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. Platnick v Bent, 2016 ONSC 7340

[2] The email communication giving rise to this litigation was made by Ms. Bent – then president-elect of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association – to a confidential “Listserve” accessible only by those OTLA members who subscribed to it. The email alerted subscribers to an incident that had occurred during the course of her representation of a client in a catastrophic injury claim and provided them with advice for the conduct of similar claims in future. The email made reference to two expert reports provided by the plaintiff in terms he claims were defamatory. The email was subsequently leaked by one of its recipients to a broader audience resulting, according to the plaintiff, in his being dropped as a service-provider by many of the insurance companies for whom he had worked over the years developing along the way a lucrative practice. He claims substantial damages arising.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Finkelstein v Ontario (Securities Commission), 2016 ONSC 7508

[174] The Panel noted that, while Finkelstein may not have personally benefitted from his conduct, the participants in the three instances of insider trading/tipping, earned profits of approximately $2 million. Of course, personal profit is only one of the reasons why an individual might engage in such conduct. Enhancing one’s reputation with a view to future benefits may also be a motivating factor. Simple self-aggrandizement may be another.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. McDonald v Brookfield Asset Management Inc., 2016 ABCA 375

[35] Most, if not all, of the oppression claim depends on the plaintiff class demonstrating that the defendants and Birch Mountain were “affiliates”. That involves showing that the defendants were deemed by statute to have a controlling interest in Birch Mountain by reason of the convertible debt they held, even though the debt had not been converted into shares. The argument then picks up the definition of oppressive conduct in s. 242(2) of the Act, that the “corporation or any of its affiliates” conducted the business of the corporation (i.e., Birch Mountain) in an oppressive way. The shareholder class argues that the financial decisions that the defendants (as “affiliates”) made respecting their dealings with Birch Mountain actually amounted to “conducting the business of Birch Mountain”, not conducting the defendants’ own business.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Dupuis c. R., 2016 QCCA 1930

[31] Ainsi que nous l’avons vu, il incombe au ministère public de justifier les délais qui dépassent le plafond. Dans le cas où ils ne dépassent pas celui-ci, il pourra également y avoir atteinte au droit de l’accusé d’être jugé dans un délai raisonnable. Il appartiendra toutefois à ce dernier d’en faire la démonstration, une tâche ardue selon la Cour suprême qui s’attend « à ce que les arrêts de procédures dans des cas où le délai est inférieur au plafond soient rares et limités aux cas manifestes »[22]. Quant aux affaires en cours, cette tâche sera encore plus difficile « compte tenu du niveau de délai institutionnel toléré suivant l’approche qui prévalait antérieurement »[23], laquelle focalise principalement sur la conduite de l’accusé et son désir réel de procéder rapidement pour amoindrir le préjudice résultant de son assujettissement prolongé aux accusations criminelles.

(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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