Focus On



Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 12:23 PM

Feds appoint judge to Ontario Superior Court of Justice

The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Andrea Himel, a sole practitioner in Toronto, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, family court branch. Justice Himel fills the Family Division patent position vacated by the transfer of Justice Heather A. McGee. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 10:49 AM

COVID-19: How to support children when one can’t support self? Man has problems paying bills

At least one thing is certain about the impact of COVID-19: that is the alarmingly increasing number of people who can no longer financially support themselves, let alone support others. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 2:11 PM

Justice and the pandemic: Pushing for modernization canada_COVID-sm

As Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz sees it, Canada’s poor ranking in the Enforcing Contracts indicator found in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 study is but one measure by which the effectiveness of our courts should be gauged. The study, which tracks the time and cost for resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court and the extent to which nations have adopted practices that promote quality and efficiency in the court system, ranked Canada a lowly 100 of the 190 nations surveyed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 12:41 PM

Conflicts of interest in family law mediation and arbitration Conflict of interest arrows

A conflict of interest for family law mediators and arbitrators is comparable to our current COVID-19 predicament: You may have it, even if you don’t know it. You have an obligation to tell others of your risk so they can make their own precautionary decisions. And if you don’t keep to accepted protocols, there’s the prospect of social ostracization. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 9:14 AM

Companion animal rules trump condo bylaws dogpawandhand.jpg

In part one of this article on emotional support animals in stratas, I outlined the basic analysis undertaken by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in making its decision in Daughter by Parent v. The Owners, A Strata 2020 BCHRT 105. The adjudicator held that the strata corporation in question needed to make room for the child’s dog because the child needed the dog for her health and to be without her emotional support dog, the child would suffer an adverse effect. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 8:51 AM

Ethics during the pandemic: Avoiding Faustian bargain | Joël Roy

As trial attorneys, to say our professional (and, often, personal) lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19 would be a major understatement. Postponed trials, anxious clients and a growing sense of helplessness have surely marked our practices in these troubled times. Yet, many of us see the justice system’s increased openness to technology as one potential silver lining. Indeed, courts now seem more and more willing to engage in remote hearings, virtual discovery and e-filing, which is truly something to celebrate amidst the otherwise chaotic state of litigation across the country. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 3:41 PM

New associate chief justice named to Nova Scotia Supreme Court

Patrick J. Duncan, a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for almost 13 years, has been appointed the new associate chief justice for the court. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 2:38 PM

Alberta and Ontario courts warm to videoconferencing zoom_screen_sm

Despite differences in the applicable court rules, recent cases from Ontario and Alberta in the context of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions demonstrate a similar willingness to use videoconferencing to facilitate cross-examinations on affidavits and questioning for discovery. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 8:53 AM

Validation of non-compliant testamentary documents in B.C.: Unsuccessful cases hand-_written_sm

In a previous article, cases where applications under s. 58 of the Wills Estates and Succession Act (WESA) were successful in curing deficiencies in testamentary documents were discussed. Those cases, as well as decisions such as Hubschi Estate 2019 BCSC 2040, where a document on a computer was found to be a valid will, may leave readers with the impression that s. 58 is limitless in scope. Cases reviewed here will address circumstances where s. 58 applications were unsuccessful, emphasizing the unpredictability of these decisions. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 8:47 AM

How cash is dealt with when valuing a business Accountant checks documents

If you want to get 10 seasoned family law lawyers to give you the same answer to a question, try this one: Have you ever had a case involving a cash business? ... [read more]