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4 Aug

Inadvertent disclosure and improper use of privileged communications

Thursday, August 4, 2022Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. Tighe, James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Rules of Professional Conduct

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In our digital world, virtually everyone has made the mistake of hitting send on an email or text that they wish they could take back either because of...

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3 Aug

Conspiracy claim against lawyers dismissed

Wednesday, August 3, 2022Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. Cook, Dara HirbodLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Fraudulent Conveyances Act

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Conspiracy is a complicated tort. In order to succeed in such a claim, a plaintiff is required to establish various elements. Where those elements do not exist, a defendant can bring...

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2 Aug

Lawyer not liable for client’s payment of foreign buyer’s tax on North Vancouver property

Tuesday, August 2, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Property Transfer Tax Act, Foreign Buyer’s Tax

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In Tellini v. Bell Alliance, 2022 BCCA 106 (CanLII), the British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed a trial judge’s decision that found the defendant lawyer and law firm liable for the plaintiff’s obligation to pay...

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25 Jul

Witnesses intimidated and conspiracy alleged while trying to conceal marriage

Monday, July 25, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationFraud, Divorce Act, Property Transfer Tax Act, Foreign Buyer’s Tax

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Allegations of fraud and other unlawful conduct such as conspiracy are an attack on a person’s integrity and should not be made lightly by litigants. As the mere...

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20 Jul

Power of sale restored by Court of Appeal under “safe harbour protections”

Wednesday, July 20, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Mortgage Fees, Ontario Mortgages Act

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In 2544176 Ontario Inc. v. 2394762 Ontario Inc., 2022 ONCA 529 (CanLII), the Ontario Court of Appeal restored a power of sale transaction that...

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19 Jul

Gift or loan? Father failed to ensure his intentions were made known

Tuesday, July 19, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate

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How is an adult child able to prove whether funds or property transferred to them by a parent were intended to be a gift rather than a...

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18 Jul

Leave required to sue representative of trustee in bankruptcy

Monday, July 18, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationBankruptcy, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

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Trustees in bankruptcy are granted protection from civil claims for acts and omissions under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”), as the statute requires...

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11 Jul

Ponzi scheme participants ordered to return payments that were “too good to be true”

Monday, July 11, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationBankruptcy, Limitations Act, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

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Investors in a scheme that seems too good to be true should be aware that they may be liable to return the funds under principles of unjust...

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8 Jul

Civil contempt finding against litigant for breaching receivership order

Friday, July 8, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationContempt of Court

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Ontario courts maintain the inherent right to control their own processes and to sanction litigants who fail to abide by court orders. While a finding of contempt is...

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7 Jul

Sale of partnership property allowed despite lack of authorization and disclosure

Thursday, July 7, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationPartnership

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Ioannidis v. Ioannidis2022 ONSC 3942 (CanLII), is a cautionary tale of siblings who owned an investment property without a...

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30 Jun

Defendant liable for defamatory tweets about university instructor

Thursday, June 30, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Social Media, Twitter

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As an Ontario court has previously recognized, Twitter is a rhetorically harsh speech environment. A stark difference in political or other views may be...

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28 Jun

Title insurance dispute over appraisal of “actual loss” for defects relating to municipal work order

Tuesday, June 28, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Insurance Law, Ontario Insurance Act, Title Insurance

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Residential title insurance policies are typically purchased to address potentially issues regarding title to a property. Title insurance policies may also cover... 

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27 Jun

Interim injunction ordered to prevent neighbour from blocking private access road

Monday, June 27, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationRight-of-way Access , Real Estate, Road Access Act

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Many rural properties in Ontario are accessed through private roads that traverse lands owned by one or more neighbours. The use of a private road may...

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24 Jun

Relief from forfeiture not granted where buyer claimed lack of capacity to enter into real estate purchase agreement

Friday, June 24, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Real Estate, Courts of Justice Act

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As real estate markets fall, buyers are sometimes left scrambling to find alternate sources of financing when the available mortgage funds turn out...

