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. Unrau v National Dental Examining Board, 2019 ABQB 283

[751] Ultimately, the judge must identify a basis for why the abusive litigant is plausibly expected to engage in litigation misconduct that spills outside of the current dispute. If there is no such expectation, then a vexatious litigant order gatekeeping step is neither necessary, nor appropriate. The abusive litigant can instead be managed by a Grepe v Loam Order. That is the correct step.

[752] The key here is that the expectation of ‘spillover’ has a reasonable foundation. That will depend on the conclusions that the judge has reached in relation to the particular abusive litigant. As previously indicated, this is a broad-based inquiry, and may rely on broader factual patterns.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R v Del Corro, 2019 ABCA 156

[69] Mr. Del Corro argues that the officer’s actions demonstrate “a significant disregard” for his Charter rights and a “cavalier attitude” towards exercising his powers of arrest. The factual basis for these characterizations seems to be the trial judge’s finding that Detective Lindemann concluded unreasonably early that Mr. Del Corro had been involved in a firearms transaction and interpreted later information in light of that conclusion. According to Mr. Del Corro, the detective was guilty of “tunnel vision” and even further, that his “tunnel vision” is evidence of a “larger systematic pattern of abuse”.

[70] In our view, these are exaggerations. While the trial judge found “some degree of merit” to the argument that Detective Lindemann “created a self-fulfilling prophesy” by placing too much weight on an early observation, she also found that his conduct was not egregious, willful or a part of a pattern of abuse. Failure to meet the standards of a reasonable officer in the circumstances is inherent in many cases where a court concludes that the arresting officer lacked reasonable and probable grounds to arrest. On its own it does not signify willful disregard, indifference or similar attitudes to an accused’s Charter rights. We reject Mr. Del Corro’s characterization of Detective Lindemann’s breaches.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Bercovici v. Attorney General of Canada, 2019 ONSC 2610

[31] The plaintiff relies on the reference to “responsible individuals” to argue that the proposed defendants would have recognized themselves as the “responsible individuals” described, had they reviewed the notice of action. Although not specifically argued by the plaintiff, this submission raises the issue of whether the allegations relating to “responsible individuals” are sufficient to point the “litigating finger” at the proposed defendants, such that those individuals ought to have known that the plaintiff intended to name them as defendants.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. c. Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, 2018 QCCA 1034

[5] Le juge retient que le fondement du recours proposé se retrouve aux articles 1, 46.1[3] et 49 de la Charte, de même qu’aux articles 19.1 et 20 de la Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement[4] et de ses règlements. Après avoir examiné plusieurs arrêts, de même que l’argument voulant que les intimés ne puissent se hisser au rang de justiciers en lieu et place du gouvernement et réclamer uniquement des dommages punitifs.

(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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