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

Tag Archives: bright-line rule

The Bright Line Rule: The SCC Reconsiders Its Approach to Conflicts of Interest

Posted in Case Comments, Professions


In a recent decision, Canadian National Railway Co. v. McKercher LLP, 2013 SCC 39, the Supreme Court of Canada revisited the “bright line” rule that applies to conflicts of interest among current clients. This rule, which was first articulated in R. v. Neil, [2002] 3 S.C.R. 631, provides that:

“… a lawyer may not represent one client whose interests are directly adverse to the immediate interests of another current client — even if the two mandates are unrelated — unless both clients consent after receiving full disclosure (and preferably independent legal advice), and the lawyer reasonably

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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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Top Appeals of 2013: The Appeals Monitor Looks Forward

Posted in Bankruptcy and Debt, Case Previews, Class Actions, Features, Procedure, Professions, Torts

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
- Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
“Weatherman wet-fingers the sky
He pokes it out, he pulls it in
He don’t know why.”
- Gordon Downie (1964- )

 

In the spirit of the season, Canadian Appeals Monitor has decided not only to look back on the key appeals of 2012, but also to make predictions about those Supreme Court of Canada appeals most likely to impact businesses and professionals in 2013. Predicting which appeal judgments are likely to have important and lasting effects before they are even decided involves a high degree of guesswork,

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SCC to Consider Conflict of Interest Rule

Posted in Case Previews, Professions

Introduction

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in Canadian National Railway v. McKercher LLP et al., which raises significant issues relating to conflicts of interest, legal ethics, and the appropriate balance to be struck between the courts and the law societies in regulating the legal profession.

Perhaps most importantly, the case will require the Court to consider the “bright-line rule” and the related “professional litigant exception.” This rule was first articulated in R. v. Neil, and was subsequently re-affirmed in Strother v. 3464920 Canada Inc.. It provides:

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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Adopt a Bright-Line Rule on Limitation Periods for Corporate Insider Profit Claims

Posted in Case Comments, Corporate Law, Procedure, Securities

There is little law in Canada regarding if and how limitation periods applicable to statutory causes of actions in securities legislation can be tolled. For many public companies, this can create uncertainty regarding whether investor lawsuits are statute-barred.

For example, the limitation period in s. 138 of the Ontario Securities Act, which covers causes of action brought in respect of misrepresentations in prospectuses, offering memoranda and circulars, is the earlier of 180 days after the plaintiff first had knowledge of the facts giving rise to the cause of action, or three years after the date of the transaction that

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