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Supreme Court of Canada

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Friday, June 09, 2017 @ 04:44 PM

SCC sets out when claims for legal fees time-barred Jean-Yves Côté (left) and Damien Pellerin

In a sleeper decision that counsel say might impact how all lawyers can collect their fees, the Supreme Court has clarified how to compute when Quebec lawyers are time-barred from collecting their unpaid professional fees by the Civil Code of Québec.  ... [read more]

Friday, June 09, 2017 @ 12:57 PM

EXTINCTIVE PRESCRIPTION - Civil Code of Québec - 3 years - Action to enforce personal right - Starting point - When right of action arises

Appeal by Pellerin Savitz LLP (Pellerin) from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal setting aside in part a decision that concluded that Pellerin’s action for recovery of professional fees was prescribed and ordering the client, Guindon, to pay one invoice, dated March 1, 2012. In September 2011, Guindon retained the services of Pellerin to represent him in litigation. The parties entered into a fee agreement providing, among other things, that invoices would be payable within 30 days. On October 5, 2011, Pellerin sent the client a first invoice. Pellerin subsequently sent four more invoices, the last of which was dated March 1, 2012. Guindon informed Pellerin on March 21, 2012 that he was terminating the contract. On March 12, 2015, Pellerin brought an action to claim the unpaid fees. Guindon replied that the action was prescribed because it had been instituted more than three years after each invoice was sent. Pellerin countered that the prescription period had not begun to run until the termination of the mandate on March 21, 2012. The Court of Québec concluded that the action was prescribed. The Court of Appeal affirmed its decision, but found that the claim relating to that final invoice was not prescribed, given that prescription had not begun to run until the expiration of the 30 day period specified in the fee agreement. The main issue in this case was whether the action was prescribed pursuant to the applicable three-year prescription period. The Court had to identify the beginning of the prescription period, which was the date when the lawyer’s right of action arose. In the alternative, it was to determine whether prescription was suspended, as Pellerin contended. ... [read more]

Friday, June 09, 2017 @ 06:25 AM

Transport Canada considers random drug, alcohol testing after Fit to Fly Workshop Inna Koldorf

A policy for random drug and alcohol testing was a point of discussion at Transport Canada’s first Fit to Fly Workshop this week in Gatineau, Que. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 08, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

Sex assault reforms problematic but lawyers hail Criminal Code cleanup Kim Stanton

Ottawa’s plan to purge more than two dozen constitutionally dubious reverse onuses and evidentiary presumptions from the Criminal Code has won widespread applause from the bar, but lawyers warn that proposed sexual assault law reforms risk Charter attack and unintended consequences. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 03:26 PM

Bill would reform Criminal Code provisions on rape shield, 3rd-party records Isabel Grant

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould proposes to amend the rape shield and third-party records regime in the sexual assault provisions of the Criminal Code as part of an omnibus bill that would also roll back a Conservative-era sentencing restriction on credit for time served, and remove code provisions deemed obsolete, redundant or constitutionally dubious or invalid. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 09:16 AM

Ottawa unveils Charter defence of proposed cannabis legislation Jody Wilson-Raybould

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has unveiled her Charter defence of Ottawa’s proposed legislation to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana in Canada. ... [read more]

Monday, June 05, 2017 @ 04:17 PM

Ontario Court of Appeal rejects argument that accessing child porn is tied to possession Heather Pringle

The Ontario Court of Appeal has acquitted a man of possession of child pornography after finding he did not know such images were stored in his computer's cache, and rejected the Crown’s argument that he instead should be convicted of accessing child pornography. ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 04:20 PM

SCC says psychiatric diagnosis not a prerequisite to mental injury claims Russell Brown

Tort victims may recover damages for their mental injuries, without proving that they have a medically recognized psychiatric or psychological illness or condition, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 9-0 decision which may open the door wider for psychological damages claims. ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 01:02 PM

PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES - Psychological injuries - Cognitive impairment - Personality change - Arising subsequent to incident

Appeal from a judgment of the British Columbia Court of Appeal setting aside a decision awarding to Saadati $100,000 in non-pecuniary damages for a psychological injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident. In July 2005, Saadati’s tractor-truck was struck by a vehicle driven by Moorhead. Saadati appeared at the time to have been uninjured. This accident was the second in a series of five motor vehicle collisions involving Saadati between January 2003 and March 2009, inclusive. Saadati had suffered chronic pain since the first accident, which was later aggravated by the third accident. In 2007, Saadati commenced an action in negligence against Moorhead and the other respondents. The respondents collectively admitted liability for the accident, but took the position that no damage had been suffered. The trial judge concluded that Saadati had not demonstrated any physical injury, but found that the accident had caused him “psychological injuries, including personality change and cognitive difficulties”. This conclusion was based upon the testimony of friends and family to the effect that, after the accident, Saadati’s personality had changed for the worse. The trial judge awarded Saadati $100,000 for non-pecuniary damages. The British Columbia Court of Appeal set aside the award after it concluded that Saadati had not proven a medically recognized psychiatric or psychological illness or condition through expert medical opinion evidence. The Court of Appeal also observed that, in awarding damages for mental injury, the trial judge had erred by deciding the case on the basis of a claim that had not been pleaded or argued by Saadati. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 03:55 PM

Johnson named managing partner of Davies' Montreal office

Philippe Johnson has been appointed the new managing partner of the Montreal office of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. The appointment took effect June 1. ... [read more]