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23 Jun

Lawyer not vicariously liable to opposite party in failed real estate transaction

Thursday, June 23, 2022Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. Cook, Daria RisteskaLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Real Estate

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There appears to be a growing propensity on the part of litigants to sue the opposite party’s lawyer when a transaction fails or something else...

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22 Jun

Sale of commercial units by nearly-insolvent debtor not a fraudulent conveyance

Wednesday, June 22, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationInsolvency, Real Estate

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Creditors of an insolvent or nearly insolvent debtor may be understandably frustrated if the debtor sells its few remaining assets, leaving the...

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21 Jun

Buyer breached duty of good faith in failing to complete assignment agreement

Tuesday, June 21, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Town of Caledon, GTA Real Estate

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Buyers of pre-construction properties in Ontario sometimes enter into an assignment agreement with another buyer before the completion...

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20 Jun

Mortgage provided by corporate borrower not a “fraudulent instrument”

Monday, June 20, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationLand Title Act, Real Estate

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The Ontario Land Titles Act (“LTA”) provides that a registered mortgage that is determined to be a fraudulent instrument is void and may...

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16 Jun

Pharmacy manager not bound by non-competition agreement

Thursday, June 16, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationNon-Compete, Working for Workers Act, 2021

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In Ontario, the Working for Workers Act, 2021 provides that no employer shall enter into an employment contract or other agreement with an employee that...

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15 Jun

Neighbour’s “management plan” did not improperly divert equity from plaintiff’s property

Wednesday, June 15, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale

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The case of Rivas v. Anobile2022 ONSC 3446 (CanLII), demonstrates the issues that may arise when all the terms and objectives of an...

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14 Jun

Environmental assessment firm not liable to buyer who did not commission their report

Tuesday, June 14, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale

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Buyers should be wary about relying on inspections, appraisals or other reports prepared by a company with whom they have not directly...

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13 Jun

Dispute over purchase of Canadian Art results in unjust enrichment claim

Monday, June 13, 2022James R.G. CookLitigation

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While it may be tempting to purchase expensive artwork directly from a private seller without the involvement (and associated costs) of a reputable art...

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7 Jun

No misrepresentations made by seller in asset purchase transaction

Tuesday, June 7, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAsset Purchase Agreement

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An asset purchase often involves an assessment of the value of the inventory and gross sales of the business being acquired. The terms of the...

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6 Jun

No “waiver by conduct” of financing condition in agreement of purchase and sale

Monday, June 6, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationCondominium, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Real Estate

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With the cooling of the real estate markets, buyers may be in a position to negotiate a limited time period to have a home inspection, arrange financing, or complete other due diligence before...

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2 Jun

Lawyer who was consulted by another lawyer disqualified from acting against other lawyer

Thursday, June 2, 2022Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. Cook, Kevin MooibroekLitigationRules of Professional Conduct

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In general, lawyers are not allowed to act on matters where they have a conflict of interest. To do so is contrary to the common law and the Rules of...

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29 Apr

Business partner liable for breach of fiduciary duty and civil fraud

Friday, April 29, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationOntario, Fraud, Fiduciary Duties

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Business partners generally owe each other fiduciary duties and can be liable for civil fraud if funds invested in the partnership business are...

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19 Apr

Claim for riparian rights to access Lake Erie dismissed

Tuesday, April 19, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationOntario

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Rivers and lakes in Ontario are Crown lands and the public generally has the right to use and ‘navigate’ the waterways. However, the public does not generally have

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12 Apr

Spouse liable under guarantee as accommodation surety despite lack of ILA

Tuesday, April 12, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationLoans

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Loan guarantees are often provided by parents, spouses or siblings to other related parties. The person signing the guarantee usually does not receive any direct financial benefit

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8 Apr

“Decision Regret” is not a cause of action for disgruntled start-up investors

Friday, April 8, 2022James R.G. CookLitigation

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Investors in a small company may be inspired by the sales pitch of a founder with grandiose plans and descriptions of potential profits to be earned if they get in on the ground...

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5 Apr

Hydro One loses prescriptive easement claim over private access road

Tuesday, April 5, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationLand Title Act, Easement

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Easements that are intended to provide utility companies with access to maintain and service the utilities they provide are common features of...

