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Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 8:45 AM

Alberta appeal court enforces clear contractual bonus language

In Styles v. Alberta Investment Management Corp. 2017 ABCA 1, the Alberta Court of Appeal enforced clear contractual language limiting bonus entitlements to employees actively employed on the vesting date and provided much-needed clarity for Alberta employers. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 8:41 AM

BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS - Negligence - In conduct of action - Consequences of negligence

Appeal by the defendant, McLean, from a judgment in a solicitor's negligence action. Cross-appeal by the plaintiffs, the Jarbeaus, from the judgment and costs award. The plaintiffs purchased a new home from a developer that leaked due to a failure to meet building code standards. The plaintiffs retained the defendant solicitor to sue those responsible for building and selling them a defective home. The defendant sued the developer, the City and the warranty corporation, but failed to sue the engineer within the limitation period. The defendant negligently advised the plaintiffs they did not have a cause of action against the engineer on the basis they did not have a contract with him. The engineer subsequently acknowledged he was negligent in certifying the design and construction of the home. The plaintiffs settled the first action and sued the defendant seeking damages for solicitor's negligence. On the eve of trial, the defendant admitted liability. The trial proceeded on the issues of causation and damages. A trial within the trial examined the plaintiffs' potential action against the engineer. The jury found in the plaintiffs' favour. The jury assessed the costs of repair at $433,000, and the diminution in value due to the defects at $265,000. Deduction of the $75,000 settlement of the first action resulted in a net award of $190,000. The trial judge declared the jury's cost of repair finding as perverse, but granted judgment for $190,000 as the lesser of the cost to repair and diminution of value. The trial judge reduced the costs payable to the plaintiffs despite bettering a settlement offer on the basis the jury's diminution of value finding was also perverse. The defendant appealed and the plaintiffs cross-appealed. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS - Disqualification or removal

Appeal by Sikes and two companies from a Federal Court decision affirming a Prothonotary's refusal to have Smart & Biggar removed as solicitors of record for the respondents, Encana, Cenovus and FCCL. In 2008, Sikes communicated with eight different law firms, including Smart & Biggar, seeking legal representation to enforce the appellants' rights associated with a pending patent. Smart & Biggar declined to represent the appellants, citing a conflict of interest. In 2014, Smith & Biggar was appointed as the respondents' solicitor. In 2015, the appellants filed a motion for removal of Smith & Biggar on the basis of the 2008 interaction with Sikes. The appellants submitted confidential information was imparted by Sikes and that legal advice was provided. The prothonotary, acting as the case management judge, dismissed the motion on the basis of the unchallenged evidence that the information communicated by Sikes was non-confidential and that no legal advice was provided. The Federal Court dismissed the appeal, finding no basis for interference with the prothonotary's conclusion that no solicitor and client relationship materialized. The appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 3:38 PM

B.C. Law Society evaluation reveals many benchers hesitant to raise issues Herman Van Ommen

The Law Society of British Columbia's annual survey of benchers reveals there has been a decline in agreement over whether benchers feel hesitation in raising issues at meetings and that meetings allow for candid discussion. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 9:31 AM

Mandatory disclosure of B.C.'s new Franchises Act in step with most provinces

On Feb. 1, 2017, British Columbia’s new Franchises Act, S.B.C. 2015, c. 35 and Franchises Regulation, B.C. Reg. 238/2016 came into force. British Columbia is the sixth province in Canada to introduce franchise legislation, following Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 3:40 PM

Alberta to spend millions on new Crowns and clerks, no new money allocated for legal aid Kelly Dawson

The Alberta government is dedicating $14.5 million to help reduce the backlog in the province's court system, which has caused Crown prosecutors to stay multiple charges due to delays. However, the president of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), Kelly Dawson, said delays won't cease if money isn't committed to legal aid. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

Aird & Berlis adds four partners to tax, estates group

Four new partners have joined Aird & Berlis LLP’s tax and estates group, Neil Bass, Rachel Blumenfeld,  Ed Esposto and Angelo Gentile. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 9:44 AM

Miller Thomson announces indigenous student internship program

Miller Thomson has started an internship program for indigenous law students in their first year of study. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 9:16 AM

Campaign finance reform to come too late for B.C. provincial election Rana Bokhari

The government of British Columbia is adopting reforms to its electoral financing system in an attempt to make it more transparent for voters. The amendments to the Election Act tabled on March 13 will enforce real-time reporting of donations and fundraising events, however they won't come in time for the next provincial general election on May 9. ... [read more]

Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 9:13 AM

Wildeboer Dellelce, Moodys Gartner form alliance

Wildeboer Dellelce LLP and Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP have entered into a strategic alliance. ... [read more]