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Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 9:39 AM

Electronic long motions pilot program to launch in Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Superior Court of Justice locations in Ontario’s Central East Region will be participating in a pilot program that will make electronic versions of long motions available to judges. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 9:32 AM

Mediators becoming first choice of self-represented spouses

Family disputes, and the court process, have changed in recent decades. The Ontario government review of the family court system, which review came out in 2017, by Justice Annemarie Bonkalo, found that more than 57 per cent of Ontario litigants in the family court system in 2014-15 were self-represented, according to government statistics. This is different than in previous decades. ... [read more]

Monday, June 12, 2017 @ 8:29 AM

Access to Justice: Judicial resolutions a call to action, but tough questions will follow | Thomas Cromwell

Sometimes symbolic gestures are meaningful. And sometimes they are even important. The recent resolutions by the leaders of the Canadian judiciary concerning access to justice are both. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 9:33 AM

Valuation: When the quoted share price is not the value

Valuation of investments in publicly traded companies are often required by lawyers working with clients involved in shareholder disputes, various tax issues, and matrimonial property division purposes. It is important to understand that the quoted share price is not always the value. There are two common situations giving rise to discounts from the quoted price. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 9:28 AM

Convention on the Rights of the Child: Are we meeting our obligations? | John-Paul Boyd

Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark treaty obliging states parties to affirm and observe the fundamental human rights possessed by all children, on Dec. 13, 1991. Among the convention’s 45 substantive clauses is article 12, which requires that children “be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 8:36 AM

DEPENDANTS' RELIEF LEGISLATION - Legal and moral obligations of deceased

Appeal by the deceased’s former wife, Anastasia, from the dismissal of her appeal from a decision that the proceeds of an insurance policy were included in the deceased’s estate and available to satisfy dependants’ claims. Anastasia married the deceased, Stephen, in 2003. They had two children. During the marriage, Stephen took out a life insurance policy and listed Anastasia as the beneficiary. After Stephen and Anastasia separated, a consent order was made which provided that Stephen was to pay interim child and spousal support and maintain Anastasia as the irrevocable beneficiary on any life insurance policy. Following separation, Stephen began another relationship. A child was born of that relationship three months after Stephen’s death. Prior to his death, he executed a will and an insurance title form. In each document, the beneficiary designation provided for 10 per cent to Anastasia, 17 per cent to his son, 19.4 per cent to his daughter and 53.6 per cent to his new girlfriend. When Anastasia learned of the change in designation, she successfully brought a motion to restore her designation under the policy. Following Stephen’s death, his new partner applied under the Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA) for dependant’s relief. Included in her application was a request for a declaration that s. 72 of the SLRA applied to the insurance proceeds such that they formed part of the estate. The trial judge concluded that Stephen "owned" the policy, that Anastasia did not have "creditor rights" within the meaning of the SLRA and that the consent underlying the order did not entitle her to an amount equal to the death benefit under the law of contract. The Divisional court dismissed Anastasia’s appeal, concluding that the trial judge correctly determined that Stephen owned the policy and that Anastasia’s irrevocable beneficiary designation did not give her creditor rights because she had not established a security interest in the policy. ... [read more]

Monday, June 05, 2017 @ 8:20 AM

MARITAL PROPERTY - Equalization or division - Considerations - Constructive and resulting trusts - Matrimonial home

Appeal by the wife from the dismissal of her action against the husband and his mother, in which the wife sought an equalization of net family property and an interest in the former matrimonial home on the basis of a resulting, implied or constructive trust. The parties married in 1997 and separated in 2006. They executed Minutes of Settlement in March 2007 pursuant to which the wife transferred her interest in the matrimonial home to the husband. The settlement provided that any transfers or payments made pursuant to the agreement would remain valid in the event of reconciliation. The parties reconciled in May 2007. The wife received a disability payment of $135,000 from her insurer in August 2007. She deposited it into the husband’s bank account and he used the funds to pay household bills. In 2010, the husband transferred ownership of the former matrimonial home to his mother. The parties separated again in 2013. The judge held that the 2007 Minutes of Settlement precluded any future equalization payment and that the wife failed to establish any trust interest in the former matrimonial home. ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 9:09 AM

Appeal decision shines light on life insurance, Succession Law Reform Act

The recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Dagg v. Cameron Estate, 2017 ONCA 366 contains important lessons for family and estates lawyers, mediators and financial advisers.   ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 8:41 AM

MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT - Spousal support - Considerations - Compensatory support - Contribution to marriage or spouse’s career - Needs and means test - Quantum - Amount of award

Appeal by the husband from a trial judgment awarding the wife indefinite spousal support of $500 per month. The parties separated in 2015 after a 14-year marriage and a 21-year relationship. They had two children born in 2004 and 2006. The husband was 45 years old and had an income of $107,316 annually. The wife was 42 years old and worked as a mail carrier earning $56,997 annually. She had foregone at least one employment opportunity with the RCMP, after passing the entry exam, due to her family commitments. From 2005 onward she worked as a mail carrier, but only part-time until 2013 because of her family responsibilities. While with Canada Post, the wife twice took maternity leave to care for the newborn children. The husband argued the wife was self-supporting with a secure full-time job and was not entitled to any spousal support. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

B.C. court drops ‘unfettered' as appropriate description of discretion Graeme Hooper

In a decision regarding a family law dispute, the British Columbia Court of Appeal determined that it’s time to discard the word “unfettered” when describing the discretion for a judge to reopen a trial. ... [read more]