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4 Apr

Vesting order granted for retroactive joint tenancy after death of spouse

Monday, April 4, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationLand Title Act, Real Estate

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Spouses often take title to a property as joint tenants rather than tenants in common due to the “right of survivorship,” by which the surviving spouse assumes sole title to the...

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31 Mar

Date of breach of contract affirmed for assessment of buyer’s damages

Thursday, March 31, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Breach of Contract

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In Akelius Canada Ltd. v. 2436196 Ontario Inc., 2022 ONCA 259, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a summary judgment decision that dismissed a real estate investor’s...

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30 Mar

Breach of privacy claim dismissed where unauthorized access was fleeting and incidental

Wednesday, March 30, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationPrivacy Rights

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From 2007 through 2016, a nurse in Ontario stole opioids from her hospital employer on an almost daily basis, during which time she accessed the individual records of over...

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29 Mar

Oppression remedy denied to non-shareholder of corporation

Tuesday, March 29, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationOppression Remedy, Ontario Business Corporations Act

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The oppression remedy in corporate law statutes such as the Ontario Business Corporations Act provides a mechanism for disgruntled shareholders or other stakeholders to obtain relief from the courts to...

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28 Mar

Tort of “family violence” provides new way to seek damages for domestic abuse

Monday, March 28, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationDivorce Act

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In Ahluwalia v. Ahluwalia2022 ONSC 1303 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice affirmed a new common law tort of “family violence” as a way to award damages resulting from family...

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17 Mar

Property developer awarded $11 million in lost profits against seller who refused to complete transaction

Thursday, March 17, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Real Estate

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When a seller breaches an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) by refusing to complete the sale of a property to a buyer, the buyer is generally entitled to the return of...

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11 Mar

Shakespeare portrait leads to dispute over estate trustee

Friday, March 11, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationTrustee Act

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The appointment of an estate trustee in a will is a decision that courts will generally respect absent clear evidence that the removal of the trustee is necessary in...

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9 Mar

Real estate co-ownership dispute leads to sale under Partition Act

Wednesday, March 9, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, GTA Real Estate

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Given the high price of real estate in Ontario, co-ownership of properties between friends and family members is increasingly common. Title may be...

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8 Mar

Court refuses to impose 5 pm deadline for delivery of real estate closing proceeds

Tuesday, March 8, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Real Estate, GTA Real Estate

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Real estate transactions may be scheduled to be completed by a certain time of day, depending on the wording of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS). In some cases,...

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7 Mar

Requisition deadline for present legal use of property clarified by Court of Appeal

Monday, March 7, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, GTA Real Estate

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The Ontario Real Estate Association’s standard form of residential Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) contains a paragraph that sets a deadline for a

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3 Mar

Claim for defamatory tweets dismissed

Thursday, March 3, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Courts of Justice Act, Twitter

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Can one who freely wades into the choppy waters of Twitter complain about getting splashed? So asked the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a recent case involving allegedly... 

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28 Feb

Family members liable for knowing receipt of trust funds

Monday, February 28, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationFraud, Fraudulent Conveyances Act

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People who receive funds from someone whom they know, or reasonably ought to have known, obtained the funds through a breach of trust may be liable to return the funds based on...

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28 Feb

No duty of care owed by seller to confirm buyers had financing in place

Monday, February 28, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, GTA Real Estate

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Cases arising out of the 2017 market correction in the Greater Toronto Area continue to result in decisions favouring innocent sellers and substantial damages awarded against defaulting...

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17 Feb

B.C. Court awards damages arising from liability for foreign buyers’ tax

Thursday, February 17, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Negligence

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Some Canadian provinces have introduced a “foreign buyers’ tax” in recent years to curb what is perceived as the impact of foreign speculators on over-heated...

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7 Feb

Courts rejects corporation’s motion to be represented by a consultant

Monday, February 7, 2022Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure

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Our justice system is designed to work efficiently and to adhere to the highest principles of integrity. In general, parties appearing before a court must either be represented by a lawyer...

