Older, wiser and better - a little story about our re-launch

Bardal Factors was launched in September of 2016 to provide free, easy and immediate access to useful court judgments.

When users selected 3-4 factors relevant to wrongful dismissal reasonable notice periods, we would return a list of court judgments that matched, and provided links to see the decisions where available.

People liked it. The tool was featured in several publications and we received many requests to take it further. And when it went offline this summer, we received weekly requests to bring it back.

Now we have and it's better than ever!


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Predictions, ranges, case links and more

From the picture above, you can see that the re-launched Bardal Factor tool calls for the user to spend only a few seconds to provide 5 simple inputs. But instead of relying solely on matching cases, the tool now examines hundreds of Canadian wrongful dismissal cases where the Bardal Factors have been considered to statistically derive a meaningful prediction and forecasted range of probable results.

In our view, this is a better reflection of reality where the opposite sides to a dispute are going to make their case based on differing interpretations of the facts. Was someone a Manager? Professional? Technical employee?  Will finding comparable employment be easy, hard or somewhere in between? These factors are debatable, so we rebuilt the tool to permit exploration of different scenarios.

By now you are wondering how good our predictions are. Take a look!

What you see below is a graph plotting the performance of our prediction model against the actual awards from a batch of cases recently added to our database.

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As the tool now provides a prediction and a range, a mere list of cases is less useful. Accordingly, we've chosen to provide sample cases that match character of employment, and then we open the door to more extensive - and free - research through vLex Canada Open. Users who click through to read the full text of a case on vLex Canada can create a free account that provides no-charge access to the entire vLex Canada Open primary law collection, as well as personalization features to create highlights, annotations, notifications, personal folders and so much more. Among the other premium features you will find on this free service are our one-of-a-kind Personal Graph of your vLex Canada research history which, when combined with the power of our intelligent case recommendation engine, offers pathways to content with strong connections to the factual and legal issues of the cases you've seen. You can read more about those innovations on the vLex Blog.

Thank you for your past interest and support of the Bardal Factors tool and we hope you find value in the new tool and in vLex Canada Open!

Predictive Analytics - what are they?

The simplest answer is a prediction of what might happen based on what has already happened.

To support the predictions made on this site, we've analyzed hundreds of decisions where Canadian courts have expressly considered the Bardal Factors in determining what period of notice an employee should reasonably be given on termination of their employment. This analysis made clear that despite there being only 4 Bardal Factors (age, length of employment, character of employment and availability of similar employment), courts routinely consider additional factors and quite frequently disregard, or at least don't report on, one of the factors. Often influential are things like inducements that led the soon-to-be-unemployed person to leave secure employment to take the job they are now losing. Often ignored is the question of availability of similar employment. There is an art to this, but also a science. A simple severance pay calculator doesn't do justice to either.

We looked at the results of all cases, and the inclusion or exclusion of factors to develop predictive models that would allow us to anticipate how a future court might deal with a particular fact scenario.

It's pretty good, definitely useful, clearly superior to simple severance calculators, but still far from perfect. For example, predictions are constrained by the available data. So predictions about particular employment groups in specific provinces, might be stronger than others where the available data is lighter. The results are reflected in the breadth of the predicted range and the confidence expressed in the prediction.

This site offers the visitor an opportunity to discover the influence of hundreds of cases on the development of notice periods. That smooths out the human factor...but only to an extent. After all no human involved in settling, litigating or adjudicating a wrongful dismissal dispute is bound by algorithm.  Take heed of our favourite quote on this topic: