Opinion

How we're changing the way we make the record

By Kim Neeson . For years, most of Canada has experienced a decline in shorthand reporters who have always been the recognized guardians of the record. As Canada's premier court reporting firm, responding to this crisis was identified as a top priority in 2017. Read more

New changes to the Employment Standards Act: Bill 66

By Christopher Achkar . Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019 has just received Royal Assent on April 3, 2019. Schedule 9 of Bill 66 addresses matters relating to employment law and amends the Employment Standards Act 2000 ( ESA ) to facilitate some aspects of running a business as well as to reduce the regulatory burden placed upon employers. Read more

Government disbands the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

By Anna Matas . Recently, the Conservative government of Ontario tabled a budget titled “Protecting What Matters Most.” Unfortunately for survivors of violent crimes, “what matters most” does not appear to include compensation for the harms they have suffered as the victims of crimes like sexual assault. Read more

Boston Tea Party revisited — lawyers wanted

By Marcel Strigberger . The Law Society of Ontario (LSO), the province’s governing body for lawyers, has imposed a requirement for its lawyers to annually affirm adoption of a statement of principles (SOP), wherein lawyers agree to confirm and be in line with the doctrine and ethics of equity, diversion and inclusion (EDI). Read more

What is a review at the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board?

By Elyse Sunshine and Lonny Rosen . The Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (the Board) is an independent adjudicative agency that, on request, reviews decisions made by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (the Committee) of the various regulated health professional colleges in Ontario after a patient makes a complaint. Read more

What your children need to know about your divorce

By Steven Benmor . Most people believe that their children are unaware of marital problems in the home. This could not be further from the truth. Children of all ages are acutely aware of the temperature in the home. In fact, I have heard many times that the children have expressed relief when their parents finally disclose their intention to divorce. Children not only need to know about their parents’ divorce, in many cases, they want to know about their parents’ divorce. Read more

If I don’t own anything, why do I need a will?

By Michele Allinotte . One of the most frequent questions people ask me is “Do I need a will?” When I say yes, everyone over the age of 18 who is competent to make a will should do so, the reply is often, “Well, I don’t own anything.” Read more

Severance pay calculation under ESA based on Ontario payroll: OLRB

By Doug MacLeod . Under s. 64 of the Employment Standards Act (ESA), an employee with five years’ service is entitled to one week severance pay for each year of service (to a maximum of 26 weeks) in addition to notice of termination if “the employer has a payroll of $2.5 million or more.” Read more

Is a crypto-will a new frontier for estate planning?

By Ian Hull . The popularity of cryptocurrencies has heightened the world’s attention on the versatility of blockchain technology. An interesting development is the application of a blockchain solution for estate planning of crypto assets. Read more

Court orders mother to undergo a capacity assessment

By Lisa Gelman . In some situations, one party in a proceeding may ask the court for an order directing the other party to undergo a capacity assessment. An Ontario court recently considered this interesting question and explained when it might be appropriate to impinge upon a party’s autonomy and privacy interests by making such an order. Read more

Family members awarded substantial damages in car accident lawsuit

By Nainesh Kotak . A mother was driving her car through an intersection when another driver entered against the red light and violently crashed into the family vehicle. The car accident resulted in serious injuries to the mother and minor physical injuries to two of her sons and tragically, her third and youngest child sustained a fatal brain injury. He was only five months old when he died. Read more

Protect your elderly parents from robocalls

By Dave Oswald . We’ve all received at least one phone call where a pre-recorded message plays, indicating that you’ve won a prize, your taxes are owing or some other penalty you need to rectify. Robocalls are made using an automatic dialer and are able to contact a great number of people. They’re used for everything: telemarketing, political campaigns — and fraud. Read more

HRTO: no authority to award costs to a successful party

By Stuart Rudner . What if someone files an entirely frivolous lawsuit against you, refuses to settle, and forces you to go all the way to trial, where you successfully defend the action? One would hope that you would be reimbursed for some of your legal costs. And in our civil court system, you would be. Read more

Help! I don’t want to be an executor

By Lisa Laredo . A family member or close friend passes away and amidst your grief, you discover that you have been named executor of their estate. You’re shocked because you didn’t know that you had been named as executor in their will. (Rule number one when writing your will: always ask your executor before appointing them.) Read more

Ontario’s 2019 auto insurance reform — a step in the right direction

By John McLeish and Lindsay Charles . The Ontario budget released on Thursday, April 11, 2019, addressed numerous contentious issues in the auto insurance sector. The Ontario government proposed many reforms that grew out of, in part, some eye-opening responses from a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Finance. Read more

No ‘tort of harassment’ in Ontario

By Laura Williams . The Ontario Court of Appeal has found in this case that there is no “tort of harassment” in Ontario. The Court of Appeal reversed the 2017 Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision that recognized a free-standing tort of harassment, which we wrote about here . Recognizing a free-standing tort of harassment meant that a civil claim in Ontario could be based on the mere fact that a plaintiff experienced harassment. Read more

It makes a difference — why not pay attention?

By Dawn Simons, for AdvocateDaily.com . At some point during your client’s litigation, it is likely they will express to you their lack of resources and financial stress. We all know that claims can take years to resolve, and time is not generally on the plaintiff’s side. Read more

A cure for ageist thinking? It may not be needed

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . It’s taken decades, but we’re slowly coming to terms with a few of the “isms” in our culture – racism and sexism being two obvious ones. We can add discrimination based on disability and sexual preference as two others. Read more

Urgent motion for partition and sale

By Andrew Feldstein . In this case , the wife brought a motion for relief prior to a case conference. She sought leave to bring the motion on an urgent basis prior to that case conference, and an order for the immediate partition and sale of the matrimonial home. The wife argued that she should be granted this relief because her matter was urgent. Read more

Increased court costs impair access to justice

By Amanda Bafaro . Because disbursements aren’t already high enough, the Ontario government has increased the fees associated with the filing of many of the most common civil court documents as of April 1, 2019. Read more