%PM, %05 %847 %2012 %19:%Jun

Chart of the Week - Supreme Court Ages

Written by

I tend to be a big fan of charts.  They're not always easy to incorporate into everyday life for a lawyer, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  So I'm starting what I hope will be a quasi-weekly feature (i.e. weekly, give or take a few days, when I'm able to find the time) of a chart that I find interesting.  Sometimes these will be charts I prepared.  Sometimes, particularly if I can't think of anything myself, I'll simply link to a chart that looks interesting to me.  Either way, these will be charts that are relevant to the legal world, in some way or another.  First up (and with some followups over the next few weeks): the makeup of the Supreme Court of Canada.

%PM, %05 %620 %2012 %13:%Jun

The Legalities of Bidding Wars

Written by

Anyone in the real estate market in Toronto knows that when the market is hot, good properties end up in bidding wars.  Many realtors acting for sellers actively promote bidding wars as a way of pushing up the price, by deliberately listing a property at below market value, and "holding" offers until a certain day to encourage mutiple buyers to make offers at the same time.  The result is that many potential buyers get frustrated and angry, as they see properties they love sell for hundreds of thousands more than the listing price.  The process may be frustrating, but where is the line between legal (but frustrating) tactics and illegal tactics?

%PM, %29 %776 %2012 %17:%May

Claiming Electronic Research as a Disbursement

Written by

The use of electronic legal research (through services like Quicklaw or Westlaw in Canada) is almost a necessity in modern litigation.  A good keyword search in a database of case law can replace hours of flipping through old books in a library.  The developers of these tools know how indispensable they are, and price the services accordingly.  When are these costs recoverable as disbursements by a successful party?  Unfortunately, while there are plenty of judges who have weighed in on the subject in Ontario, there is no consistency to the answer.  

%PM, %24 %782 %2012 %17:%May

Alberta Courts Accept Electronic Signatures

Written by

With electronic litigation in Ontario a disaster (see here, for example), it is nice to see that at least the Alberta Court of Appeal is taking a baby step towards modern relevance.  In a decision released yesterday in Thompson Brothers v. Alberta, 2012 ABCA 150, the Alberta Court of Appeal confirmed that it is ok for a lawyer to sign a court document electronically (i.e. by fax or by scanning and emailing a signed document):

%PM, %23 %647 %2012 %14:%May

Early Discharge of Meritless Liens

Written by

A recent case from the B.C. Court of Appeal (West Fraser Mills v. BKB Construction Inc., 2012 BCCA 89) has confirmed a restricted interpretation of sections 24 and 25 of British Columbia Builders Lien Act, that restricts the court from considering the merits of a case where an owner tries to "cancel" a lien before a claim is commenced.  What does this mean, and how would an Ontario court deal with a similar situation under the Ontario Construction Lien Act?

%PM, %22 %674 %2012 %15:%May

New Court of Appeal Judges

Written by

Justice Ducharme and Justice Pepall were appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal on April 10, 2012 (announcement).  In the last few weeks, they've started sitting on appeals, and their first decisions are starting to trickle out.  Justice Ducharme's first decision was on May 1, 2012, on a summary judgment appeal in Cosford v. Player, 2012 ONCA 276.  Justice Pepall's first came out a couple weeks later, also on a summary judgment appeal, in N.R. v. CAS (Toronto), 2012 ONCA 315.  Interestingly, Justice Ducharme was also on the panel in the N.R. case.

Another interesting side note: Justice Hoy (the last appointment prior to Justice Ducharme and Justice Pepall's appointments) was a litigator at Lang Michener.  Justice Pepall was a litigator at McMillan Binch.  Lang Michener and McMillan merged on January 1, 2011 (after both had become Superior Court judges), and now operate collectively as McMillan LLP.  So in a technical sense, two of the last three Court of Appeal appointments are former McMillan LLP lawyers.

The Court of Appeal in R. v. Vivian, 2012 ONCA 324 has given two men accused in a high profile drive by shooting a new trial, as a result of the handling of some unique jury issues.  I don't typically practice criminal law, but this case is interesting for how the jury deliberations unfolded.  The facts (which I discuss below) are another example of the unpredictability of jury trials.

These days it seems like you cannot open a newspaper (or, more likely, go to a news website) without seeing an article about the craziness of the Toronto and Vancouver real estate markets.  Prices are rising, and depending on who you ask, there may or may not be a housing crash on the horizon.  In a volatile housing market, the market can change drastically between signing an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, and actually closing your deal.  If something happens to the deal in the meantime, what happens to the deposit?  This an area that many people seem to be confused about - partly because the answer is not necessarily clear cut, as I discuss below.


Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 90

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home2/wiffenla/public_html/website/templates/wiffenlaw/html/pagination.php on line 96