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28 Jan

Action stayed as a result of plaintiff’s failure to disclose settlement

Friday, January 28, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationLitigation

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Litigation often involves claims by a plaintiff against multiple parties. Defendants in such actions may or may not crossclaim against each other but they are presumed to be adverse to

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4 Jan

CBC liable for defaming investment advisor

Tuesday, January 4, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, CBC

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In June 2012, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) televised two news stories featuring a retired Canadian Pacific Railway employee who claimed to have lost more than half of...

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23 Dec

Prophylactic disgorgement order in case of corporate malfeasance imposed by Ontario Court of Appeal

Thursday, December 23, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationVenture Capital, Funds

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In a decision that involved “acceptable standards of corporate conduct in Canada,” the Ontario Court of Appeal addressed the breakdown of the relationship between five founders of a venture capital fund...

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20 Dec

Cineplex awarded $1.2 billion following failed pandemic courtship

Monday, December 20, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation

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In a remarkable trial decision resulting from a breach of contract claim commenced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineplex Inc. obtained a damages award in the amount of $1.2 billion against the former suitor of...

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2 Dec

Law firm obtains injunction against former associate after Thanksgiving weekend coup

Thursday, December 2, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation

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At 1 p.m. on the Friday afternoon of the October 2021 Thanksgiving long weekend, a lawyer employed as an associate in the Brampton location of the firm...

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29 Nov

Sellers not allowed to rely on “escape clause” to accept a better offer

Monday, November 29, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, GTA Real Estate

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In some cases, sellers may wish to ‘hedge their bets’ by accepting a conditional offer that contains a term allowing them to continue to market the property for sale until... 

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26 Nov

Porch bandits - adverse possession remains alive and well in Toronto

Friday, November 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationLand Title Act, GTA Real Estate

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The doctrine of adverse possession remains alive and well in Toronto despite the conversion of most properties into the Land Titles registry system many...

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22 Nov

Unfulfilled Promise to Transfer Family Property Upheld by Court of Appeal for Ontario

Monday, November 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation

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In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal addressed the longstanding relationship in estate litigation between the enforceability of promises, unjust enrichment, and the remedy...

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5 Nov

Lawyer who was not provided the opportunity to be heard about breach of duty to the court was denied procedural fairness

Friday, November 5, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationProcedural Fairness

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Professional reputations which take years to build can be damaged by negative comments in judicial reasons, which are publicly available on CanLII and...

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3 Nov

Realtor’s full and final release extended to cover brokerage

Wednesday, November 3, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Commercial Real Estate

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Litigation claims or the threat thereof are often settled by way of payment by one party to the other in exchange for a full and...

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2 Nov

Lawyer not added as a defendant to counterclaim in real estate dispute

Tuesday, November 2, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Real Estate

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In general, rules governing the amendment of pleadings in a civil action are generous. Courts are mandated to allow amendments. However in circumstances where an...

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1 Nov

Stepfather’s mortgage to stepdaughter determined to be a gift rather than a loan

Monday, November 1, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationLoans, Real Estate, GTA Real Estate, Monetary Gift, Brampton

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Family members who provide financial assistance to each other for the purpose of purchasing real estate may intend that such funds be a gift without any expectation of...

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29 Oct

Investor required to return funds received for limited partnership units based on calculation mistake

Friday, October 29, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation

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In certain circumstances, the legal doctrines of common mistake and rectification may provide a remedy to a party who has paid out funds that are based upon admitted errors in...

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26 Oct

Buyers bound to agreement of purchase and sale negotiated by family friend

Tuesday, October 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, GTA Real Estate

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Buyers who rely on real estate services provided by a family friend would do well to ensure that they are fully aware of the consequences of entering into a...

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25 Oct

Mortgage lender did not breach duty of honest contractual performance

Monday, October 25, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario Mortgages Act

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A mortgage lender enforcing its rights under a mortgage may owe the borrower a duty to do so honestly and in good faith. However, this does not mean that...

