Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Ferreira v. St. Mary’s General Hospital, 2018 ONCA 247

[30] Ms. Masgras fundamentally misunderstands the principles enunciated in that case. That decision does not support Ms. Masgras’ proposition that a lawyer is entitled to take whatever steps s/he wishes in furtherance of what the lawyer thinks is the client’s “cause”. What Ms. Masgras appears not to understand is the fundamental principle that lawyers must act in accordance with the instructions of their clients.[1] Lawyers do not have a carte blanche to take steps of their own volition under the guise of furthering the client’s perceived cause. In particular, lawyers do not have the right to institute proceedings without being armed with instructions from their clients to do so.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Galea v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2017 ONSC 245

[275] The mental distress that Wal-Mart knew its actions would cause Ms. Galea did not stop there. In the course of the litigation, Wal-Mart was either purposely dilatory in instructing its counsel to provide disclosure and to conduct examinations for discovery, including the legal obligation to provide answers and supporting documents to fulfil undertakings on a timely basis. Alternatively, Wal-Mart was indifferent to Ms. Galea’s claims. As a result, this purposeful delay or indifference caused mental distress for Ms. Galea that exceeded the normal stress and hurt feelings that accompany a dismissal.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), [2015] 1 SCR 331, 2015 SCC 5

[1] It is a crime in Canada to assist another person in ending her own life. As a result, people who are grievously and irremediably ill cannot seek a physician’s assistance in dying and may be condemned to a life of severe and intolerable suffering. A person facing this prospect has two options: she can take her own life prematurely, often by violent or dangerous means, or she can suffer until she dies from natural causes. The choice is cruel.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Cyr-Langlois c. R., 2017 QCCA 1033

[40] Le problème de fonctionnement ou d’utilisation de l’alcootest que la preuve tendra à démontrer pourra, dans certains cas, être tel que son influence possible sur la fiabilité des résultats sera évidente. Il existe toutefois certains autres problèmes dont l’influence possible ne s’imposera pas d’emblée. En de tels cas, l’accusé devra offrir une preuve additionnelle démontrant que le problème en est un susceptible d’avoir un impact sur la fiabilité des résultats.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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