What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of November 14 – 21.

1. Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Assoc. v. Seung Jin Oh 2011 ONSC 6991

[1] A dispute exists amongst the members of the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association (the “Association”) as to which group of members is entitled to govern the Association.

(Second week in a row at #1. Unclear what’s driving this.)

2. Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch 2011 ONCA 764

[5] In the months following the amendments to Rule 20, it has become a matter of some controversy and uncertainty as to whether it is appropriate for a motion judge to use the new powers conferred by the amended Rule 20 to decide an action on the basis of the evidence presented on a motion for summary judgment. Judges of the Superior Court of Justice have expressed differing views on this and other interpretative issues raised by the amendments. Both the bench and the bar have turned to this court for clarification on what the amended rule does, and does not, accomplish.
[6] To provide some guidance to the profession, this court convened a five-judge panel to hear five appeals from decisions under the amended rule.

3. Canadian Taxpayers Federation v. Ontario (Minister of Finance) 2004 CanLII 48177 (ON SC)

[1] This is an application by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (“CTF”) and its federal director, John Williamson, against Her Majesty The Queen in right of Ontario as represented by the Ministry of Finance, Greg Sorbara and against Dalton J. P. McGuinty. The applicants seek to declare that the legislation establishing the Ontario Health Premium is invalid or ultra vires. The applicants also seek a declaration that a promise made in writing by Mr. McGuinty on September 11, 2003, is a contract with the CTF and that Mr. McGuinty is in breach of this contract or, in the alternative, that this promise was a negligent misrepresentation.

This item is notable because it became prominent very quickly on the strength of a single tweet (retweeted):

The most-consulted French-language decision is Martineau c. Société Canadian Tire ltée 2011 QCCA 2198.

[6] Martineau soutient que l’intimée (Canadian Tire) a commis un dol par réticence au moment de proroger son contrat de marchand en octobre 1999[2]. Il prétend que, à l’époque, Canadian Tire lui a caché ses projets d’implantation de deux magasins dans le même secteur commercial où est située son entreprise.


  1. How many people need to read a case on CanLII for it to make the top-three list? 50? 100? 500?

    The dispute among members of the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association involves about 1500 convenience-store operators and a vigorous fight for control of the association. I have no doubt that the dispute is of very close interest for any member of the association, since control over its offices and bank account is at issue.

    The decision could be interesting for anyone who has had to manage a dispute among members of a not-for-profit association and the law of meetings, as well.

  2. Hi John,

    It varies week over week. Without disclosing too much, I can share that in each of the weeks since we’ve begun identifying the top cases, even the third place case has had at least 200+ views over the preceding 7 days. At the other end of the spectrum, the weekly views of the 1000th most viewed case will still number around 20.

    The experience to date shows that we can expect at least one of the top three will be a surprise case with subject matter that catches either national or hyper-local attention. I attribute attention paid to the others in the top three on the basis that they generally address or clarify points of law of interest – new SCC decisions and appeal decisions are therefore always in strong contention.

    Interestingly, important precedents like Dunsmuir are often above 200 views in a given week but still may not crack the top 3. Clearly “hot” does not always equal important. This holds true over longer stretches as well. For example, viewership stats of the Bruni decision issued around this time last year puts all of the recent weekly leaders to shame despite not adding much to the legal canon. Bruni still gets a respectable 50+ views per week but at ~18,500 total views, it carries an impressive average of ~375 weekly views over all of 2012.

    As for the OKBA decision, December views have now well exceeded the membership count, so perhaps interest has spread to friends, family, business partners…and curious Slaw readers.

    Colin Lachance