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22 Apr

Potentially fake app messages result in appeal from firebombing conviction

Thursday, April 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationFacebook, Fake News, SMS Text Messages, Text Now , Ontario Court of Appeal

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We have previously addressed the concerns of a civil court judge about the perils of having to deal with “fake news” in the form of spoofed emails and electronic documents. The Ontario Court of Appeal has addressed similar concerns as to...

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21 Apr

Recovering Online Legal Research Disbursements

Wednesday, April 21, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Disbursements

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In previous blogs, I have written about the careful scrutiny given by courts to claims for costs for online legal research incurred during a proceeding. In most instances, the claims have either been disallowed or...

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13 Apr

Full Names of Parties Now Published in HPARB Complaint Review Decisions

Tuesday, April 13, 2021Lad KucisLitigation, Health LawHealthcare, Disciplinary Hearing

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Historically, the names of parties in complaint reviews before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) were not included on the version of the Decision and Reasons made available...

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13 Apr

Family Cottage Squabbles: Court orders family members to stop interfering with each other’s enjoyment of cottage property

Tuesday, April 13, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Cottage Country, Trusts

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Cottage properties may be used by extended families over the years without regard to who has legal title or whether there are legally binding rules for ownership and use. When senior members of family age, disputes may...

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9 Apr

County Festival Feud: Plaintiff fails to prove verbal agreement or bad faith against festival organizers and municipality

Friday, April 9, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Limitations Act, Powassan, Municipal Act, Contract Law

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The annual “Smoke ‘N’ Spurs Festival” on the Labour Day Weekend in Powassan, Ontario, commenced in 2013. A caterer for the Festival from 2013-2015, claimed that he was lured away...

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8 Apr

Business founder obtains oppression remedy against investors

Thursday, April 8, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCorporations Act, Corporate Law, Oppression Remedy

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The oppression remedy in Canadian corporate law protects the reasonable expectations of stakeholders in a corporation. Shareholders, directors, and other stakeholders enter into...

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7 Apr

Owner of corporation personally liable for litigation misfeasance

Wednesday, April 7, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Personal Liability, Ontario

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One of the perceived benefits of using a corporation for real estate or other business transactions is to shield the individual owner from personal liability for costs and other...

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6 Apr

Recent treatment of the duty to defend in Ontario courts

Tuesday, April 6, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kenneth JullLitigationInsurance Law, Negligence, Ontario Court of Appeal , Insurance Policy, Policy, Class Action

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Where there is a dispute between an insurer and an insured over the insurer’s duty to defend a claim being made against an insured, the insured will ordinarily need to bring an application for... 

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5 Apr

Buyers not allowed to terminate purchase due to size misdescription or building permit concerns

Monday, April 5, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Mississauga, Renovations

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While the discovery of misdescriptions as to the size of a property or unpermitted renovations may allow a buyer to terminate a purchase transaction,...

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5 Apr

Gratuitous Defamatory Tweets About Plaintiff Not Protected as a Matter of Public Interest

Monday, April 5, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP, Pre-trial Disposition

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The internet and social media have spawned much civil litigation in the area of defamation. There is no cost to obtaining a Twitter account, for example, and to “tweeting” out a...

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1 Apr

A short walk to the beach – What is reasonably necessary for a prescriptive easement?

Thursday, April 1, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateEasement, Cottage Country, Lakefront

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One of the requirements to establish a prescriptive easement is that it is “reasonably necessary” for the better enjoyment of the owner of the land who claims the prescriptive

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28 Mar

Court dismisses non-competition injunction against former key employee

Sunday, March 28, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Employment LawEmployee, Employer, Contract Law, Restrictive Covenant, Non-Compete

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When relationships end between a business and an individual who was a principal thereof, the business may be understandably concerned about competitive ventures it may face from its...

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26 Mar

Federal Conservative Party Member Wins Pyrrhic Court Victory: Loses in Party Election

Friday, March 26, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationPolitical Law, Contract Law, Contractual Rights, Political Parties, Membership

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I preface this political law blog with the full disclosure that although I am involved in party politics, I am not a member of any federal political party in Canada...