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19 Oct

Ontario’s “appropriate means” test for limitation periods after Grant Thornton v. New Brunswick

Tuesday, October 19, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationLimitation Periods, Ontario Limitations Act

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As we recently wrote, the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision on limitation periods in Grant Thornton v New Brunswick, 2021 SCC 31 (CanLII), left open the question of how

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18 Oct

Snapchat post results in liability for defamation

Monday, October 18, 2021James R.G. Cook

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Capturing and reposting a screen shot of a private Snapchat photo sent by another person can result in liability for damages if it includes defamatory comments about...

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12 Oct

Lawyer who lied about personal background and shared client information did not breach duty of loyalty

Tuesday, October 12, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDuty of Loyalty

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The duty of loyalty owed by lawyers to their clients is a foundational principle in the adversarial system. The Supreme Court of Canada has described the duty of...

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7 Oct

Mortgage granted by defendant facing trial judgment set aside as a fraudulent conveyance

Thursday, October 7, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateFraudulent Conveyances Act, Assignments and Preferences Act

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Defendants facing the prospect of an unfavourable ruling at trial should be aware that any conveyances or payments to third parties during...

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7 Oct

Plaintiffs ordered to pay costs of $164,186 after trying to bully defendants into removing negative online reviews

Thursday, October 7, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Online Review, Courts of Justice Act

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Plaintiffs who commence a defamation action would be well-advised to consider the potential consequences of having the claim dismissed at an early stage...

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4 Oct

Supreme Court of Canada upholds reduction in size of Toronto's City Council

Monday, October 4, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. Tighe, James R.G. CookLitigationToronto Politics, Supreme Court of Canada, City Councillors

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In Canada’s recent federal election, voters demonstrated a passion for democracy and were willing to stand in long line-ups to exercise their... 

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4 Oct

Dispute between neighbours over fence location results liability for trespass

Monday, October 4, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real Estate

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Fences may make good neighbours but not when they can’t agree on where the fence should be located. In Lombardo v. 2672140 Ontario Inc...

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27 Sep

Lack of written contract for home construction project results in dispute with contractor

Monday, September 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationConstruction , Home Construction, Renovations, Construction Act

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Major home construction projects involve a substantial investment of time and money. There is typically a high amount of stress involved for homeowners over the scope of...

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24 Sep

Court refuses to enforce mortgage prepayment penalty

Friday, September 24, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Mortgage Fees

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Many Canadian mortgages have a prepayment term that imposes a penalty if the mortgage advance is repaid by the borrower before the maturity date. The general purpose of...

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23 Sep

Employer obtains punitive damages and constructive trust over employee’s property as a result of kickback scheme

Thursday, September 23, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationFraud, Kickbacks

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Dishonest employees who are responsible for misappropriating funds from their employer may face civil judgment for the amount of the...

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22 Sep

Blogger liable to plastic surgeon for defamatory posts about botched breast augmentation

Wednesday, September 22, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kevin MooibroekLitigationDefamation

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A British Columbia plastic surgeon successfully sued a former patient for defamation following comments she posted online alleging...

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10 Sep

Condominium owner liable for costs due to tenant’s misconduct

Friday, September 10, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCondominium, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Condominium Act

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Many condominium units are purchased as investment properties with the owners leasing out the units to tenants. This may result in a... 

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3 Sep

Mortgage syndicate required to repay funds to investor due to breach of subscription agreement

Friday, September 3, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real Estate

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Mortgage syndicates may offer individual investors the opportunity to realize high rates of return by participating in real estate developments and...

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27 Aug

Defendant required to repay $96,000 received from married boyfriend

Friday, August 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationMonetary Gift

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Funds transferred from one intimate partner to another during the course of a relationship may be subject to repayment unless the recipient can prove the money was a... 

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20 Aug

Buyer’s failure to conduct due diligence defeats claim for misrepresentation against seller of laundry business

Friday, August 20, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real Estate

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Buyers of a small business would do well to conduct as much due diligence as a purchase agreement allows concerning the alleged income of the business being purchased. Certainly, any representations made by a...

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11 Aug

Buyer entitled to repudiate agreement after discovering water damage

Wednesday, August 11, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, GTA Real Estate

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During the period between the time an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) is signed and the completion date, a property being purchased usually remains in... 

