Blog

Parliamentary privilege does not immunize decision to fire security guards of Quebec’s National Assembly

12 October 2018

By Michael Bookman

In Chagnon v. Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec, 2018 SCC 39, the Supreme Court of Canada addressed the intersection of the constitutional privilege afforded to legislative bodies and the rights of their unionized employees.

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Complainant Witness Granted Intervenor Status at Wrongful Dismissal Trial

7 October 2018

By Cynthia Spry

The Law Times recently wrote an article about a case in which a woman who alleged she had been assaulted and sexually harassed in the workplace was granted limited intervenor status in the perpetrator’s ensuing wrongful dismissal claim. In case you also read the Law Times article and wanted more detail about the legal basis for the decision, this blog post provides it.

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No 'Sunshine' for Solar Power: Ontario Court of Appeal Narrows Section 4 of the Interest Act in ClearFlow Appeal

18 September 2018

By Brendan Monahan

What is the appropriate remedy when a loan agreement fails to contain an “express statement of the yearly rate or percentage of interest” within the meaning of s. 4 of the Interest Act (the “Act”)? That was one of the questions before the Ontario Court of Appeal in Solar Power Network Inc. v. ClearFlow Energy Finance Corp., 2018 ONCA 727.1  In that case, the Court allowed the appeal of an application judge’s decision and held that where an agreement contains multiple rates of interest, the Act only imposes an interest “cap” of 5% on the rate that runs afoul of s. 4. 

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Death (of your claim) and Taxes: Ontario court finds claim against tax lawyer is barred

11 September 2018

By Michael Bookman

A married couple retains tax lawyers to challenge assessments made by the Canadian Revenue Agency (“CRA”). Their counsel advise that their case is strong and recommend an appeal of the CRA’s decision.  Two years later, the couple’s tax lawyers reverse their position; what was once a strong case is now deemed weak. The couple, already invested in the CRA challenge, retain new counsel and continue the litigation. 

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Guidance for Counsel:  Ontario’s Court of Appeal Addresses Anti-SLAPP Legislation

1 September 2018

By Michael Bookman

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently released its decisions in six appeals regarding Ontario’s Anti-SLAPP legislation1.  The Court’s reasons and interpretation of the legislative provisions, particularly on matters related to the burden of proof, provide crucial guidance regarding motions to dismiss claims that defendants allege are abusive.

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Six Pieces of Art on the Walls at Babin Bessner Spry

31 August 2018

By Eden Kaill

I’ll admit that I kind of love generic corporate art – massive abstract paintings in hotel lobbies, huge and vaguely unsettling sculpture pieces outside bank towers. But here at the Babin Bessner Spry offices, our art is anything but generic.

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The Supreme Court’s Conflicting Reasons on Conflicts of Law

27 August 2018

By Cynthia Spry

The Law Times recently asked me about the Supreme Court’s decision in Haaretz.com v. Goldhar, 2018 SCC 28 (“Goldhar”), and specifically, for the takeaway on convenient forums, in light of the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17 (“Van Breda”).

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Feeling ‘Crabby’?: Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies Scope of Expanded Fact-Finding Powers on Summary Judgment

13 August 2018

By Brendan Monahan

Under what circumstances can a motion judge decide a contested factual issue using the expanded fact-finding powers under rule 20.04(2.1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure (the “Rules”) without oral evidence? That was one of the issues before the Ontario Court of Appeal in a recent decision, 2212886 Ontario Inc. et al. v. Obsidian Group Inc. et al., 2018 ONCA 670. In that case, the Court set aside a partial summary judgment, finding that it was not “in the interest of justice” to determine a key contested factual issue on the basis of a paper record alone.

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LSO Tribunal Recognizes Mental Illness as “Exceptional Circumstance” in Penalty Decision

8 August 2018

By Uri Snir

In a recent penalty ruling by the Law Society Tribunal, Mr. Darwin Anthony Yantha (the “Licensee”) was ordered to surrender his licence to practice law in Ontario, despite the panel’s acknowledgment that the Licensee’s clinical depression and alcoholism were the cause of his recklessness in billing practices. It was this recklessness in billing practices that led to disciplinary proceedings commenced by the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) in which the panel concluded that the Licensee had knowingly (recklessly) engaged in dishonest or fraudulent conduct.

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Barrister’s Robes, or How to Get Away With Wearing a Wizard Costume to Work

27 July 2018

By Eden Kaill

Barrister’s Robes. Personally, I love the whole court regalia, but that may be because I’m not a lawyer and don’t have to wear it. I do sometimes wonder how people in American courtrooms know who the lawyers are. But why and under what circumstances do Canadian lawyers wear their robes?

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