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. R v Villaroman, 2015 ABCA 104

[19] We have trouble seeing that circumstantial evidence could prove guilt where it leaves a reasonable (not remote) possibility that the event occurred in a way not involving the accused. A jury cannot act on an unreasonable inference. It is not necessary that there be actual evidence of that innocent possibility; the onus is on the Crown to disprove it. The well-known Lifchus test confirms that. The trier of fact must find no evidence, and no gap in the evidence, which raises a reasonable doubt. Such gaps include a gap in the evidential support for an inference needed to prove an element of the offence. That is, of course, a factual question for the trier of fact.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Tammer v Levitt & Grosman LLP, 2015 ONSC 5452

[12] I understand that there are occasions on which clients have a self-interest in asserting that they did not receive an invoice from a law firm: see Fiset v Falconer, [2005] OJ No 4023, at para 48 (SCJ). However, there is nothing to suggest that is the case here. The Plaintiff was very diligent during the course of the litigation in carefully reviewing the interim invoices she received, and there is no reason to think that she would not do the same for the final invoice. The Defendant had deducted the amount of its invoice from the Plaintiff’s settlement funds, so she was already out of pocket for the legal fees; if she were inclined to dispute the invoice, it was to her advantage to expedite the matter rather than to delay it.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Levita v Alan Crew et al., 2015 ONSC 5316

[102] While, like all adult recreational hockey leagues, True North professes to be “no contact”, the evidence is clear that contact did happen and was an assumed and expected risk of the game. The style of play in the A division, in which the Buds and the Goldmembers were playing during the incident in question, was high-level and frequently aggressive. Levita, having played in this league for several years, understood the nature of the league and assumed the inherent risk that such injury could occur even in the non-contact recreational league. The physical contact between the players which took place in this game occurred in the course of play and fell within the accepted inherent risks. Insofar as the contact was intentional, Levita impliedly consented to being body-checked in the course of play, even where that body-check might warrant a penalty. Levita’s team were well aware of Crew’s aggressive manner of play and that the sort of contact which did occur could occur. Notwithstanding that fact, they elected to play this game. As a result, I respectively find that no liability should attach to Crew on the basis of an intentional act to cause injury, or negligence.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Dobson (Tuteur à l’instance de) c. Dobson, [1999] 2 RCS 753, 1999 CanLII 698 (CSC)

1 La grossesse évoque le mystère de la naissance et de la vie ainsi que la perpétuation et le renouvellement de la race humaine. La relation entre la femme enceinte et le fœtus qu’elle porte est unique et l’importance considérable et particulière qu’elle revêt pour la société est spontanément reconnue. Dans la grande majorité des cas, la femme enceinte déploie tous les efforts possibles pour assurer la santé et le bien‑être de l’enfant à naître. En outre, les sacrifices que la mère consent pour son nouveau‑né sont énormes. Mais que se passe‑t‑il si l’espoir en l’avenir est ruiné par le préjudice que subit le fœtus en raison du comportement négligent de la future mère avant la naissance? Une mère doit‑elle être tenue responsable du dommage causé à son enfant né vivant? C’est la question qu’il faut trancher dans le présent pourvoi.
(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* 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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