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Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 3:21 PM

Can prior support obligation impact payor’s net family property in second marriage? Two hands holding torn marriage certificate

In the case of second marriages, it is not uncommon for one or both of the new spouses to have a pre-existing support obligation arising from a first marriage or relationship. So, if this is so relatively common, why have we not seen such date of marriage obligations as debt or liability in calculating net family property when a second marriage breaks down? ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 11:41 AM

Failure to show ownership fatal to copyright claim Meghan Markle

The Federal Court  in Lickerish, Ltd. v. Airg Inc. 2020 FC 1128, recently dismissed a copyright infringement action relating to the alleged unauthorized use of two photographs taken of celebrity actress and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. The court’s decision demonstrates that failure to establish standing by showing ownership or a licence agreement over the copyright at issue will ultimately prove fatal to an infringement claim.   ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 9:57 AM

Tips for successful virtual discoveries Woman sitting in front of computer, videoconferencing with a group of people on the screen.

Like nearly every aspect of life, the way litigation is conducted has been drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As recent case law and practice directions have indicated, the court is not willing to accept there should be indefinite delays in order to conduct steps in the litigation in a pre-COVID manner. For example, while examinations for discovery would normally be conducted in a boardroom or at a reporting centre, the court is now actively encouraging them to be done over a video application, such as Zoom. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 1:22 PM

Animals treated as property under law in ‘pet custody’ cases A dog's paw stacked with people's hands

I am writing this on Family Day, 2021, and animals are still property under the law even if the vast majority of people consider their companion animals, pets, to be family. Save for a few outlying cases over the years that are usually not followed, judicial decisions revolve around companion animals as personal property, of ownership. We do have court cases in Canada going back 40 plus years where “joint custody/access” and “best interest” considerations have been considered by our courts. (For more information, please see: Creativity called for in dog, cat, custody battles.)  ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 11:27 AM

Real estate tax exemptions or rebates for non-residents Model of house sits on table while man types on calculator

In April 2017, the government of Ontario introduced the Non-Resident Speculation Tax to foreign and non-resident property buyers as a measure to control the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area. In this article, we examine the scenarios in which foreign nationals can be exempt, legally avoid or be entitled for a full NRST rebate. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 8:30 AM

Outsourcing immigration services: Economical or cause for concern? Canadian Visa application form

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Visa Application Centres (VACs) are a cost-effective way to provide immigration services around the world. These local centres deliver visa application intake services and collect fees abroad. The network of VACs around the world helps people submit their applications and provide biometrics to come to Canada. ... [read more]

Monday, February 22, 2021 @ 2:58 PM

Federal Court takes hard look at scope of protection available to official mark Two accountants with giant pencil

A decision of the Federal Court has considered the scope of protection available for official marks. In this case the court was not prepared to give the mark a significant degree of protection (Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario v. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 2021 FC 35). ... [read more]

Monday, February 22, 2021 @ 1:23 PM

Estate COVID problems part two: The importance of a will People fighting over money in giant hand

A common theme executors and loved ones are faced with is when their loved one dies without a will, also called dying intestate. In the first article in this series we wrote regarding the intestate succession process when a person dies without a will. Many issues arise when one dies intestate and family members may find themselves in litigation. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 1:39 PM

SCC’s fluid treatment of ‘best interests of the child’ test: Recent Supreme Court authority Silhouette of little girl holding hand of adult at sunset

Perhaps the guidance offered by the Supreme Court of Canada on the “best interests” test in its seminal jurisprudence is answered in the Alberta decision of A.N.M. v. D.R.H. [2019] A.J. No.1062. ... [read more]

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 1:23 PM

Has the litigation culture shift happened? Dial pointing to "New Way"

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a judicial clarion call in Hryniak v. Mauldin 2014 SCC 7. The court required a litigation “culture shift” in Canada, requiring the judiciary and lawyers to apply more efficient modes of resolving parties’ disputes. ... [read more]