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Civil Litigation


Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:21 AM

PARTNERSHIPS - Relations of partners to one another - Expulsion of a partner

Appeal by the defendants from summary judgment awarding the plaintiffs damages for breach of contract. The individual plaintiff was a chartered accountant. From 1992 until 2014, the individual plaintiff, through his professional corporation, was a partner at the defendant national accounting and advisory firm and its predecessors. The partnership agreement provided for the timing and the terms of departure for each partner. For the individual plaintiff, his compulsory retirement date was Jan. 1, 2019. The partnership agreement also provided a process to request the resignation of a partner before the compulsory retirement date. The Policy Board could give notice to a partner to resign, and the partner was deemed to have resigned, if it determined that it was not in the best interests of the partnership for the partner to remain (Requested Resignation provision). In 2014, the plaintiff was called into a meeting with two other partners. He was told to retire because it was “over partnered.” He was also told that the decision to require him to retire had nothing to do with his performance or conduct. In addition, he was informed that the CEO had the absolute right to require a partner to retire and that the CEO required him to retire by the end of the year. The defendant later invoked the Requested Resignation provision of the partnership agreement as a ground to justify requiring the plaintiff to retire early. The plaintiffs brought an action against the defendant alleging that the individual plaintiff's forced retirement breached the terms of the partnership agreement. The plaintiffs were granted summary judgment and awarded damages. The judge found that the individual plaintiff’s expulsion did not comply with the language of the partnership agreement and that there was no evidence that the Policy Board independently decided that to expel the individual plaintiff was in the best interests of the partnership, and that it did not act in good faith. The judge then awarded the plaintiffs both expectation and aggravated damages, totalling $1,394,937. The defendant appealed both the finding of liability and the damages awarded, arguing that the judge erred in relying too heavily on the common law of partnerships, in awarding expectation damages, by failing to reduce damages for failure to mitigate and in awarding aggravated damages. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:15 AM

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT - Building regulations - Building permits - Jurisdictional powers

Appeal by the Penneys from a decision of the Eastern Regional Appeals Board (Board) regarding the issuance of building permits to their neighbours, the Hidgons. In 2007 or 2008, Pleman Higdon, an intervenor in the appeal, began building a retaining wall along the boundary of the Penney and Higdon lots. In 2012-2013, Pleman began building a shed adjacent to the retaining wall. The Penneys complained to the Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Service (Service NL) that Pleman was building both structures without the proper permits. Pleman applied for and was granted the permits by Service NL in December 2013. The Penneys’ appeal of the Service NL decision to the Board was dismissed. The Penneys then sought to appeal the decision of the Board. A proceeding was launched in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court. The Justice of the Trial Division raised the jurisdictional issue of whether the applicable legislation created a right of appeal of the Board’s order to the Supreme Court Trial Division or to the Court of Appeal. The parties applied to have the appeal transferred to the Court of Appeal. Based on the agreement of the parties that the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction, the Court permitted the transfer. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

Former BLG partner Paterson honoured by Ordre de Montreal

Former Borden Ladner Gervais LLP partner Alex K. Paterson has been awarded the Commander's Medal of the Ordre de Montréal, at the order's first official ceremony, held on May 17, 2017 at Montréal City Hall. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:39 AM

Charitable pledges: Are they enforceable?

Charitable giving has a long and honorable tradition, as the names of many university buildings and hospital wings attest. Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management is a tribute to its namesake, whose family has donated over $27 million to the university. Earlier this year, the main campus of Toronto East General was rechristened Michael Garron Hospital after the Garrons donated $50 million. While the philanthropic urge may be widespread, the fulfillment of charitable pledges is not a foregone conclusion. That is because charitable pledges, where the donor promises to make a contribution in the future, are generally not enforceable at common law. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:15 AM

Views of the Child Reports good addition to family justice toolbox Voice of the child

Canadian law requires that courts take account of the views of children in making decisions about their future, and there is growing recognition that if this is done in a sensitive fashion, it can lead to more informed decisions and better outcomes for children. Our recently completed study of an Ontario pilot project found that non-evaluative Views of the Child Reports, prepared by social workers after two interviews with a child, can be a cost-effective way of obtaining information for the family justice process and promoting settlements. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Look at causes to control family law costs | Sarah Boulby

The dire state of access to justice in the family law context has attracted a great deal of attention recently and with that, calls for reform. Our courts are flooded with self-represented litigants. Some have certainly chosen to appear without counsel but many of them are simply unable to afford a lawyer. While there is discussion of how to solve the problem there has been little consideration of what has caused the problem. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 2:29 PM

Langlois launches legal services program for startups

Langlois lawyers has announced the launch of L-inc. Project, a legal services program for innovative, growing startups. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 8:52 AM

LIENS - Enforcement of lien - Arbitration

Application by the defendant, Tata Steel Minerals Canada (Tata Steel), for a stay of the action by the plaintiff, AECOM Consultants, pending arbitration. In 2011, the plaintiff contracted with the defendant for provision of engineering, procurement and construction management services. In 2015, the plaintiff registered a mechanics' lien in the amount of $5.7 million to secure payment under the contract. In 2016, the plaintiff commenced litigation to enforce the lien. On the same day, the plaintiff filed a notice of arbitration. Tata Steel sought a stay of the litigation on the basis the plaintiff could not proceed in two separate forums simultaneously. At issue was whether the mechanics' lien action should be stayed pending arbitration to determine any monies owed under the parties' contract. The plaintiff opposed a stay on the basis it never contracted to forego its lien claim rights, the litigation addressed matters and sought remedies outside of the arbitrator's jurisdiction, and that they were one of several lien claimants involving the defendant. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 8:49 AM

PROCEEDINGS - Practice and procedure - Limitation periods

Appeal by the plaintiff, Breitkreuz, from summary dismissal of his action against the defendants, the Minister of Infrastructure and Soneff. The plaintiff claimed that the Crown's wrongful conduct in failing to disclose a purchase offer deprived him of the opportunity to exercise his right of first refusal to purchase certain lands that he leased from the Crown at $10,000 per acre. He was informed of the sale, but not the sale price, in 1994. He asserted he was led to believe by a Crown employee, the defendant Soneff, that his offer of $10,000 per acre was insufficient. He claimed he discovered the loss in 2009 when he learned eventual purchasers had paid $10,000 per acre. He commenced his action in 2011. The Crown applied for summary judgment. The chambers judge dismissed the claim on the basis of a limitations defence. Even assuming the facts asserted by the plaintiff to be true, the plaintiff was aware of the Crown's alleged breach of its obligations when he received notice of the sale in 1994. The fact of the sale was not concealed from the plaintiff. Application of the 10-year limitation period was not suspended by fraudulent concealment. The plaintiff appealed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 2:04 PM

Lenczner's Griffin wins OBA civil litigation award

Peter Griffin, managing partner at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP, was named winner of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation, and will be honoured at a reception in November. ... [read more]