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26 Mar

Buyers’ liability to sellers in aborted real estate closings

Friday, March 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstatePlanning Act, Summary Judgment

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“The factual background to this summary judgment motion is a sad story that has frequently been retold in courtrooms across the land with the same tragic ending.”

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24 Mar

Motion to enjoin hotel quarantine law denied

Wednesday, March 24, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Constitutional Law, Charter of Rights and FreedomsCOVID-19, Interim Injunction

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused our governments to implement laws aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. While many of those laws arguably have a minimal effect or none at all on...

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22 Mar

Municipality improperly abandoned ratepayers by failing to oppose application for legal non-conforming use of lakeside land

Monday, March 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real Estate, Municipal LawZoning By-Law, Norfolk County, Ontario

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Some municipal zoning restrictions are intended to address local planning needs for commercial and residential purposes, while other...

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15 Mar

Estate’s claim to recover $700,000 gift from elderly man to fiancée dismissed

Monday, March 15, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationTrustee Act, Ontario Court of Appeal

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We have previously written about gratuitous transfers of real estate between family members, and the requirement on the recipient’s part to prove that the transfer was intended to be a gift if the purpose... 

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15 Mar

A Victory for Freedom of Speech

Monday, March 15, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationFreedom of Expression, Political Law, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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The framers of the U.S. Constitution wrote that government “shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” Although these words were written in the context of... 

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12 Mar

Legal non-conforming use prevents municipality from enforcing zoning by-law

Friday, March 12, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationZoning By-Law, Town of Caledon, Planning Act

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While some property owners may believe that they can do what they want with their own land, municipalities control development and the permitted use...

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11 Mar

Online e-commerce platform not required to provide services to retailer of products promoting hate or violence

Thursday, March 11, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Superior Court of Justice , Hate Speech

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed an injunction sought by an online retainer against an e-commerce platform which refused to allow it to carry on business selling...

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10 Mar

Hockey tournament dispute leads to shareholder oppression remedy

Wednesday, March 10, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationHockey, Corporations Act

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Individuals involved in a small business venture may view themselves as equal partners, but if they make the decision to use a corporation for their business, they should be aware that the...

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9 Mar

Court grapples with fake electronic evidence and Zoom imposter witness

Tuesday, March 9, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Evidence Act, Rules of Professional Conduct, Zoom, Evidence

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As we discussed in a recent blog, technological advances have resulted in a digital revolution in the justice system, but these same... 

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8 Mar

Correcting some misconceptions about online legal research costs

Monday, March 8, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Costs, Online Searches

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The greatest revolution in law over the last 30 years has been the ability to access case law and secondary sources online. When I started law school at... 

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8 Mar

Claim for adverse possession of land against an unknown owner

Monday, March 8, 2021James R.G. Cook, Aaron PearceLitigation, Real EstateLand Title Act, Land Registry, Adverse Possession

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A claim for title by adverse possession can grant property rights to a non-owner of land resulting from their use or occupation of the lands over an...

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3 Mar

Defaming a professional can be costly

Wednesday, March 3, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Advertising, Alberta, Alberta Dental Association

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The law of defamation is unique in that general damages are awarded at-large. There is no upper ceiling for an award and there is little value to be gained in attempting to compare...

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27 Feb

The judicial rant heard around the legal profession: a legal research lesson

Saturday, February 27, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCivil Procedure, Legal Research, Transfer Motion, Rules of Civil Procedure

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As we approach the one year anniversary of Ontario’s declaration of a state of emergency because of Covid-19 pandemic, the stresses and strains caused by the lockdown can be seen and...

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25 Feb

Reputation can be everything

Thursday, February 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation

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The tort of defamation is all about the protection of a person’s reputation. Where a person suffers a loss of reputation because of words spoken or published about... 

