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Archive for ‘Case Comment’

Of the Vilardell Case and a Victory for BC’s Middle Class

The thing about writing for a blog (especially one that commits you to weekly posts) is that often times you can only barely introduce a topic or idea.

And undoubtedly one of the best things about blogs is that cursory introductions are totally fine. Want popcorn commentary on a landmark decision from the country’s highest court? Bam. Here you go.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s October 2, 2014 majority decision regarding the (non) constitutionality of pricey court fees in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59, is big news here in BC. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Orders Made by Director Under the AODA

Despite concerns from many that the government was lagging in its enforcement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) has been issuing orders to comply with the Act, particularly the section 14 requirement to produce and file an accessibility report with the directorate.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Shocking Communications With a Job Applicant Cost Employer $8,000 in Damages

When an employer denied a job candidate’s application with a text message saying, “I don’t hire foreners I keep the white man working" (his spelling not mine!), the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal had no trouble finding that the job applicant experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color and place of origin.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Cyberbullying, Social Media Networks and Sentencing: The Alberta Court of Appeal Strikes a Hard Blow in R v Mackie

How should the courts determine appropriate sentences for online predators who victimize vulnerable children through various forms of cyberbullying? This was the question put squarely to the Alberta Court of Appeal in R v Mackie 2014 ABCA 221.

Background

Statistics Canada reported this summer that the traditional crime rate in Canada fell 8% from 2012 to 2013, reaching its lowest level since 1969. But this general decline in crime rates overshadows a disturbing countertrend – the rise in online crimes against children.

Crimes constituting sexual violations against children increased 6% from 2012. In particular, the crime of using a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

Employee Constructively Dismissed Because of a Temporary Layoff

Can a temporary layoff, in the absence of an express or implied contractual term authorizing such action during the term of employment, constitute a constructive dismissal? Ontario’s Small Claims Court recently answered this question in the case of Janice Wiens v. Davert Tools Inc., 2014 CanLII 47234.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Of Judicial Notice and the Big Lebowski

Last week, Doug Jasinski graced my post with a comment challenging my interest in how different media like blogs and Wikipedia articles find their way into judgments.

His question: “Do 20-year old slacker movies count as different media?”

I don’t presume, Doug, that you really expected (or wanted) my take on this, but I’m prepared to share it anyway. Doug raised an interesting article from Business Insider which talks about a Texas Supreme Court decision citing the Big Lebowski. The reasons for judgment in Kinney v. Barnes, a freedom of speech injunction matter, were released on August 29, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Worker Could Sue Executive Officer for Massage, but Not Employer

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal recently decided that an employee was not allowed to sue her employer in court because the workers’ compensation regime prevented it. However, the employee was allowed to sue the executive officer of the employer who allegedly assaulted her because he was not acting in an employment-related capacity regarding the conduct that was subject to the civil action.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

T.V. Show Prompts Plaintiff to Try to Re-Open Case

According to Mr. Mehedi he was scammed. He paid $3,742 to a company to provide career development services and assist him in finding a job. Prior to paying the fees, Mr. Mehedi asserts that he was promised that the company would find him a job as a project manager with a salary of $70,000. That job never materialized.

Mr. Mehedi sued the company and its principals. He lost at trial. The trial judge found the defendants to be credible and concluded that there was no basis for finding that any of the defendants made any promises or commitments to Mr. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Interesting Take on the Duty to Accommodate

An employer can do nothing and still meet its duty to accommodate, so long as it turns out that the employer could not have accommodated the complainant without undue hardship. This was the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the recent case, Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General).
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Appellate Lawyers Take Heed

Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp, 2014 SCC 53

will change existing practice (necessarily outside of Quebec civil law cases: I leave the effect on civil law to others) where the central appellate issue is the meaning of the contract.

From the headnote:

The historical approach according to which determining the legal rights and obligations of the parties under a written contract was considered a question of law should be abandoned. Contractual interpretation involves issues of mixed fact and law as it is an exercise in which the principles of contractual interpretation are applied to the words of the

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

Quebec Employer’s Right to Waive Resignation Notice Decided by Supreme Court of Canada

On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., on the issue of whether an employer who receives a notice of termination from an employee can terminate the contract of employment before the notice period expires without in turn having to give notice of termination or pay in lieu of such notice.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation