Douglas practises in our firm’s Litigation and ADR Group and has a broad based civil litigation practice representing individuals and companies in a variety of commercial and insurance related disputes, including contractual matters, product liability, construction, personal injury, real estate, professional liability, tax and copyright. Douglas is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, and has appeared and achieved success before several courts and administrative tribunals including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Divisional Court, Ontario Court of Appeal, Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.
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For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has released a decision that considers issues of statutory misrepresentation in an offering statement under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act 1994. Given the limited jurisprudence in this area, this landmark decision is expected to provide valuable guidance to boards and insurers on risk prevention.
The expansion of recognised duties of care owed to intoxicated persons recently met resistance from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The plaintiff in the case was one of four intoxicated passengers in a taxi who had been injured after the taxi was involved in an accident. The court centred its decision on the evidentiary record in the case, which established no reasonable basis for the plaintiff's expectation that the taxi driver would ensure that he wore his seatbelt.
The propriety of a reply is measured against the other pleadings in a case. The Ontario Divisional Court recently delineated the proper scope of a reply when it overturned a decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and granted the defendants' request to strike certain impugned paragraphs in the plaintiffs' reply that, on their face, had little to do with the central allegations of the claims and defences.
The Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the primacy of professional secrecy under solicitor-client privilege in two cases considering the enforcement of disclosing accounting records to the Canada Revenue Agency. This provides welcome news for counsel acting for taxpayers, as well as international companies and companies involved in cross-border transactions.
Obtaining judgment against an adversary is the first and often most heavily contemplated step for litigators and litigants alike. However, equally important is a litigant's ability to enforce a judgment, particularly against a non-resident party. As Canada is a signatory to the Hague Convention, service of documents on a Canadian corporation or individual must comply with the convention's prescribed steps.
Litigation is an expensive process; litigation involving multiple defendants even more so. One obvious way of reducing litigation costs is by entering into settlement agreements with one or more defendants. These agreements often take the form of 'Mary Carter' or 'Pierringer' agreements. While both of these agreements are partial settlement agreements, they have different characteristics.
Following the Supreme Court's decision in TeleZone Inc v Canada (Attorney General), claims for damages against the crown may now be safely brought in the provincial courts, provided that there is an independent and reasonable cause of action that does not rely on the challenge to the legal validity of an administrator's decision that would require a remedy provided for under Section 18(1) of the Federal Courts Act.
In a recent case the federal government motioned to dismiss an action on the principal ground that the Federal Court - not the Ontario court - has jurisdiction over claims against the crown for damages. However, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the Ontario Superior Court has jurisdiction. The Supreme Court's decision is expected to have a profound impact on the rights of persons claiming damages against the crown.