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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 Estate of Henry Goldentuler v Crosbie et al, 2016 ONSC 5071

[40] I agree with the plaintiffs that the case law supports the proposition that, notwithstanding there was no written agreement between the plaintiff and the defendants, the defendants breached their duties of loyalty, good faith and avoidance of conflict of interests and self-interest while working in the plaintiff’s employ. The plaintiff is, therefore, entitled to damages; the issue becomes whether or not the large quantum sought by the plaintiff is reasonable in the circumstances.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Al-Shammari, 2016 ONCA 614

[75] Incompetence must be demonstrated on a balance of probabilities. To overturn a conviction on the basis of ineffective assistance, counsel’s conduct must have undermined the appearance of the fairness of the trial or the reliability of the verdict. There are three aspects: (i) the factual component, (ii) the performance assessment, and (iii) the prejudice analysis. The prejudice analysis is considered before considering the adequacy of the trial counsel’s performance. The appellant must demonstrate that, had the trial counsel conducted the case differently, there is a reasonable probability that the verdict could have been different. A reasonable probability is established when the reviewing court is satisfied that because of counsel’s incompetence, the verdict cannot be taken as a reliable assessment of the appellant’s culpability.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R v Suter, 2016 ABCA 235

[6] We accept, as did the sentencing judge, that the sentencing range for the offence of refusing to provide a breath sample after causing an accident leading to death is the same as that for impaired driving causing death, while noting that different types of mitigating factors may arise given the differences between the two offences. In particular, a finding that the driver was not impaired by alcohol could obviously never be made in relation to a charge of impaired driving causing death but could properly be a mitigating consideration in sentencing for the other type of offence, as here. We conclude, however, that the evidence did not establish directly or through reasonable inference that Mr. Suter honestly believed that it was not an offence to refuse to provide a breath sample. As such an honest belief is a mandatory prerequisite for mistake of law, no mistake was established. His reliance on flawed legal advice should thus not have been treated as a factor mitigating sentence.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Fortin c. Mazda Canada inc., 2016 QCCA 31

[156] En effet, le système de verrouillage de la portière d’un véhicule automobile est un mécanisme ayant essentiellement pour but de la verrouiller, et non pas d’empêcher une personne mal intentionnée de trouver un moyen illégal d’y pénétrer par l’usage de la force.

(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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