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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Protection Standards on the Horizon for Cryptocurrency Exchanges as First Class Action Filed

Last month saw the collapse of a foundational member of the Bitcoin community, Mt. Gox. A class action lawsuit, that will likely be one of many, has been filed in Illinois against former the bitcoin exchange industry leader, its parent companies, and Mark Karpeles, Mt. Gox’s sole director (Gregory Greene v Mt. Gox Incet al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 14-01437). The exchange has filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and, subsequent to the institution of class action proceedings, in the United States as well.

Although the bankruptcy filing temporarily suspends the class action, . . . [more]

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

U.S. Labour Laws More Protective Than Canadian?

It’s not often that I comment on a U.S. legal decision (mostly because I’m not an American attorney), but a recent decision from the US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) is particularly interesting from an employment and labour law perspective and because it also highlights a significant area where US and Canada labour law differs.

In the decision Design Technology Group, LLC, 359 NLRB No 96, the Board ordered the employer to reinstate a number of employees who were terminated for critcizing their employer on a semi-public Facebook page. In the US, most employment is “at will” . . . [more]

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

Quebec Superior Court Invalidates Certain Provisions of the Pay Equity Act

A coalition of unions led by the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) has won a court challenge against certain provisions of the 2009 reform of Quebec’s Pay Equity Act. The provisions in question require employers subject to the Act to audit pay equity in their businesses every five years, but not continuously. In other words, since 2009, Quebec employers have been required to perform a pay equity audit at the end of each five-year period, prepare a list of events that generated wage adjustments (e.g., promotions), and only pay the wage adjustments due at that time rather than when the adjustments occurred. The first audits would have taken place this year. . . . [more]

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

The Civil Injunction Cheat Sheet

Injunctions are a powerful remedy that are sought and granted in a wide range of disputes.

An employer might seek an injunction to stop a former employee from soliciting the employer’s clients. A business may seek an injunction to stop a competitor from unfairly using a registered trademark. Your neighbour may seek an injunction to stop you from cutting down that hideous tree in your back yard that provides oh-so-much shade and privacy for your neighbour, or perhaps they may seek a mandatory order requiring you to cut down that same hideous tree that they view as an eye-sore.

A . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Federal Court Pushes Back Against Copyright Trolling

In the era of high speed internet and a culture of ubiquitous sharing, what are copyright owners to do in enforcing their claims? Or are fears of these claims being used to unduly extort unwitting consumers?

Although popular file sharing site Demonoid.me is still down, the harbours at Pirate Bay are still wide open. Revelations through Edward Snowden this week demonstrate that these file sharing sites have even been deemed to be a malicious foreign actor, simply for being a document repository. Yet a Federal court decision on Thursday in Voltage v. Does may provide some recourse without making . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Hryniak: Courts Must Change

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada released an important decision explaining when summary judgment rules can be used to resolve civil litigation disputes. Omar Ha-Redeye posted about the decision last week.

Some Supreme Court decisions are targeted at the litigants in a case. Other times, Members of Parliament who have to write new laws. Although the decision has messages for everyone, I think the Supreme Court’s decision in Hryniak is aimed in many ways at Ontario’s court system itself.

The Supreme Court of Canada extensively discussed “tools to maximize the efficiency of a summary judgment motion,” concluding . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Update: Nearly $19,000 in Costs Awarded Against Lawyer Who Accepts Settlement Offer Without Instructions

Back in October, I wrote about a case where the plaintiff’s lawyer accepted an offer to settle from the defendant, knowing full well they had no instructions to do so, in the hopes that they could in turn convince their client to accept the (already accepted) offer.

When the plaintiff refused to accept the offer, the defendant brought a motion to enforce the settlement. Justice Price held, correctly, that it would not be fair in the circumstances to bind the plaintiff to an offer that her lawyer accepted without her instructions and dismissed the motion. In doing so, Justice Price . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Electronic Evidence: Need for Expertise?

The Manitoba Court of Appeal recently held, in Ducharme v. Borden, 2014 MBCA 5, that electronic evidence did not require expert support for a judge to deal with its admissibility.

We do not endorse the judge’s view that electronic media evidence is of no value unless supported by expert evidence. Expert evidence is limited to information which is likely outside the experience and knowledge of a judge or jury.(para 15)

On the other hand, the issues with such evidence did not make it a matter for judicial notice, either.

While the burden of authenticating evidence for admission was . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Hryniak v. Mauldin Promotes Access to Justice Through Summary Judgments

The Supreme Court of Canada released a decision this week in Hryniak v. Mauldin which revamps the judicial approach towards summary judgments in Ontario. The decision replaces the previous decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch, a special five-judge panel to hear five appeals over Rule 20 which then created a “full appreciation test” for summary judgment motions.

The reason for the detailed analysis of summary judgment motions in Ontario largely stems from changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure in 2010 which were intended to make civil litigation more affordable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Supreme Court of Canada to Explain Summary Judgment Test

There are frequent complaints about the costs of resolving disputes in Canada’s courts. It is prohibitively expensive for many Canadians to hire a lawyer to take their case to court.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada will release two decisions that will explain the test for obtaining summary judgment in Ontario. These cases were decided under Ontario’s new rules for summary judgment that came into force in 2010. The new rules were prompted by findings and recommendations made in 2007 by the Honourable Coulter A. Osborne, Q.C. , having “access to justice” as an overarching issue. The changes . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Protection Against Copyright Infringement Strengthened by Robinson Case but at What Cost

On December 23, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered an important decision on copyright infringement in Cinar Corp. v. Robinson. The Court affirmed the trial judge’s finding that Cinar infringed Claude Robinson’s intellectual property and allowed a considerable increase in the monetary relief the Quebec Court of Appeal awarded Robinson. . . . [more]

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

Employment Reference Letters Required in Quebec?

Letters of reference can be very helpful when looking for employment. However, increasingly, due to issues with liability (great letter for an employee who turns out to be terrible), management and consistency, many employers have policies that prohibit formal reference letters for all departing employees – regardless of their performance.

In most of Canada, it doesn’t appear that there is any recognized common law duty to provide a letter of reference. However, the Court of Appeal of Quebec (QCA) has recently ruled that Quebec is also a distinct society when it comes to letters of reference.

In Arseneault (Succession de) . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions