An SCC Christmas Present in July for Canadian Litigators

R v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2011 SCC 42 is necessary reading for all Canadian lawyers giving advice about any aspect of private law obligations.

This case fits very nicely into our discussion about the need to avoid ambiguity in statements about law. It also shows how often ambiguity in the language actually used is too often associated with the writer(s)’ apparent confusion relating to the meaning of the concepts discussed.

Maybe the Court meant to make some of the assertions that the text of the reasons literally makes. And maybe they “misspoke” themselves.

Time will tell. 

But, in the meantime, that time may line the pockets of some lawyers. Those of us who are litigators, and end up on the right side of that time, have nothing to complain about, right? This is a good thing, no?


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