Shaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research

Tips on Canadian legal research from the Library at Field LLP.
Postings are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the firm.

February 06, 2013

The vagaries of case law language

I was at the CBA Alberta Law Conference last week and attended the Labour and Employment session on Friday afternoon.  The discussion was about restrictive covenants: non competes and non-solicitation clauses mostly in employment law.

 It was an interesting session, as was the whole conference. I used Storify to collect all the tweeted notes from the event (see my Slaw post yesterday for a link). You will see that a bulk of the discussion talked about injunctions and tests .

 Today, I was reading a newly posted case on CanLII Lia Sophia Canada, LP v Parklane Jewelry Limited, 2013 ABQB 53 (CanLII),

This is a matter which is on point for restrictive covenants signed by employees and injunctions.

This interlocutory decision has no mention of the following words:
  • Employee
  • Employer
  • Competition or (non-competition)
  • Restrictive
  • Covenant
  • Trade
I point it out to you as a warning that relying on keyword searches for case law can sometimes fail.  I expect that if this decision proceeds to a reported completion, it may have those key terms included.  I suspect a case comment or digest would reveal the essence of the case that this short interim decision relates to, but the trick is an interested author finding it in the first place.

I do remember the presenters suggesting that most of the cases in this area were settled after injunctions were sought.