Blog

Online D- Rating is Defamatory but Fair Comment Defence Makes the Grade

September 10, 2018

Consumers today can easily consult a large number of online reviews before deciding where to shop, what to eat or what movie to watch. Review websites exist to provide consumers with opinions about various businesses to help individuals make informed decisions.
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DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Ontario in the Entertainment Law Context

July 18, 2018

A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a dispute involving a film production agreement highlights the “generous and liberal approach” taken by Canadian courts with respect to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Even where the judgment includes both monetary and injunctive relief (including orders to take down all social media posts), the Ontario court will tend to adhere to the spirit of upholding the obligations created by the foreign judgment.
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Do I have to tell my insurer about this?

July 18, 2018

It can sometimes be unclear whether you need to let your professional liability insurer know about a potential claim.  You certainly don’t want to jeopardize your coverage, but neither do you want to trigger an avoidable premium increase.
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Situs your tort elsewhere: Supreme Court on Internet Defamation Jurisdiction

June 11, 2018

In Haaretz.com v. Goldhar, the Supreme Court tackled the issue of jurisdiction in an international internet defamation case. In essence, it held that Canadian courts should decline jurisdiction for a clearly more appropriate forum when considering factors such as the comparative convenience and expense for the parties and witnesses, any loss of legitimate juridical advantage, fairness, the ability to enforce judgments and the applicable law.
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Court of Appeal “Likes” Facebook Class Action

May 29, 2018

Class actions targeting Facebook are trending. As newly-launched proceedings are grabbing headlines, an older lawsuit, originally certified in 2014, was recently given the go-ahead by the BC Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) over the objections of the social media network.
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Google It Again: Extraterritorial Injunction Upheld Despite US Decision

May 18, 2018

As an update to our blog on Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34, Google applied before the United States District Court in California, seeking an order that the extraterritorial injunction which was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada is unlawful and unenforceable in the United States. Google’s application was unopposed and was granted (“US Decision”).
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Accountants Caught in the Middle When a Client Breaks Up

April 16, 2018

As a professional liability and insurance lawyer, one of the most common questions I get when advising accounting practitioners is how to respond to demands for financial disclosure after the breakup between the partners or shareholders of an owner-managed business.
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Protest in the Park – Profanity Permitted, Personal Invective Prohibited

March 29, 2018

In Bracken v. Niagara Parks Police, 2018 ONCA 261, the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently considered the limits of freedom of expression in the context of a one-man public protest held in August 2016 during the lead up to the American presidential election. The protester, Mr. Bracken, stood in a public Niagara park holding a sign praising Donald Trump and cursing China and Mexico (“Trump is right. F* China. F* Mexico”).
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Insurer Cannot Claim in Name of Bankrupt Insured

March 29, 2018

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision holding that insurers cannot bring a subrogated action in the name of a bankrupt insured means that insurers who are considering a subrogated claim should take an assignment of the cause of action at the same time as paying out the claim.
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What Does This Mean? The Necessity of Clarity in Employment Contracts

March 06, 2018

In Bergeron v. Movati Athletic (Group) Inc. (“Bergeron”) the ONSC considered the issue of applying the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) minimum reasonable notice requirement based on the interpretation of an employment contract. This case illustrates the necessity of making clear provisions in employment contracts.
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Leaving It To The Experts – Or Not

February 15, 2018

Expert evidence is often crucial to assisting the trier of fact decide liability and assess damages in litigation. In Ontario, expert witnesses are expected – and required – to be fair, objective and non-partisan. Not all experts understand this, perhaps in part because, most often, they are also paid by one party or the other. This blog post will review a helpful 2017 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) that addressed two issues relating to the impartiality of experts: (1) whether counsel can cross-examine an expert witness about findings of bias in previous cases and (2) how the trial judge must exercise her “gatekeeping” role with respect to expert evidence.
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No Two Libel Cases Are the Same – But Internet Libel Attracts Higher Damages

February 05, 2018

The Ontario Court of Appeal (“OCA”) recently upheld an award of $700,000.00 in damages for libel arising out of a vicious internet defamation campaign. The decision is noteworthy in the following aspects: a judicial recognition of increased damages for internet smear campaigns; less reliance on damages awards in other (defamation) cases, unlike the tendency to do so in personal injury cases; joint liability found even where one defendant does not publicly approve or repeat the defamatory statements; and vicarious liability of a company found where the company is used to perpetuate the defamation campaign, even if the actions do not inure to its benefit.
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SLAPP-ed Down: SLAPP Laws Are Still Developing But One Thing is Clear – All Parties Are at Risk for Significant Costs

January 29, 2018

Recently, a mining company lost a five year battle against a non-profit environmental group in a claim for defamation, with both sides incurring significant costs in the process. The decision has implications in Canada for companies who wish to seek legal remedies against determined critics and those who defend against such defamation claims.
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Effective Engagement Letters: Seven Ways To Protect Yourself As An Accountant

January 17, 2018

Even small engagements can lead to big legal problems for Canadian accountants in public practice. Standard form engagement letters do not always protect accountants in the event of a dispute. Without any confirmation of the terms of engagement, practitioners may find themselves fighting an uphill battle if there is a disagreement later.
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You Signed It: Court Upholds “Entire Agreement” Exclusion Clause in Building Design Contract

January 08, 2018

Manorgate Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners, 2017 ONSC 7154
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