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

The SCC Monitor (30/07/2015)

A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Canadian Appeals Monitor

Posted in The SCC Monitor

Following our last post, the Supreme Court has released its decision in Strickland v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 37. The Court’s decision in Strickland, referenced in more detail in this blog post, speaks to the circumstances in which a federal court can decline to exercise its jurisdiction to grant judicial review remedies. The appellants in Strickland sought a declaration that the Federal Child Support Guidelines were invalid and ultra vires the Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 3. The Federal Court declined to exercise its jurisdiction holding that the matter should be brought before a … Continue Reading

What Lies Beneath: The Unexpected Reach of Litigation Privilege

Posted in Case Comments, Civil Procedure/Evidence

In an interesting decision clarifying the reach of litigation privilege, the British Columbia Court of Appeal in No Limits Sportswear Inc. v. 0912139 B.C. Ltd., 2015 BCCA 193, has recently held that litigation privilege extends to communications between formerly adverse parties who have settled their dispute and are cooperating against a remaining co-defendant, even where the pleadings have not yet been amended to reflect this new reality.

BackgroundContinue Reading

Insider Trading: Securities Commission to Think Twice About Excessive Sanctions and Speculation

Posted in Case Comments, Securities

In a rare appellate court decision, the Court of Appeal in Walton v. Alberta (Securities Commission), 2014 ABCA 273, has set aside a decision by the Alberta Securities Commission and has held that any monetary penalties levied must be proportionate to the circumstances of the offender and supported by reasons. The Court also held that findings cannot be based upon speculation and that the Commission had improperly interpreted the “recommending or encouraging” provisions of the Alberta Securities Act (the “Act”) in a decision that is certain to give pause to Securities Commissions across Canada.

Continue Reading

Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions: The Creation of Barriers by the BC Court of Appeal

Posted in Case Comments, Class Actions, Constitutional

In a surprise decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has broken with the superior courts of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec by holding that constitutional limits prevent a superior court judge from sitting outside of his own province. The Court of Appeal’s decision suggests limits to the inherent jurisdiction and discretion of superior courts and will have profound effects upon the ease and efficiency with which judges can hear multi-jurisdictional matters, in particular class actions. Decisions by the Court of Appeal in Ontario and Quebec  on the same issue are pending.

Continue Reading

Buyer & Seller Beware: Zoning Irregularities in Real Estate Transactions Across the Country

Posted in Case Comments, Construction and Real Estate, Contracts

In decisions recently released from the Ontario Court of Appeal and the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the courts identify which party bears the burden when zoning irregularities materialize following the close of a real estate transaction.

In Lee v. 1435375 Ontario Ltd., the purchaser of a dry cleaning business was prohibited from relying upon the doctrine of equitable mistake where the rezoning of the leased premises had taken place, unbeknownst to the vendor, and the purchaser failed to investigate the status of zoning prior to closing. In contrast, 0759594 B.C. Ltd. v. 568295 British Columbia Ltd., the

Continue Reading

Australian Fraudsters: Definition of Concurrent Wrongdoer Tied to Loss

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Criminal

When is a fraudulent and negligent tortfeasor a “concurrent wrongdoer”? In Hunt & Hunt Lawyers v. Mitchell Morgan Nominees, the High Court of Australia has clarified the definition of a concurrent wrongdoer finding that liability can be apportioned under Part 4 of the Civil Liability Act where the damage caused by one or more concurrent wrongdoers is the same. The reasoning behind the apportionment of loss made by the court is instructive on the meaning of concurrent wrongdoing with potential application to other common law regimes.

Continue Reading