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Tuesday, April 04, 2017 @ 03:00 PM

Dentons combines with Dutch firm Boekel

Dentons has entered the Dutch market with the announcement that the global law firm has combined with the Amsterdam firm Boekel. The combined firm operates under the name Dentons Boekel within the Netherlands. ... [read more]

Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 08:53 AM

INTERESTS IN LAND - Dower rights - Statutory dower - Homesteads - Homestead legislation - Dower rights of non-owning spouse - Remedies of non-owning spouse - Action in damages

Appeal by the husband from a chambers judge’s decision awarding damages to the wife in a Dower Act claim. The parties separated after a 21-year marriage. The husband owned a house prior to the parties’ marriage. The parties had lived there for several years until they moved into the matrimonial home, at which time the previous house became a rental property. Upon separation, the wife remained in the matrimonial home and the husband sold the house without her consent to fund the purchase of a new home. The wife commenced an action pursuant to the Dower Act and obtained a judgment for damages. The chambers judge found that the Dower Act could be applied without regard to their matrimonial property action because otherwise the relevant section of the Dower Act would be meaningless. The chambers judge noted that, unlike similar legislation in other provinces, there was no discretion in the remedy once the statutory conditions were met. The husband appealed arguing that the chambers judge erred in determining the issue by way of summary judgment, and that the chambers judge incorrectly interpreted the law with respect to the interaction between the Dower Act and the Matrimonial Property Act. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 08:00 PM

Real Property Law - Interests in land - Dower rights - Statutory dower - Homesteads - Homestead legislation - Dower rights of non-owning spouse - Remedies of non-owning spouse - Action in damages

Appeal by the husband from a chambers judge’s decision awarding damages to the wife in a Dower Act claim. The parties separated after a 21-year marriage. The husband owned a house prior to the parties’ marriage. The parties had lived there for several years until they moved into the matrimonial home, at which time the previous house became a rental property. Upon separation, the wife remained in the matrimonial home and the husband sold the house without her consent to fund the purchase of a new home. The wife commenced an action pursuant to the Dower Act and obtained a judgment for damages. The chambers judge found that the Dower Act could be applied without regard to their matrimonial property action because otherwise the relevant section of the Dower Act would be meaningless. The chambers judge noted that, unlike similar legislation in other provinces, there was no discretion in the remedy once the statutory conditions were met. The husband appealed arguing that the chambers judge erred in determining the issue by way of summary judgment, and that the chambers judge incorrectly interpreted the law with respect to the interaction between the Dower Act and the Matrimonial Property Act. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 04:31 PM

Ontario looking to shake up new home warranty program

Ontario is looking to shake up the rules on how homebuyers and builders are served by the current Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and the Tarion Warranty Corporation (Tarion). ... [read more]

Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 09:02 AM

Media relations isn't marketing, and that's just the first mistake lawyers make | Julius Melnitzer

When it comes to maximizing the benefits of good media relations, many Canadian law firms haven’t quite got it yet. For those of you who are thinking, “What are you talking about? The profession’s marketing savvy has come a very long way” — you’re making my point. What a lot of law firms still don’t seem to understand is that marketing and media relations are two distinct arts. Lumping them together is akin to shoving an admiralty lawyer and an entertainment lawyer into the same pigeonhole. ... [read more]

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 08:48 AM

INTERESTS IN LAND - Easements - Particular easements - Positive easements - Rights of way - Scope of easements - Manner of past use

Appeal by Wolff from a declaration that the equitable easement he had to access his property did not include the right to install a power line to his property. Wolff’s property, surrounded by the Pacific Rim National Park, was not immediately adjacent to a paved road. The only access to the property was by way of a narrow gravel path along the east boundary, running across 100 metres of the Park. Wolff acquired the property in 2006 from an owner who had a conditional authorization from Parks Canada to access the Property by motor vehicle via the laneway. Wolff continued to use the access. The property had never had electricity. In March 2007, Wolff requested from Parks Canada an easement giving him the right to install an electric line to the property. The request was refused on the basis that utility corridors across national park reserve lands were not permitted. In 2014, Wolff approached three of his adjacent neighbours for such an easement, without offering them any payment, and they all refused. He then commenced the present proceeding, seeking a declaration of an easement of necessity or an equitable easement, and a declaration that he was entitled to use the easement for any lawful purpose necessary to his enjoyment of the property, including the right to install a hydro line. The Crown did not dispute that Wolff had the lawful right to access his property. The judge found that the conduct of the prior owners and Parks Canada gave rise to a specific right to access the property via the laneway. He found no history associated with the property in connection with a power line that fit within the test for proprietary estoppel, and that there was no evidence of any reliance such that it would be unconscionable to refuse Wolff the right to install a power line in the laneway. He considered and rejected Wolff’s submission that the declaration of an ancillary right to install an underground power line was justified. ... [read more]