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6 Aug

Business owner avoids liability under personal guarantee

Friday, August 6, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation

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Business owners will often be asked to provide a personal guarantee for loans to their corporations to provide an additional measure of security. Lenders should ensure that...

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3 Aug

Buyers lose right to recover deposit after seller breaches agreement

Tuesday, August 3, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale

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After an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) is signed and a deposit is paid it may be weeks or months before the scheduled completion date. In the case of new properties under construction, it could be...

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30 Jul

“Plausible inference” test affirms that plaintiffs must exercise reasonable diligence to discover claims

Friday, July 30, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationNegligence, Limitation of Actions Act

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In Grant Thornton LLP v. New Brunswick, 2021 SCC 31 (CanLII), the Supreme Court of Canada determined that a claim by the Province of New Brunswick against Grant Thornton LLP was statute-barred as the...

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27 Jul

Court dismisses non-competition injunction against brothers who sold auto parts business

Tuesday, July 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationNon-Compete, Auto Parts

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In UAP Inc. v. Yako2021 ONSC 5065 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiff’s request for an interim injunction enforcing a non-competition clause... 

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26 Jul

Lawyer liable for defaming daughter of former client

Monday, July 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation

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A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice demonstrates that correspondence written by a lawyer may give rise to a claim for defamation if...

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22 Jul

Plaintiff Suffers Blow: Punch to Face in Amateur Ice Hockey Game Found to be Not Reasonably Foreseeable

Thursday, July 22, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigationHockey, Torts, Sports Law

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Ice hockey is governed by rules which penalize certain physical infractions, including cross-checking, fighting, hitting from behind, and...

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9 Jul

Commission owed to real estate agent despite lack of written agreement

Friday, July 9, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationSmall Claims Court, Real Estate, Buyer’s Representation Agreement, GTA Real Estate, Caledon

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In the real estate industry, relationships between buyers and their real estate agent are often governed by a written Buyers Representation Agreement (“BRA”). A BRA usually... 

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8 Jul

Court issues injunction to stop online harassment and intimidation pending trial

Thursday, July 8, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationLandlord, Real Estate, Civil Litigation, Harassment, Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board, YouTube, Internet Harassment

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Online harassment has become a major issue in Canadian society and has resulted in the burgeoning tort of “internet harassment” specifically designed to...

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5 Jul

Oral agreement to transfer family home results in years of litigation between father and daughter

Monday, July 5, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateMississauga, GTA Real Estate

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Agreements between family members are often informal and not reduced to writing, even if they involve substantial assets such as real estate. The parties may think that they have agreed on some of the terms but... 

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2 Jul

Seller entitled to repossess townhouse after buyer fails to complete purchase

Friday, July 2, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Real Estate, GTA Real Estate

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Sales of new condominiums and townhouses may sometimes allow a buyer to move into a unit on an “interim occupancy date” which may be several months before the purchase is scheduled to be finally...

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28 Jun

Environmental injunctions need not pass the flagrant breach threshold

Monday, June 28, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kenneth JullLitigationConservation Authorities Act

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In Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority v. Eng, the applicant Conservation Authority obtained an interim injunction against the owner of a property in an area of...

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25 Jun

Court refuses to hear dispute over requisitions due to self-induced urgency

Friday, June 25, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateVendors and Purchasers Act

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Currently, the civil hearings list in Toronto is backlogged and suffering from what one Superior Court Justice has called “unacceptably long timeouts for civil motions and applications due to the effects of the...

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18 Jun

Zak Sabbath’s defamation claim allowed to continue against Mandy Morbid

Friday, June 18, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationLibel, Defamation, Social Media, Facebook, SLAPP

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In early 2019, a former model and adult film performer, Amanda Nagy also known as “Mandy Morbid,” posted a message on her Facebook page saying that Zak Smith, her former husband,  artist, tabletop role-playing game (RPG) creator and... 

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16 Jun

“Business common sense” determines winner of commission dispute

Wednesday, June 16, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Buyer’s Representation Agreement, Commercial Real Estate

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When courts have to decide whose version of a conversation is more likely to have occurred, recourse must often be had to the surrounding circumstances and any available...

