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Archive for ‘Case Comment’

The Duty Not to Find …

On the heels of the European Court of Justice’s decision, discussed on Slaw here and here, to require Google to suppress links to particular web sites that had ‘irrelevant and outdated’ personal information about a complainant, and US courts’ refusal to do the same, the British Columbia Supreme Court has now gone a step further: it has ordered Google to ensure that searches for particular topics or a particular company do not find the company defendant in the action before it.

The principals of the defendant company were accused of stealing trade secrets of the plaintiff and of . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Employment Law and First Nation Band

In Canada, jurisdiction over employment law is normally within the authority of each province or territory, unless the employer or activity falls under the federal jurisdiction. This is a straightforward distinction under normal circumstances, but, in certain areas, it remains unclear. This was the case in Fox Lake Cree Nation v. Anderson, 2013, in which the Federal Court of Canada set aside the order of an adjudicator appointed by the Canadian Labour Ministry because that adjudicator did not have the jurisdiction to hear the complaint made by the terminated employee.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Have You Notified Your Insurer?

Manitoba lawyers recently received a memo from the Law Society’s Insurance Department reminding them that it’s time to pay their 2014/15 liability insurance premium.

That memo also contains the annual reminder to practising, insured lawyers to “Speak now or forever hold your peace” with respect to known or potential claims. The Law Society reminds lawyers that:

Because our Professional Liability Insurance coverage is written on a claims-made basis, if you know of any circumstances which might possibly, at some point in the future, give rise to an insurance claim against you and you want coverage under your Insurance Policy, then

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Officers of the Worker and Employer Advisers Who Give Legal Advice Must Be Licensed Paralegals

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that employees of Ontario’s Office of the Worker Adviser and Office of the Employer Adviser who provide legal services relating to the Occupational Health and Safety Act must be licensed paralegals. The Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers provide certain legal services under the OHSA to employees and employers in non-union environments.
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Federal Court of Appeal Rulings on Landmark Family Status Cases

On May 2, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal released its long-awaited decisions in Canada (Attorney General) v. Johnstone, 2014 FCA 110 (CanLII) and Canadian National Railway Company v. Seeley, 2014 FCA 111 (CanLII). The rulings confirm that child care obligations fall under the scope of family status under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and clarify the test for meeting a prima facie case of discrimination on the prohibited ground of family status. Let's examine what is involved in the accommodation of family status.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Court of Appeal Unable to Review Lower Decision – Forced to Grant Appeal

In an unusual case, the Court of Appeal has granted the Appeal brought by the Defendants due to the fact that the inadequacy of the endorsement of the motion judge rendered the Court of Appeal unable to “conduct a meaningful review of his decision.”

The Plaintiff purchased a house from one of the Defendants. As it turns out, the house had previously been used as a marijuana grow-op. The Plaintiff alleged that the vendor failed to disclose that a grow-op had previously operated at the property and that the property had an extensive mould problem that renders it uninhabitable.

For . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Neighbours From Hell – Marcel Proust to Ed Morgan via the Carlisle

Three delightful legal curios remind us that when neighbours fall out, balance and judgment cascade out the window – or are defenestrated.

Let’s start with Monsieur Proust – who was sensitive beyond sensitivity. Yet even a cork-lined writing room couldn’t shield him from shoes on wooden floors and thin walls, from the harp-playing wife of an American dentist, Marie Williams.

Gallimard published the recently found letters as an epistolary novel, Lettres à sa voisine, last year. The catalogue descibes it thus::

«C’est un vrai petit roman, fondé sur une surprise : la découverte de ces vingt-trois lettres

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Update: Court of Appeal Rules Property Management Company Still Barred From Appearing at Landlord and Tenant Board

About a year ago I wrote a post about a case where the Ontario Superior Court issued a permanent injunction preventing the owner of a property management company from appearing before the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board on behalf of his landlord clients.

The property management company appealed to the Court of Appeal, who dismissed the appeal last week.

  . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Search Warrants for Electronic Records

Speaking of media neutrality … a US judge has ruled that a search warrant served on Microsoft in the US required the company to divulge records stored on servers outside the US. An account of the decision is here.

The company argued that the court could authorize a search only of premises within the territory of the court’s jurisdiction. The court held that a search warrant that applied to electronic records was in the nature of a subpoena as well as a search warrant. Since MS had control of the documents, it had to turn them over.

Does this . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Pregnant Employee Has Right to Withdraw From Unsafe Work No Matter Employment Status or Workplace

Pregnant casual or temporary workers in Quebec have the right to withdraw from unsafe work environments just as permanent workers do, according to the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Dionne v. Commission scolaire des Patriotes, 2014 SCC 33 (CanLII).
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Proceeds From Molson Grow-Op Sale to Be Released to Property’s Owner

Justice Vallee has authorized the return of the sale proceeds of the former Molson Brewery Grow-Op, which total just north of $4 million, to the property’s owner.

The Attorney General of Ontario had been attempting to have the sale proceeds preserved pending a future forfeiture hearing on a number of grounds, including that the property was the proceeds of an unlawful activity and was used as an instrument of unlawful activity.

The court agreed that the property was used as an instrument of unlawful activity. However, given that the owner of the property had no involvement, or knowledge, of . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Electronic Signatures and Election Registration:  Case Comment on Getup Ltd. v Electoral Commissioner (Australia)

One of the principles governing how the law has come to terms with electronic or digital technology is that of media neutrality: the law should work the same way regardless of the medium by which information is created, communicated or stored. We do not want to create a parallel system of legal rules that apply only when certain technologies are used. We may need to adapt our usual rules to deal with special characteristics or applications of the technology, but these should disrupt normal expectations as little as possible. The challenge is to judge how far it is appropriate to . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Technology