Blog

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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Ontario Court of Appeal Reiterates that Ontario Contract Provides Basis for Jurisdiction, Even Where Defendant Not Necessarily a Counterparty

23 July 2018

By Cynthia Spry

In Di Gregorio v. Sunwing Vacations Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal dealt with the jurisdiction of Ontario courts to hear claims for breach of contract even where the existence of the contract is itself disputed.

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New OSC Study Finds Ways to Encourage More Millennial Investors

16 July 2018

By Uri Snir

In response to its November 2017 empirical study, entitled Missing Out: Millenials and the Markets (which I previously summarized here), the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has released a further study.

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Ontario Court Finds Non-Solicitation Clause Valid Based on Unique Dealer Structure

6 July 2018

By Daniel Babin (Summer Law Student)

In our June 20, 2018 blog post, we noted that in National Bank Financial Inc. v Canaccord Genuity Corp. the British Columbia Supreme Court held that non-solicitation clauses in employment agreements between financial advisors and their employers may be found invalid for public policy reasons, as the interests of clients must be put ahead of those of the firm.

By contrast, in the recent decision of MD Physician Services Inc. v. Wisniewski, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a trial decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice enforcing a non-solicitation clause, and finding that the advisors (and their new employer) were liable for breach of such clause. The Court of Appeal specifically approved the lower Court’s application of specific criteria to the question of whether or not such a clause should be enforced.

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Ryerson Law School: Contributing to a lawyer glut, or opening the door to accessible justice?

28 June 2018

By Eden Kaill

Ontario may soon have a new option for those wanting to become lawyers without ending up in unmanageable amounts of debt.

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