Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. The Hearing Clinic (Niagara Falls) Inc. v. 866073 Ontario Limited, et al., 2015 ONSC 1177

[1] We have a marvellous legal system in Ontario. Anybody is permitted to walk into a courthouse and commence a civil law suit about anything. The court will patiently provide all of the time and services reasonably (and, sometimes, unreasonably) necessary. The matter may go on interminably (and, usually, does) but our accommodating nature does not abate; our patience persists; we listen, we sit and we listen some more. However, when the law suit ends, the idioms arrive: the chickens come home to roost;[1] the jig is up;[2] the second shoe is about to drop;[3]the cat is out of the bag;[4] the fat lady sings;[5] one sows what one reaps;[6] and, here, so aptly, the cacophonous wail in the background is that of a piper, warming up and waiting to be paid[7] – the sum of $1,316,535.16, to be precise.

[2] The costs of this action are now to be determined.

2. Nadarajah v. Lad, 2015 ONSC 925

[150] In this case, the student tasked with this file was not well. The firm learned of this but left the file with him, even after he was away for treatment, and even then, did not audit his files in his absence. They welcomed him back a month later and expected him to be pick up where he left off, again providing no supervision, no mentoring. Two months later, he had left the firm, and 4 months after that he took his own life. Still, no one audited his files and it is not even clear if this file was ever reassigned until November 2012 – more than a year after the action was dismissed and 8 months after AS had left the firm.

[151] I am not able to say that AS’s short sojourn through the firm and his limited dealing with this matter is in any significant way responsible for this situation. It is disturbing that Wilkins has chosen to cast it differently.

3. Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015 SCC 7

[1] Lawyers must keep their clients’ confidences and act with commitment to serving and protecting their clients’ legitimate interests. Both of these duties are essential to the due administration of justice. However, some provisions of Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislation are repugnant to these duties. They require lawyers, on pain of imprisonment, to obtain and retain information that is not necessary for ethical legal representation and provide inadequate protection for the client’s confidences subject to solicitor-client privilege. I agree with the British Columbia courts that these provisions are therefore unconstitutional. They unjustifiably limit the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures under s. 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the right under s. 7 of the Charter not to be deprived of liberty otherwise than in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Latimer, [2001] 1 RCS 3, 2001 CSC 1

1 La Cour — Le présent pourvoi découle de la mort de Tracy Latimer, une fillette de 12 ans qui souffrait d’une paralysie cérébrale grave. Son père, Robert Latimer, lui a enlevé la vie il y a environ sept ans. Il a été déclaré coupable de meurtre au deuxième degré. Le pourvoi porte sur trois questions de droit découlant de son procès. Premièrement, le juge du procès a‑t‑il mal appliqué le moyen de défense fondé sur la nécessité, ce qui aurait donné lieu à un procès inéquitable? Deuxièmement, le procès était‑il inéquitable pour le motif que le juge du procès a amené le jury à croire qu’il pourrait participer à la détermination de la peine appropriée? Troisièmement, l’imposition de la peine minimale obligatoire pour meurtre au deuxième degré constitue‑t‑elle « une peine cruelle et inusitée » en l’espèce, de sorte que M. Latimer (« appelant ») devrait bénéficier d’une exemption constitutionnelle de la peine minimale

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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