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23 Feb

“Enough is Enough” – frustration expressed by Ontario Courts over litigation misconduct during the pandemic

Tuesday, February 23, 2021Gavin J. Tighe, James R.G. CookLitigationFrustration, Ontario Superior Court of Justice , COVID-19

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At the time of this writing, it has been almost a year since civil litigation was routinely conducted in a physical courtroom. While parties and their...

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22 Feb

God’s law is not supraconstitutional

Monday, February 22, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationGod's Law, Bible

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Although Part 1 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c. 11 references “the supremacy of God”, this...

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22 Feb

Letters of Request denied for access to confidential business information

Monday, February 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationLetters of Request, Referral Agreement, Ontario Court of Appeal

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The process by which a foreign court seeks the assistance of an Ontario court to gather evidence for use in local proceedings, as discussed...

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22 Feb

Airbnb renters of landlocked cottage allowed to access lake via right-of-way

Monday, February 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationAirbnb, Right-of-way Access , Bay of Quinte, Cottage Country

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It is not uncommon for non-lakefront cottage properties in Ontario to have access to the water via a right-of-way (ROW). ROWs may be registered on title or...

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18 Feb

You can’t play dress up with a defamation action

Thursday, February 18, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Slander

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The law of defamation is subject to many strict rules, which may vary from province-to-province under respective special libel and slander... 

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17 Feb

Breach of privacy class action against Facebook relating to Cambridge Analytica dismissed

Wednesday, February 17, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationClass Action, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Privacy Rights

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed a class action against Facebook for breach of privacy arising from what the motion judge described as...

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16 Feb

Legal research in costs awards

Tuesday, February 16, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCivil Litigation, Legal Research, Costs

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Despite its importance, legal research is often a line item that comes under close scrutiny when a court awards costs to a...

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16 Feb

Proposed Danforth Shooting class action against Smith & Wesson relating to authorized user technology allowed to proceed

Tuesday, February 16, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Class Proceedings Act, 1992, Handgun

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed a motion by Smith & Wesson Corp to throw out a potential class action for negligent manufacturing of the firearm used in a mass shooting in... 

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10 Feb

Defamation Judgment Upheld Against Pseudonymous Online Poster

Wednesday, February 10, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation

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In Theralase Technologies Inc. v Lanter, 2021 ONSC 943 (CanLII)Justice F.L. Myers dismissed a motion to set aside default judgment obtained against a defendant who...

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5 Feb

Criminal proceedings and the civil defamation claim: A limitation period lesson

Friday, February 5, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Limitations Act, Ontario Court of Appeal

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In Ontario, section 4 of the Limitations Act, 2002 establishes a general two-year limitation period for commencing an action from... 

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2 Feb

Disgorgement of profits could be a potential remedy in a defamation action

Tuesday, February 2, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, British Columbia, Damages

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Remedies are an important aspect of any case. In the law of defamation, the usual remedy sought by most plaintiffs is general damages for reputational harm. In a defamation case...

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1 Feb

Limitation period avoided: Claims of republication of libel by third party allowed to be added action because stories were on internet

Monday, February 1, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Republication, Limitation Periods

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Across the country, limitation periods have been enacted to regulate the time in which an action can be commenced. Defendants are entitled to finality, and... 

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1 Feb

Internet Harassment Tort Recognized by Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Monday, February 1, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Harassment, Torts, Cyber-stalking

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Cyber-stalking and anonymous malicious postings on the internet, which may be disseminated across a variety of sites and platforms across the world, are issues to which the...

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28 Jan

Defamation action against Ontario Premier dismissed under Courts of Justice Act

Thursday, January 28, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. Tighe, Rojin JazayeriLitigationDefamation, Political Law, Police Services Act, Members’ Integrity Act, Courts of Justice Act

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Early last year, the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, in a highly sensationalized lawsuit was sued for defamation by a former Deputy Commissioner and... 

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27 Jan

Township Liable to Muskoka Cottage Owners for Failing to Inspect Building Permit

Wednesday, January 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCottage Country, Muskoka, Building Code Act, Building Code

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Owners of a cottage in Muskoka obtained judgment against the Township of the Lake of Bays in the amount of $361,875, resulting from the...

