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This Week at the SCC (01/03/2013)

A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Opinions Group of McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Posted in This Week at the SCC
Kirsten Thompson

The Supreme Court of Canada decided a leave application this week in one case likely to be of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

The Supreme Court refused leave from the Alberta Court of Appeal in Lay v Lay, 2012 ABCA 303. The appeal provided an opportunity for the courts to interpret Alberta’s new Rules of Court, which came into effect on November 1, 2010. The appeal dealt with the question of how Alberta courts should apply the defined term “records” and how the test for “relevant and material” is to be applied.

The case management judge refused to order further production of documents and further particulars. On appeal, the appellants submitted that a party is entitled to inspect any Record referred to in a pleading. The pleading read “…all of the records of [the corporate defendant] were sold as assets”. The Court held that the pleading did not refer to a Record; the pleadings described a chronology of events.

The appellants also sought Records that related to a sale of shares in order to assist in valuating what those shares were worth at the time of a past transaction. The Court of Appeal held that in determining the value of shares, events that were unknown at the time of the sale, or that occurred afterwards, are not relevant to the determination of the fair value of the shares on the valuation date.

The McCarthy Tétrault Opinions Group consists of members of the firm’s litigation department whose practices focus on written advocacy and the provision of strategic advice and opinions in the context of complex business disputes and transactions.  The members of the Opinions Group are Anthony Alexander, Martin Boodman, Brandon Kain, Hovsep Afarian and Kirsten Thompson.