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15 Jun

Late document disclosure may cause trial delays, adjournments, and dismissals

Tuesday, June 15, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Ontario Evidence Act

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Parties involved in civil litigation are required to produce all relevant documents in their possession, control or power to the opposite side. The Court of Appeal for Ontario has stated that...

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14 Jun

Fitness franchise fails to obtain injunction to stop rebranding of fitness studio during the pandemic

Monday, June 14, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kevin MooibroekLitigationCOVID-19, Fitness Studio, Franchise

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on businesses operating gymnasiums and personal training studios since public health authorities have deemed it unsafe for groups of people to...

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11 Jun

Claim for Road Access Act and prescriptive easement to landlocked property dismissed

Friday, June 11, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateHighway Traffic Act, Ontario Road Access Act

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In Balogh v. R.C. Yantha Electric Ltd., 2021 ONCA 266 (CanLII), the Court of Appeal for Ontario affirmed that the appellants had no right to cross the respondents’ land to get to their otherwise landlocked property.

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10 Jun

Court reaches opposite conclusion on whether constructive dismissal claims are barred by Ontario COVID-19 Regulations

Thursday, June 10, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kevin MooibroekLitigation, Employment Law, Employment Standards Act

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Employers may be relieved that in Taylor v. Hanley Hospitality Inc., 2021 ONSC 3135 [not yet on CanLII], a second judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reached an opposite conclusion to an earlier decision involving...

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7 Jun

Conviction set aside due to ineffective assistance of trial counsel

Monday, June 7, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Court of Appeal , Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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In R. v. Trought2021 ONCA 379 the Court of Appeal for Ontario ordered a new trial for a man convicted of possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking on...

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4 Jun

Buyer’s failure to waive conditions nullifies agreement of purchase and sale

Friday, June 4, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Land Title Act, GTA Real Estate

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While conditional offers may be rare in the Greater Toronto Area, where multiple bidders compete for most properties, buyers in less heated markets may...

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3 Jun

Court of Appeal affirms judicial notice of anti-black racism in granting relief from forfeiture

Thursday, June 3, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationTenant, Landlord, Ontario Court of Appeal , Courts of Justice Act, Restaurant

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In 8573123 Canada Inc. (Elias Restaurant) v. Keele Sheppard Plaza Inc.2021 ONCA 371, the Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed an application judge’s decision which...

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2 Jun

Who gets the dog? Court endorses broader ownership considerations for pets

Wednesday, June 2, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationPet Ownership, Family Pets

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On a day when travelers are learning that Air Canada has barred emotional support animals from planes, it is worth remembering that in the eyes of the law pets have traditionally...

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28 May

Letters of Request enforced in connection with U.S commercial litigation

Friday, May 28, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Letters of Request, Ontario Evidence Act

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Recent decisions involving the enforcement of letters of request issued by U.S. courts reflect the continued openness of Ontario courts to...

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27 May

92-year old minority shareholder obtains oppression remedy

Thursday, May 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationShareholders’ Agreement, Courts of Justice Act, Ontario Business Corporations Act

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In V.M. Koury Investments Ltd. v. Bolton Steel Tube Co. Ltd., 2021 ONSC 3408 (CanLII), the 92-year old applicant owned 30% of the shares...

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26 May

Duty of professionals to respond promptly and cooperatively with regulators

Wednesday, May 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Ontario Court of Appeal , Law Society of Ontario

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The Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that professionals have a duty to cooperate promptly and fully with their regulator during the course of...

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25 May

Buyer loses $100,000 deposit after refusing to purchase condominium

Tuesday, May 25, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Ontario Court of Appeal , Real Estate

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It is settled law in Ontario that when a buyer fails to complete an agreement of purchase and sale, the seller is entitled to retain the deposit without having to prove any loss. This means that... 

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21 May

Fitness studio denied injunction to reopen during pandemic

Friday, May 21, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCOVID-19, State of Emergency, Human Rights Code, Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

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In April 2021, the Province of Ontario declared a second state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and issued a province-wide stay-at-home order, which...

