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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

The Real Incivility Case to Watch

Perhaps the best way to raise awareness of the 2015 Bencher Elections is to highlight what the function of the law society is. The LSUC website states,

The main function of the Law Society of Upper Canada is to ensure that all persons who practise law or provide legal services in Ontario are competent, follow proper procedures and behave ethically.

Ethical behaviour is generally interpreted through the lens of the Rules of Professional Conduct, and is one of the main disciplinary functions of the law society. Discipline, though rarely pleasant, is one of the necessary components of self-regulation. Understandably . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of Prima Facie Discrimination and Humanizing the Street Homeless

The long-dead brains of history are still quite handy when you need to brandish something with rhetorical flourish—Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Milton, Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill are some obvious choices. But it’s rare that a quote at the head of a judgement is as good as what BC Supreme Court Justice Sharma gave us this past Friday in Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users v. British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Here’s how the reasons begin:

“Near the end of the 19th Century, the poet, author and Nobel laureate Antole France composed this oft-cited saying: ‘[t]he law in its

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

Court Confirms Homeowners Lose Warranty Rights Upon Sale of House

A panel of three Divisional Court Judges have affirmed that when a homeowner sells their home, they lose their standing to maintain a Tarion warranty claim under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (the “Act”).

Ms. Blair took possession of her new condominium townhome in February, 2010. Thereafter she made a complaint to Tarion about insufficient heating in the home. Ultimately, Tarion ordered that duct modification work was required in all nine townhouse units in the complex.

Ms. Blair installed a gas fireplace in her home without Tarion’s approval (to address the heating issue) and claimed compensation for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

G20 Decision by Ontario Court of Appeal Illustrates the Power of Video

Many Canadian cities are debating the use of body cameras by police and the privacy impacts involved. The Toronto police have started a pilot project.

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal relating to the G20 protests illustrates the power of video: six paragraphs of the Court’s decision describe a YouTube video (which appears to be here). The Court noted the video had been viewed more than 100,000 times and was viewed by the application judge and by the panel of the Court of Appeal. The Court concluded that police violated the right to travel unimpeded . . . [more]

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

English Court of Appeal Expands Privacy Rights

The Court of Appeal in England has upheld a 2014 decision against Google about its scraping of information from users of the Safari browser. It classified a privacy action as a tort that will support a class action (called a ‘group action’ there) and also service out of the jurisdiction. The Court allowed the action to proceed without proof of pecuniary damages. It also held that ‘browser generated information’ (BGI) was personally identifiable information to which the Data Protection Act applied, though it did not contain the name of the person using the browser.

Google v Vidal-Hall : [2015] EWCA . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Moonlighting Created a Serious Conflict of Interest

A Canada Revenue Agency employee’s moonlighting activities constituted a serious conflict of interest and, along with his subsequent insubordination, gave the employer sufficient cause to terminate the employee, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board recently confirmed in Cavanagh v Canada Revenue Agency. . . . [more]

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

Terminating for Cause? Prove It!

In January 2015, the Ontario Superior Court provided another example of how, as an employer, if you’re going to terminate an employee for cause, you better have a good case backed by solid evidence. The case, Partridge v. Botony Dental Corporation, 2015 ONSC 343 (CanLII), is a relatively simple one. The employee, a dental hygenist, Ms. Lee Partridge, was terminated for cause by her employer, Botony Dental Corporation, after 7 years of employment. On her record of employment and in defence, the Employer alleged versions of the following grounds for termination:

[35] […]

  1. Partridge chose to reject her

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of Living Wills, Margot Bentley and Upcoming Webinars From Nidus

We’re about five years away from a demographic tsunami—that forecast point in time when 25% of Canadians will be 65 or older. Standing in the shallows, you can already feel the sucking silence. Every institution senses the water being drawn out from around its feet. They are all bracing for the shuddering power of change when that wave hits.

Much hand-wringing is occurring over how our economic apparatus will handle this surging demographic threat, but there is also a broader social component emerging. I’m referring to the emerging awareness and everyday discussions around significant “end-of-life” issues, such as the ones . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Employer Harassed, Stalked and Threatened Employee Because of Sexual Orientation

In Graham v Shear Logic Hairstyling, an employee was awarded $11,400 representing general damages for denigration of her dignity and self-respect, and for psychological and emotional harm she experienced due to discrimination in employment on the grounds of sex and sexual orientation, in addition to sexual harassment. . . . [more]

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

Is a Typed Name on an Email a Valid Signature?

Both Canadian law and American law, through their uniform e-transactions statutes, give a wide definition to ‘electronic signature’ – being essentially any information in electronic form in or associated with a document with an intention to sign the document.

The ‘intention to sign’ requirement aimed to ensure that the same mental element was required for an e-signature as for a handwritten signature.

A recent California Court of Appeal case, J.B.B. Investment Partners v Fair, held that a person who typed his name at the bottom of an email saying ‘ I agree’ to settlement agreement sent to him by . . . [more]

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

Breath Samples at Prom an Unreasonable Search

High school administrators have a challenging burden of ensuring the health and safety of children in their schools. High school students often get into trouble, including using alcohol before they are of the age of majority.

Although the high school prom is supposed to be a memorable occasion, many high school students only recall a haze due to drinking around and surrounding this event. One high school principal sought to use mandatory breathalyzers at his prom, but an Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling by Justice Himel in Simon Gillies et al v. Toronto District School Board found that this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Remedial Costs for Unreasonable Settlements by Insurers

In the threshold motion in Maxwell v. Luck, previously discussed here, Justice Howell pushed back against what is increasingly becoming a routine attempt by insurers to dismiss chronic pain on the basis of the lack of objective symptoms in personal injury claims.

The cost award, released shortly thereafter, may have significant effects on how insurers in Ontario approach threshold motions in the future.

Justice Howden awarded fixed costs of $150,400, and disbursements of $ 56,332, taking into account that the plaintiff was under a statutory obligation to pursue accident benefits as well. This approach was upheld in Moodie . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions