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. R. v. Grzelak, 2019 BCPC 65

[3] The Defendant was alone in his black Mercedes, coming from work after a long day. He was driving North bound on 152 Street in Surrey BC.

[4] His Apple iPhone was in the centre cubby hole in the dashboard, at the front end of the console. The wire for his ear buds were plugged into the phone. He had the two ear buds in his ears, one on each side. The cell phone battery was dead. The screen was not illuminated, no music, no conversation or anything else was coming through the earbuds.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Hnatiuk v. R.W. Gibson Consulting Services Ltd., 2005 ABQB 78

[9] The Appellant argues that it was entitled to dismiss the Respondent for his acts of dishonesty: for example, gasoline used by others or for purposes not related to performing his duties for the Appellant and charged by the Respondent to the Appellant. As stated by the trial judge, it was incumbent upon the Appellant to deal with those issues promptly at the time it became aware of them. Kurt Gibson, the Sales and Marketing Manager of the Appellant, testified that he addressed the issue of the stolen gas with the Respondent and issued warnings at to the Respondent at the end of his probationary periods. Although the Respondent’s evidence differs on this point, the Appellant cannot, at trial, successfully argue just cause on the basis of conduct that had already been addressed with Respondent.

[10] It is also significant that the Respondent was given a $5,000 raise at the end of his extended probationary period. The Appellant argues that as a result of the extension of his probationary period, the Respondent should have been on notice with respect to his performance problems. It would appear to me, however, the fact that the Respondent was given a significant raise supports the argument that the Appellant, at that time, addressed the Respondent’s wrongful conduct known to Appellant up to that time. An employee who receives a raise at the end of a probationary period should not, without more, be expected to understand that his performance is at an unacceptable level and that his employment is in jeopardy.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP v Baker Hughes Canada Company, 2019 ABQB 233

[41] While the Blakes Estimates were clearly subject to adjustment and were not a commitment by Blakes to an actual amount, estimates not only serve a business purpose, they anchor the expectations of the parties. To ensure a party’s expectations remain realistic, a law firm must keep its client fully informed once it appears that the estimate is likely to be exceeded. I was provided no evidence that Blakes returned to Baker Hughes at any time to revisit the Blakes Estimates.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Desjardins Assurances générales inc. c. 9330-8898 Québec inc., 2019 QCCA 523

[22] Compte tenu de l’importance et des conséquences de l’affaire, du nombre important de parties impliquées, de la complexité des questions soulevées, ainsi que de l’ampleur et de la qualité des moyens déployés par les parties pour faire valoir leurs prétentions, la facture n’est tout simplement pas acceptable.

[23] Par ailleurs, la lecture du jugement et des échanges entre le juge et les parties suggère fortement que le juge n’a tout simplement pas compris, ou pris le temps de comprendre, les prétentions des parties, en particulier celles des appelantes.

(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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