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27 Jan

Patrick Brown takes down insurance company

Wednesday, January 27, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Political Law, Insurance Law

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An issue that sometimes arises in defamation actions is whether the costs of a prosecution or a defence is covered by an insurance...

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26 Jan

Defamation claim against Twitter allowed to proceed in British Columbia

Tuesday, January 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, British Columbia, Twitter

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When defamatory statements are alleged to have been transmitted internationally via social media, the question of where to start a...

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25 Jan

Defamation suit surrounding BC’s foreign buyer tax is dismissed

Monday, January 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defences, Defamation, Political Law

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The law of defamation is fascinating because the fact scenarios of each case are unique. Where matters of public interest are involved, people are prone to express opinions about the...

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25 Jan

Subway’s $210 million chicken content defamation claim against the CBC restored by Court of Appeal

Monday, January 25, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Subway, CBC, Chicken

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The Ontario Court of Appeal has restored Subway’s defamation action against the CBC which was dismissed in 2019 pursuant to Ontario’s...

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20 Jan

Plaintiffs who started debate on matters of public interest have defamation claim dismissed

Wednesday, January 20, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Defences

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Vigorous and passionate debate over matters of public interest are the lifeblood of democracy because it is often...

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18 Jan

Notoriously Bad Movie leads to Unprecedented Order for Security for Costs of Trial Judgment

Monday, January 18, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCopyright, Ontario Court of Appeal , Rules of Civil Procedure, Documentary Film-makers, Copyright Act

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For perhaps the first time, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered an unsuccessful litigant to post security for costs of a trial judgment before being allowed to proceed with...

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15 Jan

Home Owners Ordered to Remove Pool built over Municipal Easement

Friday, January 15, 2021James R.G. Cook, Jonathan James NehmetallahLitigation, Real EstateMunicipal Act, Easement

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Home buyers would do well to ensure that their local municipal by-laws and easements do not prohibit their development plans before they embark...

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15 Jan

President of Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to be an “adverse witness” in potato farmer’s case

Friday, January 15, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationEvidence, Political Law, Witnesses, Adverse Witness

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The examination of witnesses at a trial is governed by certain basic rules. For a witness who is being questioned by the side for which that person is a...

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14 Jan

Employer Breached Employee’s Right to Privacy by Reviewing Private Messages sent from Work Laptop

Thursday, January 14, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationArbitration, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian Human Rights Act, Canadian Media Guild

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Employees frequently use laptop computers provided to them by their employer for personal matters as well as employment-related tasks. To what extent can an employer review private messages...

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13 Jan

Ontario’s New Stay Home Order Effective January 14, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021Soma Ray-EllisLitigation, Employment LawCOVID-19, Ontario, Child Care and Early Years Act, Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

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The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, has responded to the unsettling levels of mobility in the province and has declared a second provincial emergency under...

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8 Jan

Former Agriculture Minister Not Required to Testify

Friday, January 8, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCivil Litigation, Evidence, Witnesses, Political Law, Interprovincial Summonses Act

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Despite courts moving to electronic hearings whereby theoretically a witness could appear virtually from anywhere...

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8 Jan

Freelance Consultants Not Bound by Non-Competition Agreement

Friday, January 8, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Employment LawCivil Procedure, Trial Procedure, Non-Compete, Contract Law

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Freelance consultants may often be faced with a decision to enter into contracts which purport to limit their ability to seek out what might be construed as...

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4 Jan

Recent Treatment of Letters of Request from U.S. Courts by the Ontario Court of Appeal

Monday, January 4, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigationLetters of Request, Ontario Evidence Act, Ontario Court of Appeal

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As a result of the highly integrated economies and efficient cross-border movement between Canada and the United States (at least prior to the 2020 pandemic), the courts in each country frequently seek each other’s...