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 08:45 AM

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT - Unjust enrichment

Appeal by WMJO Limited (WMJO) from a decision declaring that it was obligated to contribute on a pro rata basis to the expenses incurred by Middlesex Condominium Corporation 229 (MCC 229) to maintain and operate a sanitary sewer pumping system. MCC 229 was built on the same parcel of land as three condominium projects owned by WMJO. The land on which all four condominium projects were built was lower than the adjacent city street Hamilton Road. The City of London (City) required the sewage from the condominiums be pumped uphill to the city sewer than ran under Hamilton Road. In 1989, Trenion Developments Corp (Trenion) was the owner of the parcel of land, and entered into a development agreement with the City (the “development agreement”) requiring Trenion to construct and maintain at its sole expense a sanitary sewer pumping system. Trenion constructed the required system. Trenion conveyed the land to Award Development Ontario (Award). Award transferred the part of the land on which MCC 229 would be built and on which the sanitary sewer pumping station was located to a related company, Double G Contractors Limited (Double G). Double G and Award entered into a joint use agreement, registered on title, providing for the sharing of the sanitary sewer pumping station, and stipulated that the costs of the system would be shared pro rata among the properties built on the land. The joint use agreement contained a provision that it would be binding on successors on title. Double G developed its property and registered the declaration creating MCC 229. The sanitary sewer pumping station was included as part of the common elements of MCC 229. The balance of the parcel of land came into possession of WMJO, which build three condominiums. Each project connected to the existing sewer pumping station. For more than 10 years, WMJO contributed its proportionate share for the costs of the sanitary sewer pumping station in line with the joint use agreement. WMJO stopped making payments after 2006, and took the position that it had no obligation to do so. The trial judge found WMJO liable based on the principles of unjust enrichment. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 08:00 PM

Education Law - Universities and colleges - Use of property

Appeal by the Students’ Association of Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina from a decision granting a writ of possession in favour of Saskatchewan Polytechnic. In 2010, the school entered a master agreement with the student associations, including the appellant, at several of its locations. In 2012, a campus partnership agreement contemplated by the master agreement addressed matters specific to the appellant. Similar agreements were reached on other campuses. The campus agreement provided for allocation of space for the appellant’s use in a school building, with the relationship being that of landlord and tenant, governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act. In 2015, the school issued a letter to the appellant and other associations advising of a need to negotiate new agreements to govern their relationship. The appellant regarded the letter as an invitation to negotiate revisions to the master agreement, whereas the school regarded the letter as termination of all existing agreements. The parties were unable to negotiate a revised agreement. The appellant refused to accept a short-term service agreement proposed by the school. The school made a formal demand for possession of the appellant’s premises. The appellant refused. The school obtained a writ of possession pursuant to s. 50(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act. The appellant appealed. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 08:00 PM

Planning and development - Unjust enrichment

Appeal by WMJO Limited (WMJO) from a decision declaring that it was obligated to contribute on a pro rata basis to the expenses incurred by Middlesex Condominium Corporation 229 (MCC 229) to maintain and operate a sanitary sewer pumping system. MCC 229 was built on the same parcel of land as three condominium projects owned by WMJO. The land on which all four condominium projects were built was lower than the adjacent city street Hamilton Road. The City of London (City) required the sewage from the condominiums be pumped uphill to the city sewer than ran under Hamilton Road. In 1989, Trenion Developments Corp (Trenion) was the owner of the parcel of land, and entered into a development agreement with the City (the “development agreement”) requiring Trenion to construct and maintain at its sole expense a sanitary sewer pumping system. Trenion constructed the required system. Trenion conveyed the land to Award Development Ontario (Award). Award transferred the part of the land on which MCC 229 would be built and on which the sanitary sewer pumping station was located to a related company, Double G Contractors Limited (Double G). Double G and Award entered into a joint use agreement, registered on title, providing for the sharing of the sanitary sewer pumping station, and stipulated that the costs of the system would be shared pro rata among the properties built on the land. The joint use agreement contained a provision that it would be binding on successors on title. Double G developed its property and registered the declaration creating MCC 229. The sanitary sewer pumping station was included as part of the common elements of MCC 229. The balance of the parcel of land came into possession of WMJO, which build three condominiums. Each project connected to the existing sewer pumping station. For more than 10 years, WMJO contributed its proportionate share for the costs of the sanitary sewer pumping station in line with the joint use agreement. WMJO stopped making payments after 2006, and took the position that it had no obligation to do so. The trial judge found WMJO liable based on the principles of unjust enrichment. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 08:00 PM

Real Property Law - Interests in land - Easements - Particular easements - Positive easements - Rights of way - Scope of easements - Manner of past use

Appeal by Wolff from a declaration that the equitable easement he had to access his property did not include the right to install a power line to his property. Wolff’s property, surrounded by the Pacific Rim National Park, was not immediately adjacent to a paved road. The only access to the property was by way of a narrow gravel path along the east boundary, running across 100 metres of the Park. Wolff acquired the property in 2006 from an owner who had a conditional authorization from Parks Canada to access the Property by motor vehicle via the laneway. Wolff continued to use the access. The property had never had electricity. In March 2007, Wolff requested from Parks Canada an easement giving him the right to install an electric line to the property. The request was refused on the basis that utility corridors across national park reserve lands were not permitted. In 2014, Wolff approached three of his adjacent neighbours for such an easement, without offering them any payment, and they all refused. He then commenced the present proceeding, seeking a declaration of an easement of necessity or an equitable easement, and a declaration that he was entitled to use the easement for any lawful purpose necessary to his enjoyment of the property, including the right to install a hydro line. The Crown did not dispute that Wolff had the lawful right to access his property. The judge found that the conduct of the prior owners and Parks Canada gave rise to a specific right to access the property via the laneway. He found no history associated with the property in connection with a power line that fit within the test for proprietary estoppel, and that there was no evidence of any reliance such that it would be unconscionable to refuse Wolff the right to install a power line in the laneway. He considered and rejected Wolff’s submission that the declaration of an ancillary right to install an underground power line was justified. ... [read more]