James Plotkin Associate


Speaks:  English, French

Year of Call: 2016 - Ontario


Primary office:  Ottawa




James Plotkin

James Plotkin is a bilingual associate in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office, practising in the Advocacy and Intellectual Property groups. His practice focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration (international and domestic), intellectual property litigation and administrative law.

James has argued before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court, as well as all levels of court in Ontario. He also frequently acts in international and domestic arbitrations. James is certified as a Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) by the ADR Institute of Canada. He is on the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre’s (VanIAC) Expedited Procedure arbitrator roster and is available to arbitrate commercial and intellectual property-related disputes, both in ad hoc and institutional settings.

In addition to his litigation and arbitration practice, James is involved in domain name dispute resolution, both as counsel and adjudicator. He is on the rosters of the Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre (CIIDRC) and Resolution Canada and regularly acts as a sole panelist and member of three-person dispute resolution panels.

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, James practised with a boutique litigation firm in Ottawa. Before entering private practice, he clerked for the Honourable Justice Richard Boivin of the Federal Court of Appeal.

James has been published broadly on international and domestic commercial arbitration, copyright, trademarks and domain name disputes. He has contributed commentary on copyright and related issues on television, radio, podcasts and various national and regional English and French print media. Additionally, James co-authored a commentary on British Columbia’s international arbitration legislation and is co-authoring the next edition of Ontario’s arbitration legislation commentary.

He obtained his LLL, JD and LLM from the University of Ottawa, where his graduate research focused on the implications of 3D printing on Canadian trademark law. While in law school, James competed on the University of Ottawa’s Willem C. Vis. International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team, which he now assists in coaching.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2022

    • Rankings & Awards
       2022
      Best Lawyers in Canada 2022 – Ones to Watch (Intellectual Property)
    • Career
       2022
      Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb), ADR Institute of Canada
  • 2021

    • Community
       2021
      Canadian Intellectual Property Review, Associate Editor-in-Chief
  • 2018

    • Rankings & Awards
       2018
      Donald F. Sim Q.C. Memorial Writing Prize
  • 2016

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
       2016
      Year of Call, Ontario
  • 2015

    • Education
       2015
      University of Ottawa, LLM (Law and Technology)
    • Rankings & Awards
       2015
      Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Frédéric Eisemann Award (Moot Winner)
  • 2013

    • Education
       2013
      University of Ottawa, JD. Common Law (cum laude)
  • 2012

    • Education
       2012
      University of Ottawa, LLL, Civil Law (cum laude)
  • 2009

    • Education
       2009
      Vanier College, Jazz Guitar (Specialization in Composition and Arranging)

Memberships

  • Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre (CIIDRC), Adjudicator
  • Resolution Canada, Adjudicator
  • Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (YCAP)
  • Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC)
  • County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA)
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • The Canadian Bar Association (CBA)

Publications

Books

Book Chapter

Articles

  • James Plotkin & Ozge Yazar, “YCAP and CJCA Interview of Marek Krasula (November 23, 2021), (2022) 2 CJCA 2

  • James Plotkin & Mark Mancini, “Inspired by Vavilov, Made for Arbitration: Why the Appellate Standard of Review Framework Should Apply to Appeals from Arbitral Awards,” (2021) 2 Canadian Journal of Commercial Arbitration 1, 2021 CanLIIDocs 2355.

  • James Plotkin, “Arbitration’s Primacy? The Law Pertaining to Staying Court Proceedings in Favour of Arbitration”, County of Carleton Law Association 39th Annual Civil Litigation Conference (2019), 2019 CanLIIDocs 4077.
  • James Plotkin, “The Standard of Review on Appeals From Domestic Arbitral Awards Should be Open to Party Agreement,” (2018-2019) 5 McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution 7, 2018 CanLIIDocs 10648.
  • James Plotkin, “Deference Deference Shall You do, For This is Arbitral Review: Why Canadian courts should exercise maximal deference when reviewing commercial arbitral awards for legal errors,” (2018) 27 Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal 1.
  • James Plotkin, “The Impact of 3D Printing on Canadian Trademark Law: Selected Issues and Potential Solutions,” (2017) 33 CIPR 63, 2017 CanLIIDocs 3527.
  • James Plotkin, “The Model for a Path Forward: A Proposal for a Model Law Dealing With CyberSquatting and Other Abusive Domain Name Practices,” (2015) 27 Denning LJ 204, 2015 CanLIIDocs 4904.
  • James Plotkin, “The Copyright Implications of Book Editing Apps: Case Study – Story Surgeon,” (2014) 30 CIPR 2, 2014 CanLIIDocs 33197.
  • James Plotkin, “The Song Remains (Substantially) The Same: A Modest Proposal For A New Analytical Test In Music Plagiarism Cases,” (2013) 2 Mich Bar J (IT Lawyer) 30, 2013 CanLIIDocs 505.
  • James Plotkin, “Analyse du règlement Google Books et son rejet par un tribunal de New York,” 23 CPI 3, 1427, 2011.
  • James Plotkin, “Il existe maintenant un domaine .xxx pour les sites pornographiques mais on ne sait pas trop qui le voulait et pourquoi,” (2011) 23 CPI 3, 1439, 2011 CanLIIDocs 403.

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “IP Talks – Defending your IP Rights”, Canadian Intellectual Property Office/Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, April 2022.
  • ​Speaker, “New World, New Rules,” Canadian Arbitration Week 2021, September 2021.
  • Speaker, “Domain Name Disputes and ADR,” Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, July 2021.
  • Speaker, “Standard of review on appeals from arbitral awards,” Alberta General Counsel Association, May 2021.
  • Speaker, “Vavilov’s impact on appeals from arbitral awards,” CBA Administrative Law Section, March 2021.
  • Speaker, presentation on recent arbitration decisions of importance to civil litigators, CCLA 39th Annual Civil Litigation Conference, October 2019.
  • Speaker, “Crash Course on Arbitration for IP Lawyers,” Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, July 2019.
  • Speaker, The LawBytes Podcast with Michael Geist, Episode 10: Lowdown on Lawsuits – James Plotkin on Copyright Threats, Notices, and Lawsuits, May 2019,
  • Speaker, CTV “Your Morning” – Segment on mass copyright infringement lawsuits pertaining to movie streaming/downloading, September 2018.
  • Speaker, presented research on the implications of 3D printing on Canadian trademark law, 2015 Osgoode Forum – Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n Roll: Subversive Sites in the Law, June 2015.
  • Speaker, television appearance as intellectual property expert, Rogers Cable 23, October 2013.
  • Speaker, keynote address on copyright and its effects on music creators, Vanier College Music Program, 2011 – 2018.

Representative Work

  • Made submissions before the Supreme Court of Canada in the benchmark administrative law case of Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov
  • Acted on behalf of a sovereign state on a motion to dismiss a commercial contract claim based on a forum selection clause
  • Made submissions before the Federal Court of Appeal on a case of first impression addressing the availability of novel “website blocking” orders for copyright infringement
  • Argued various arbitration-related court proceedings, including appeals, applications to set aside arbitral awards, applications to appoint arbitral tribunals, applications to enforce an arbitral award etc.