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30 Dec

Court Prohibits Competing Restaurant Business from Opening

Wednesday, December 30, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationNon-Compete, Restaurant, Interlocutory Injunction , Ottawa, Shareholders’ Agreement

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Many will be grateful to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, none more so than restaurant owners. With restaurants scrambling to re-focus on take-out service, perhaps the last thing...

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28 Dec

Housing construction project turned sour results in personal liability and dismissal of defamation claim

Monday, December 28, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Real EstateAlberta, Fraud, Dream Home, Construction , Kickbacks

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Although building a house can take much planning and hard work in securing a developer, labour and material, it is meant to be a joyous exercise which...

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24 Dec

Court Denies Mortgagee’s Claim for Unproven Fees and Charges under Overdue Mortgage

Thursday, December 24, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateMortgage Fees, Ontario Mortgages Act, Interest Act

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Mortgagees suing to recover amounts owing under a mortgage in default should not expect a court to rubber stamp the amounts claimed for fees...

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24 Dec

Election law’s substantive approach applies to judicial recounts

Thursday, December 24, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Election Law, Public Law, Political Law

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Over eight years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada in Opitz v. Wrzesnewskyj, 2012 SCC 55 rejected a bid to overturn a close election result under a contested election application by applying a...

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23 Dec

Viewing the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Callow through a compliance lens

Wednesday, December 23, 2020James R.G. Cook, Kenneth Jull, Jonathan James Nehmetallah, Ian SpiegelLitigationContract Law, Supreme Court of Canada, Compliance

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The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger on December 18, 2020. This decision is ground-breaking in the world of contracts, and can...

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22 Dec

Seller Not Responsible for Zoning or Future Use Limitations of a Property

Tuesday, December 22, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateZoning By-Law, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Ontario

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A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice affirmed that preliminary discussions between a buyer and seller regarding the potential zoning or...

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21 Dec

Legal research and the duty to disclose relevant law

Monday, December 21, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Research, Disciplinary Hearing, Ethics, Legal Research, Law Society of Ontario

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Legal research is important. In general, every legal issue requires some form of legal research because each legal issue is informed either by...

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15 Dec

To Conserve and Protect? Bill 229's Impact on Conservation Authorities

Tuesday, December 15, 2020Jonathan James NehmetallahLitigation, Municipal LawConservation Authorities Act, Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures) 2020, LPAT: Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, Conservation Authority

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Ontario has 36 conservation authorities that act as community-based management agencies who undertake watershed-based programs to protect the community from...

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14 Dec

The frailties of online legal research: the words “and” and “or”

Monday, December 14, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationResearch, COVID-19, Lexis Advance, Quicklaw, CanLII, NextCanada

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I have been a legal research lawyer for almost 30 years. When I started law school in 1987 the use of laptops to take notes in lectures was completely unknown. Our first year legal research and writing class was based... 

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14 Dec

Civil Conspiracy Established against Directors of Shell Company for Loss of Investment

Monday, December 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Civil LawOntario Court of Appeal , Fraud

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The Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that liability for civil conspiracy may arise from the “constructive intent” of a defendant to cause harm even if they are not in direct communication with the plaintiff during...

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11 Dec

Parent’s Claim to Recover Home Transferred to Daughter Dismissed

Friday, December 11, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Estate PlanningReal Estate, Wills, Trusts, Smith Falls

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Property is often transferred between family members without money exchanging hands. There are many reasons for doing so, including estate planning, assisting children with buying a home, removing property from...

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11 Dec

Can your boss force you to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Friday, December 11, 2020Soma Ray-EllisLitigation, Employment LawCOVID-19, Employer, Employee, Employment Agreements, Ontario, Human Rights Code, Occupational Health and Safety Act

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If 2020 has felt like a horror movie, the COVID-19 vaccine is the highly anticipated final act. Now with the vaccine’s...

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9 Dec

Who is that guy? A lesson in the law of defamation

Wednesday, December 9, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Supreme Court of Canada

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The law of defamation is about protecting a person’s reputation. Accordingly, as determined by the Supreme Court of Canada in the seminal case of...

