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Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 08:40 AM

Till death do us part: Wills in blended families bring challenges for lawyers

The Ontario case of Rammage v. Estate of Roussel highlights the difference between reciprocal and mutual wills, and should cause lawyers to rethink the practice of acting for both spouses in a second marriage situation. ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 08:55 AM

The pros and cons of using evaluations to enhance family law mediation Evaluation_sm

The use of evaluations in mediation is controversial. But they can be an effective way to break an impasse when more traditional techniques are unsuccessful. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 @ 09:04 AM

Putting the 'car' in 'cartel': Class action alleges conspiracy by German automakers Volkswagen_sm

Class actions have been filed in Ontario against German carmakers alleging that they co-ordinated the design and pricing of components in their cars. Kirk Baert, a partner at Koskie Minsky, who along with Ken Rosenberg of Paliare Roland acts for the plaintiff, said: “Collusion of such a scale among such large companies is a serious issue. Consumers should not pay more, or receive an inferior product, so that such companies can maximize profits.” Despite these strong words, the plaintiffs may have an uphill battle establishing that the German carmakers breached Canada’s Competition Act. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 @ 08:43 AM

R. v. Abbey: Same expert, same evidence but a very different outcome

In a turn of events that can only be called exceptional, the Ontario Court of Appeal, in R. v. Abbey 2017 ONCA 640, reversed a 2011 conviction for first degree murder. The court ruled that expert evidence which it had previously found to have been wrongly excluded, resulting in the reversal of an acquittal in 2009, would likely not have been admitted at the re-trial having regard to the fresh evidence filed on the second appeal. ... [read more]

Monday, August 28, 2017 @ 08:55 AM

Tune up or tear up: Three things to watch for in NAFTA renegotiations

Canada, the United States, and Mexico concluded the first round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations on Aug. 20. Prior to the next round of talks set to kick off on Sept. 1, there are a few issues to focus on as these may be key indicators of where the renegotiations are ultimately headed. ... [read more]

Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 08:39 AM

New sexual assault laws riddled with Charter violations

In a Canada where Ghomeshi never happened, it is likely that significant changes to our sexual assault laws would not be in the hopper at the House of Commons. Nothing out of the ordinary or unprecedented happened in Ghomeshi. Basic principles of cross-examination taught in law school were utilized to impeach the complainants. To make full answer and defence, counsel must use all relevant information to protect their client. Defence lawyers should be worried about Bill C-51. ... [read more]

Thursday, August 24, 2017 @ 08:47 AM

Be nice to your sister: Managing estates with difficult adult children Difficult_Children

Lots of families have them: a sibling who can’t get it together, causes more than their share of family drama or constantly needs to be bailed out of trouble. Maybe it’s a step-sibling who feels slighted by Dad’s new wife, a brother who’s battled addiction or a sister with a sense of entitlement. Whatever the situation, the result is the same: the potential for conflict — both legal and emotional — when parents die without a detailed will and estate plan. ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 08:57 AM

Tribunal decision recalibrates family status accommodation

Family status accommodation has been in flux in recent years. The Federal Court of Appeal decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Johnstone, 2014 FCA 110 ("Johnstone") provided a new legal test to be applied. However, there was always the possibility that Ontario courts or tribunals would not follow the federal decision. That possibility became reality last fall. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 09:49 AM

Ontario court addresses new leave to appeal rule and costs awards

An Ontario rule that governs how leave to appeal from an interlocutory order is secured at the Divisional Court has changed as of July 1. In a recent decision, the court addresses the change and offers guidance on the awarding of costs. ... [read more]

Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

Estimating unreported income can be a challenge in tort personal injury claims hidden_income_sm

Underground economic activity in Canada is substantial, and failing to report income that comes from cash payments is illegal — making it difficult for plaintiffs in personal injury cases to substantiate income loss claims. ... [read more]