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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

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discussed on Slaw here and here, to require Google to suppress links to particular web sites that had ‘irrelevant and outdated’ personal information about a complainant, and US courts’ refusal to do the same, the British Columbia Supreme Court has now gone a step further: it has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

Sub Nomine

Sub Nomine the Sub Nom rule is one of those delightful pieces of legal Latin that I quite enjoy. I like that two words in Latin can effectively sum up a legal thought that takes at least a sentence or two in English. Sub Nom is Latin for “under the name of” or in everyday parlance, “also known as”. The most recent case from the SCC that has caused a stir in legal circles, R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43 in which the SCC rules that police organizations cannot simply ask ISPs for the IP information of subscribers and . . . [more]

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

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

Law Enforcement Access to ISP Subscriber Information

The Supreme Court of Canada has released its judgment in the Spencer case. It held that the police had no legal right to ask an ISP for subscriber information, as that would violate the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The type of information that could be gleaned from the information went beyond the mere name and address into browsing practices, i.e. sensitive information in which the subscriber might reasonably expect anonymity.

The section of PIPEDA that allows custodians of data to disclose the data to law enforcement officials without telling the data subject, did not apply where the search . . . [more]

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

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

Unconscionable and Unenforceable

The practices of some “form-filler” companies who assisted residential school survivors with filing their claims under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) were described as “unconscionable” in a decision from the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench issued last week.

The form-filler companies were charging a contingency fee of some 15-25% of settlement amounts paid to claimants under the Agreement. The terms of the IRSSA permit lawyers to charge a maximum legal fee of 30% of a settlement, of which the federal government will pay up to 15%. Where form-fillers were used, many claimants paid fees over and above the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Massive Aggravated Damage Awards Contain a Punitive Element

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled in a monumental employment law claim which included intentional infliction of mental suffering, affirming an unprecedented award in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. 

The case dealt with a workplace conflict where the plaintiff claimed to be constructively dismissed. The jury found for the plaintiff and awarded 20 weeks salary in damages, the amount specified in her employment contract, $200,000 in aggravated damages against the employer for the manner of dismissal, and $1,000,000 in punitive damages. The jury also awarded an additional $100,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering against the manager with . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Update: Bill 52, Assisted Suicide Bill Passes Third Reading

The Quebec National Assembly has adopted a historic “right-to-die” legislation (94-22 margin/0 Abstention), the first in Canada. All 22 votes against Bill 52 were from Liberal members, including 10 cabinet ministers. The Bill gives terminally ill adult patients in the province of Quebec, who are of sound mind, the right to palliative care and medical assistance to die in exceptional circumstances and safeguards.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

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

Justice Clément Gascon

In five days, Justice Clément Gascon of the Cour d’Appel will assume Justice Fish’s seat on the Supreme Court.

The announcement from the Prime Minister’s office is terse:

« Je suis ravi d’annoncer la nomination de M. le juge Clément Gascon à la Cour suprême du Canada. M. le juge Gascon, qui siège actuellement à la Cour d’appel du Québec, possède un important bagage d’expérience et de connaissances juridiques dont profitera grandement cette importante institution canadienne. Sa nomination survient au terme de vastes consultations menées auprès d’éminents membres du milieu juridique du Québec. » –

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

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