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8 Dec

HBC’s Efforts to Withhold Rent Due to Landlords’ Failure to Maintain “First Class” Shopping Centres

Tuesday, December 8, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationCOVID-19, Retail Shopping, Commercial Landlord, Commercial Tenancies Act, HVAC

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers leery of indoor shopping and retailers being forced to keep their doors closed due to health...

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7 Dec

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Doctor’s Damages for Defamatory Postings on RateMDs.com

Monday, December 7, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Damages, Ontario Court of Appeal

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In response to a series of negative and untruthful online reviews, a medical doctor sued the author of the posts for defamation and was awarded...

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2 Dec

Misrepresentation in Square Footage leads to Rescission of Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Wednesday, December 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Stouffville, Ontario Court of Appeal , Misrepresentation

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A misrepresentation by the seller and real estate agent as to the square footage of a residential property in Stouffville, Ontario resulted in the rescission of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale... 

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30 Nov

Abandoned Use of Easement Leads to Loss of Backyard Parking Pad

Monday, November 30, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationToronto, Easement, Land Title Act, Conveyancing Law and Property Act , Real Estate

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In a densely populated city like Toronto, many older neighbourhoods contain tightly-packed homes separated by narrow easements which provide access to...

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27 Nov

Injunction to Remove Allegedly Defamatory Social Media Posts Dismissed

Friday, November 27, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Damages, Social Media, BLM Movement, Free Speech

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A recent case of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice illustrates the difficulties that a plaintiff may encounter when seeking to stop allegedly defamatory posts...

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12 Nov

Preparing for the ONCA

Thursday, November 12, 2020Clifford S. Goldfarb, James M. Parks, Heather KeachieNon-Profit and Charities, Corporate LawNot-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA), Corporations Act, Ontario

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The Not-for-profit Corporations Act (Ontario) (ONCA) that we have been waiting for since 2010 is likely going to come into effect on January 1, 2021 or shortly thereafter. When it comes into effect...

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9 Nov

Dock Dispute leads to Nuisance Claim and $598,000 Costs Award

Monday, November 9, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCottage Country, Ontario Court of Appeal , Damages, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry , Lake Simcoe, Boat Dock

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After years of litigation, a dispute between neighbours of waterfront properties on Lake Simcoe led to a mandatory order requiring the removal...

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6 Nov

Municipality Restrained from Interfering with Cottage Owners’ use of Fire-Pit Lands

Friday, November 6, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCottage Country, Zoning By-Law, Georgian Bay, Fire-Pit

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Seasonal residents of cottage properties in Tiny Township obtained an injunction prohibiting the municipality from interfering with their use of disputed lands containing...

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5 Nov

Injunction to Stop Neighbour’s House Construction near Escarpment Dismissed

Thursday, November 5, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Municipal Law, Real EstateBuilding, Building Code Act, 1992, Conservation Authorities Act

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A property owner’s application for an injunction against his neighbour to stop construction of a property which he claimed was in contravention of municipal and conservation authority regulations was...

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2 Nov

Volunteer Coaches’ Defamation Claim Dismissed as Contrary to Public Interest

Monday, November 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Superior Court of Justice , Defences, Ringette, Coaching, Defamation

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a defamation claim which arose from an email sent by parents of a competitive ringette player expressing their dissatisfaction with

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28 Oct

Injunction Granted to Hotel to Enforce Noise By-Law

Wednesday, October 28, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Municipal LawEnvironmental Protection Act, Municipal Act

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Potential harm to a hotel’s online reputation for providing a quiet night’s sleep may be sufficient grounds to obtain an injunction to restrain a noisy neighbour. In JJ’s Hospitality v. Kal Tire2020 ONSC 6198 (CanLII), a hotel in...

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27 Oct

Changes in Payment Model for Pharmacy Services Provided to Long-Term Care Home Residents

Tuesday, October 27, 2020Lad KucisLitigation, Health LawOntario Government, Retirement Homes , Pharmacy, Long-term Care Homes, Ministry of Health

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Effective January 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced significant changes to the way that pharmacies are paid for services provided to long-term care (LTC) home residents, as set out in...

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23 Oct

Discovery of Water Damage Insufficient to Terminate Real Estate Purchase Transaction

Friday, October 23, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Damages, Flooding, Insurance Policy

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In Bilotta v. Booth2020 ONCA 522, the Ontario Court of Appeal determined that the buyer of a residential property did not have the right to...

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21 Oct

Proposed Legislation Would Shield Retirement Homes and Long-Term Care Homes from COVID-19 Lawsuits

Wednesday, October 21, 2020Lad KucisLitigation, Health LawCOVID-19, Retirement Homes , Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020

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On October 20, 2020, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020, which if passed, would...

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20 Oct

Real Estate Investor’s Claim for Lost Opportunity Damages Rejected

Tuesday, October 20, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario Superior Court of Justice , Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Damages

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In Akelius Canada Inc. v. 2436196 Ontario Inc., 2020 ONSC 6182 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice...

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14 Oct

Caveat Emptor Applied to Alleged Basement Flooding Damage

Wednesday, October 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateFlooding, Ontario Superior Court of Justice , Termination, Damages

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In Giancola v. Dobrydnev, 2020 ONSC 6007 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected a buyer’s attempt to...

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9 Oct

Township’s Prescriptive Easement Upheld by Court of Appeal

Friday, October 9, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Municipal LawOntario Court of Appeal , Land Title Act, Land Registry

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In Paleshi Motors Limited v. Woolwich (Township)2020 ONCA 625 (CanLII), the Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed that a Township had established a prescriptive easement over private lands for the...

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7 Oct

Partial shutdown of business does not preclude business interruption claim

Wednesday, October 7, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigation, Insurance ActCOVID-19, Business Interruption Loss Policy

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As we head into the seventh month of the artificial economic lockdown ordered by Canadian governments at all levels and brace ourselves for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in multiple sectors continue to seek compensation from their...

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5 Oct

Ontario Court of Appeal Declines to Enforce “Building Scheme” Restrictions

Monday, October 5, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario Court of Appeal , Development, Ontario, Restrictive Covenant, Land Title Act

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A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed a developer’s attempt to enforce a “building scheme” restricting the construction of an...

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24 Sep

Real Estate Agent’s Defamation Claim Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion

Thursday, September 24, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateDefamation, Online Review, Anti-SLAPP Legislation

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In Niu v. Cao2020 ONSC 5407 (CanLII), an Ontario real estate agent was permitted to proceed with a defamation claim stemming from online postings maligning...

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21 Sep
14 Sep

Fence Dispute Leads to $70,000 Defamation Judgment

Monday, September 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateDefamation, Small Claims Court, Libel, Slander

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A dispute between two neighbours over a fence led to a $70,000 judgment against an online activist who posted defamatory comments about one of the...

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4 Sep

Lake access easements should be carefully scrutinized prior to purchase

Friday, September 4, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCottage Country, Right-of-way Access , Lake Waseosa

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In a dispute not uncommon to Canadian cottage country, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently addressed whether the owner of a non-lakefront property...

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2 Sep

Buyer’s Claim for Lost Value Damages of a Residential Subdivision Home

Wednesday, September 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Contract Law, Damages

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The party seeking damages arising from a failed real estate transaction is often the seller, who seeks to recover the agreed-upon sale price from a buyer. Conversely, when a seller breaches the agreement...

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31 Aug

Unconscionability in Real Estate Transactions Post-Uber

Monday, August 31, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateIrrevocability Clause, Contract Law, Toronto

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In Forest Hill Homes (Cornell Rouge) Limited v. Wei2020 ONSC 5060 (CanLII), Justice F.L. Myers applied the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent review of the...

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17 Aug

Online Reviews, Freedom of Expression and Anti-SLAPP Legislation: 910938 Ontario Inc v Moore

Monday, August 17, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationComplaints, Defamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Online Review

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Consider a time when you had a terrible customer service experience while shopping, going to the dentist, or grabbing a bite to eat with some friends. Perhaps you felt sufficiently motivated to post a negative...

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30 Jul

Opportunity for Increased Tax Savings from Income Splitting with a 1% Prescribed Rate Loan

Thursday, July 30, 2020Lindsay Ann HistropCorporate Law, Tax and Estate PlanningIncome Splitting, Tax Savings

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In this blog we will explain how you may be able to benefit from a 1% prescribed-rate loan to split income with certain family members who are taxed at a lower marginal rate.

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29 Jun

In the Aftermath of Uber v Heller: Balancing Contractual Freedoms with Access to Justice

Monday, June 29, 2020John A. Campion, Jonathan James NehmetallahLitigation, Employment Law, Employment Standards ActSupreme Court of Canada, Uber, Employment Agreements

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On June 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision on Uber Technologies Inc. v Heller regarding the enforceability of mandatory arbitration clauses in an employment agreement and whether that could...

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19 Jun

Ontario Suspends Commercial Tenant Evictions

Friday, June 19, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. TigheLitigationBill 192 - Protecting Small Business Act, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), Commercial Tenancies Act, Commercial Landlord, COVID-19, Ontario Government

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have implemented physical distancing measures to “flatten the curve”. 

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9 Jun

A Litigation Update: The Small Claims Court and Short Motions or Applications

Tuesday, June 9, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. Tighe, Rojin JazayeriLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Small Claims Court, Short Motions

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As we near the three month anniversary date of Ontario’s state of emergency, our court system continues to re-emerge from its suspension and to evolve.

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3 Jun

Facebook To Pay $9 Million Penalty Under Canada’s Competition Act

Wednesday, June 3, 2020Kenneth Jull, Jonathan James NehmetallahLitigation, Competition ActCompliance, Advertising, Administrative Monetary Penalty

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On May 19, 2020 the Competition Bureau announced that Facebook Inc. will pay a $9 million administrative monetary penalty (“AMP”), and an additional $500,000 for the costs of the Bureau’s investigation, after...

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14 May

The Ontario government continues to modernize the way in which documents can be executed and sworn

Thursday, May 14, 2020Lindsay Ann HistropTax and Estate Planning, Business Law, Corporate LawCOVID-19, State of Emergency, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Bill 190, Notaries Act, Commissioner for Taking Affidavits Act

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The COVID-19 health emergency continues to cause the Ontario government to modernize legislation and to bring it into conformity with our technological world.

On May 12, 2020, the Ontario government passed Bill 190, the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020.

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7 May

Ontario re-opening for business: A gradual approach

Thursday, May 7, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. TigheLitigationCOVID-19, Ontario Government, Ontario, State of Emergency

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With Victoria Day a little more than a week away and people experiencing a growing urge to return to pre-COVID-19 routines, many governments, including the Ontario government, have...

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6 May

Insurance and business interruption losses caused by COVID-19 shutdowns: Are you covered?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020Arlene O'Neill, Evert Van WoudenbergCorporate Law, Insolvency lawCOVID-19, Insurance Policy, Business Interruption Loss Policy

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As Ontario enters another month of a government ordered lockdown of the economy because of the worldwide COVID-19 health emergency, businesses continue to struggle as they see their revenues and profits plummet. In some cases...

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27 Apr

Property Disputes during a Pandemic

Monday, April 27, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCOVID-19, Coronavirus, Ontario

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In Ontario regular civil court operations have been largely suspended since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One consequence of this has been the temporary postponement of...

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27 Apr

Tax Planning Opportunities in a Depressed Market

Monday, April 27, 2020Lindsay Ann HistropTax Law, Tax and Estate Planning, Corporate LawCapital Gains, Capital Losses, Income Splitting, Prescribed Rate Loan Structure

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The recent decline in financial markets may present opportunities to obtain refunds of tax paid in prior years. They may also present opportunities for income-splitting if...

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