Listen to this McGill Law Journal Podcast as Eugene Meehan, Q.C. gives an overview of the cases and issues coming before the Court; including the first session for the newly appointed Justice Brown.

      July
    • July 28, 2015

      Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed Alberta judge Russel Brown to the Supreme Court of Canada, replacing Justice Marshall Rothstein. Supreme Court lawyer Eugene Meehan, Q.C. of Supreme Advocacy LLP is quoted in Legal Feeds, the blog of the Canadian Lawyer magazine, “With the court’s current workload mainly criminal, he will adjust, but his academic experience of critically analyzing and writing about the law will serve him well”.

      July 20, 2015

      Should CEO of CBA take honorary military role?  In this Law Times article Eugene Meehan, Q.C. weighs in on the appointment of John Hoyles to an honorary position with the legal branch of the Department of National Defence. “The appointment will seriously compromise the CBA’s ability to take positions on military justice issues,” says Meehan.

      May
    • May 21, 2015

      Eugene Meehan, Q.C. describes Canada’s Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin as “tough, independent and competent” in this National Post article which highlights her rise through the judicial ranks to the top court in Canada.

      March
    • March 6, 2015

      Eugene Meehan Q.C. will be presenting a session on Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents for all law students and interested Faculty members, Tuesday, March 10th at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

      February
    • February 6, 2015

      “For good or bad, the issue is now laid to rest,” Eugene Meehan Q.C. quoted in The Ottawa Citizen regarding the “right to life” case in which Chief Justice McLachlin’s ruling goes her way after twenty-two years.

      February 1, 2015

      Presenting TheCourt.ca’s Third Annual Golden Gavel Awards as selected by members of their editorial team, in consultation with Eugene Meehan Q.C.

    2014
    • December
    • December 20, 2014

      New Supreme Court justice Suzanne Côté learned one of her first lessons as a prominent public figure this week. Ultimately, there are really only two key requirements: "Take the job seriously; and secondly, do not take yourself too seriously, and she seems to have that in abundance." Eugene Meehan, quoted in this Ottawa Citizen article.

      December 11, 2014

      Jonathan Melo, lawyer with Supreme Advocacy LLP, speaks with Don Martin on CTV News “Power Play” regarding the Omar Khadr case. The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal on the issue of whether Khadr can be placed in a federal penitentiary or in a provincial facility. Watch the full interview (segment begins at 10:00).

      September
    • September 16, 2014

      A thank you to Eugene Meehan by Shaunna Mireau from Slaw, Canada's online legal magazine.

      "Thanks to friend of Slaw Eugene Meehan and his commitment to producing the Supreme Advocacy Newsletter. This 'Scot-free' publication has been a staple of my information diet for over a decade."

      July
    • July 09, 2014

      Eugene Meehan is quoted in the Canadian Lawyer Magazine on the Supreme Court of Canada's unusual request to re-hear a case in order to allow newly appointed Justice Clément Gascon to participate.

      May
    • May 15, 2014

      Eugene Meehan Q.C. weighs in on the issue involving the allegations that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin had lobbied against Nadon's appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada in this Canadian Lawyer and Law Times Blog. Eugene describes the issue as a battle of "duelling press releases".

      January
    • January 16, 2014

      Eugene Meehan talks about the Supreme Court's upcoming winter session with David Groves of McGill University in this McGill Law Journal podcast.