Canadian Appeals Monitor Information and Commentary on Upcoming and Recent Appeal Court Decisions

Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Interpretation of Contracts When the Unforeseen Happens

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts

Purposive and contextual interpretation that achieves the original meaning

Disputes over the meaning of contracts most often arise in one of three circumstances. The first is when an event has occurred that the contracting parties did not foresee or provide for at the time of contracting. The second is when there was (subjectively) no meeting of the minds on a particular point, with the result that the parties have ended up with diverging expectations of their contractual rights and obligations. The third is when there has been sloppy or faulty drafting, such that the contractual language is ambiguous or unclear. … Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (25/01/2013)

Posted in This Week at the SCC

Cases Heard

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments this week in two cases of interest to Canadian businesses and professions, and reserved judgment in each.

The first is an appeal from Guay Inc. c. Payette, 2011 QCCA 2282, in which the Quebec Court of Appeal held that restrictive covenants which precluded the appellant from competing with or soliciting customers of the respondent for five years after termination of his employment were valid, notwithstanding the trial judge’s findings below that the appellant had been wrongfully dismissed by the respondent and that the covenants were too broad to be enforced.

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UK Supreme Court Declines to Recognize Legal Advice Privilege for Accountants

Posted in Case Comments, Procedure, Tax

In a watershed ruling that is sure to have implications throughout Canada, the UK Supreme Court has held that legal advice (or “solicitor-client”) privilege does not attach to communications between accountants or other non-legal professionals and their clients. The decision in Prudential holds this to be the case even where the communications involve legal advice which the professional person is qualified to give, and that advice is given in circumstances where it would be privileged were it provided by a lawyer.

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This Week at the SCC (18/01/2013)

Posted in This Week at the SCC

Cases Heard

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments this week in two cases of interest to Canadian businesses and professions, and reserved judgment in each.

The first is an appeal from Newfoundland (Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission) v. Ryan Estate, 2011 NLCA 42.  It involves whether s. 6 of the federal Maritime Liability Act can authorize a civil action in respect of a workplace accident, even though s. 44 of the Newfoundland & Labrador Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act purports to bar such claims in favour of a no-fault compensation scheme.  The Newfoundland & Labrador Court of

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