Spring 2019 Newsletter

Babin Bessner Spry Newsletter

BBS Picks: Our Favourite Spring Things


Case Summaries: ALS Society of Essex County v. Windsor (City); Michail v. Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association; TELUS Communications Inc. v. Wellman

Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Class Members are Akin to Parties

By Michael Bookman
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in ALS Society of Essex County v. Windsor (City), 2019 ONCA 344, offers important guidance on the question of whether class members are “parties” in class action litigation. While class members are not “parties” in the normal sense, the Court of Appeal held that they are akin to parties, as their rights are being adjudicated by the court in the class proceedings.

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Technology and the Law: Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Parties Cannot Record Proceedings without Court Order

By Cynthia Spry

It’s fascinating to see the changes technology is making in the law. We did a three-week trial in December that was completely electronic. It was liberating. There was no schlepping of fifteen bankers’ boxes of documents to court on the first day, no agonizing over which binders we needed to lug back to the office for that evening’s cross-examination preparation, and no need to cover everything in colour-coded stickies to be able to find that crucial document at a moment’s notice. It also saved a considerable amount of court time, because we could all navigate between the documents so much more quickly. 

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Supreme Court Stays Claims by Business Customers in Class Proceedings Against TELUS

By Brendan Monahan

In TELUS Communications Inc. v. Wellman2019 SCC 19, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that business customers with claims against TELUS will have to pursue their claims through arbitration, and cannot “piggy back” on a consumer class action.

The case provides important guidance for the enforceability of arbitration clauses, particularly in the context of the stay of proceedings provisions under section 7 of the Arbitration Act.

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

Our most-read blog post of all time: 

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

By Eden Kaill

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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