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The Hard Way to Avoid Jury Duty

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Very few people seem to like being called for jury duty.  Apparently few people enjoy it less than Louis Triffon, who was recently tried (and acquitted) of obstructing justice, for proudly announcing his extreme racism and his hatred of the "Ontario Government and Its Stalinist Pig Court" when he was called for jury duty.

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5 Tips for a Timely Lien

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The timelines for registering a construction lien under the Ontario Construction Lien Act are undeniably tight.  Having only 45 days to register a lien can be tough, when often a trade is issuing an invoice that doesn't even require payment for 30 days. As a result, I commonly see trades/contractors not getting paid, and losing their lien rights by delaying too long.  Here are 5 do's and don't's when it comes to making sure you get your lien registered in time.

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Shorter SCC Copyright Decisions

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Today was a pretty big deal in copyright law circles, since the Supreme Court of Canada released 5 copyright decisions.  Other people will, I'm sure, delve into the depths of these decisions to explain how important they are, but I'm not going to get that deep.  Here is what these decisions say/mean, in no more than 2 sentences each.

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Expediting Construction Lien Claims

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One of the main procedural differences between construction litigaiton and regular civil litigation is that the Construction Lien Act does not permit "interlocutory" step without getting "leave" of the court (in plain English: you must get permission from the court to take any intermediate steps before trial).  The purpose is to help ensure that lien proceedings (which can tie up property indefinitely) are heard as quickly and efficiently as possible - at least relative to other civil proceedings.  As a new decision from the Thunder Bay court confirms, this limitation is something that many judges take very seriously.

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Court of Appeal Backlogs

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Now that we're into July, litigation tends to slow down a bit.  It doesn't come to a stop, but scheduling anything becomes difficult as you have to work around holidays and long weekends for multiple parties.  For the Ontario Court of Appeal, this means that they get to play catch-up to a certain extent, as we'll see in this week's Chart of the Week.

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Assessing the Strength of an Appeal

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A while back I did a post on the likelihood of an "average" appeal being granted at the Ontario Court of Appeal (http://wiffenlaw.ca/blog/item/20-how-often-are-appeals-successful?).  This is a followup of sorts to that, where we delve into the numbers in a little more detail, and discuss what practical benefit there is to knowing these numbers.  The bottom line: if you really want to know how likely you are to win an appeal, you need to know the baseline for success at the Court of Appeal.

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Lawyer Ages in Ontario

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There's an old saying that you want a young doctor (who is up on all the new technology) and an old lawyer (who has more experience).  I'm not sure I agree with that saying, but it leads us into this week's charts, dealing with the relative ages of lawyers in Ontario.

One of the most powerful, but often misunderstood, areas under the Ontario Construction Lien Act are the trust provisions.  These provisions require an owner or contractor to, in various circumstances, ensure that the funds they receive for the project flow through to the appropriate parties.  In an owner's situation, this typically relates to mortgage financing - where certain construction financing is received by an owner, they are required to use these funds for the project.  For contractors, when they receive funds from the owner (or anyone above them in the construction pyramid), these are typically considered trust funds, which must be paid to any subcontractors.  The exact details of how these trust obligations work can be complex, but here are 5 things that every owner/contractor should know about their trust obligations.


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