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20 May

Professional negligence claim dismissed against lawyer despite conflict of interest and breach of the standard of care

Thursday, May 20, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Breach of the Standard of Care

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“There is no such thing as negligence in the abstract,” notes Regional Senior Justice Calum MacLeod in Maisonneuve v. Langlois,...

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14 May

Compliance Order obtained against condominium owners for unruly behaviour and refusal to wear masks

Friday, May 14, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCondominium, Compliance, Condominium Act, By-Laws, Masks

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Living in a condominium requires a balancing of interests between the residents and compliance with the rules and by-laws that govern the community. No owner can be permitted run amok or...

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4 May

Power of sale set aside due to mortgagee's refusal to provide discharge statement

Tuesday, May 4, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario Mortgages Act, GTA Real Estate

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A mortgagor has a right to request a discharge statement from a mortgagee at any time prior to the mortgaged property being sold by... 

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3 May

Buyers’ liability to sellers in aborted real estate transactions - Part 2

Monday, May 3, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, GTA Real Estate

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We have previously addressed a number of circumstances in which buyers unsuccessfully attempted to back out of a binding Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) for the purchase...

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29 Apr

Constructive dismissal claim resulting from temporary layoff not barred by Ontario COVID-19 Regulation

Thursday, April 29, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Employment LawEmployment Agreements, COVID-19, Employer, Employee, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL Regulation), Employment Standards Act, 2000, Constructive Dismissal

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In Coutinho v. Ocular Health Centre Ltd., 2021 ONSC 3076, Justice D.A. Broad of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed an employer’s motion for summary judgment which sought the dismissal of an employee’s action for constructive dismissal arising...

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27 Apr

Agent’s claim to commission owing under BRA dismissed due to non est factum

Tuesday, April 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateMississauga, Buyer’s Representation Agreement, GTA Real Estate

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Agents often require buyer clients to enter into a Buyer’s Representation Agreement (BRA) which sets out the buyer’s agreement to pay the agent a commission on... 

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26 Apr

Failure to disclose material facts to insurer voids coverage for delivering pizza

Monday, April 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationInsurance Policy, Insurance Law, Ontario Insurance Act, Automobile Insurance

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Failing to advise an insurance company of material facts relating to the policy may result in a loss of coverage at a time when it is needed most.

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22 Apr

Potentially fake app messages result in appeal from firebombing conviction

Thursday, April 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Court of Appeal , Facebook, Fake News, Text Now , SMS Text Messages

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We have previously addressed the concerns of a civil court judge about the perils of having to deal with “fake news” in the form of spoofed emails and electronic documents. The Ontario Court of Appeal has addressed similar concerns as to...

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13 Apr

Family Cottage Squabbles: Court orders family members to stop interfering with each other’s enjoyment of cottage property

Tuesday, April 13, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCottage Country, Real Estate, Trusts

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Cottage properties may be used by extended families over the years without regard to who has legal title or whether there are legally binding rules for ownership and use. When senior members of family age, disputes may...

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9 Apr

County Festival Feud: Plaintiff fails to prove verbal agreement or bad faith against festival organizers and municipality

Friday, April 9, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationContract Law, Municipal Act, Powassan, Ontario Limitations Act

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The annual “Smoke ‘N’ Spurs Festival” on the Labour Day Weekend in Powassan, Ontario, commenced in 2013. A caterer for the Festival from 2013-2015, claimed that he was lured away...

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8 Apr

Business founder obtains oppression remedy against investors

Thursday, April 8, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCorporations Act, Corporate Law, Oppression Remedy

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The oppression remedy in Canadian corporate law protects the reasonable expectations of stakeholders in a corporation. Shareholders, directors, and other stakeholders enter into...

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7 Apr

Owner of corporation personally liable for litigation misfeasance

Wednesday, April 7, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Personal Liability

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One of the perceived benefits of using a corporation for real estate or other business transactions is to shield the individual owner from personal liability for costs and other...

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6 Apr

Recent treatment of the duty to defend in Ontario courts

Tuesday, April 6, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kenneth JullLitigationInsurance Policy, Ontario Court of Appeal , Negligence, Insurance Law, Policy, Class Action

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Where there is a dispute between an insurer and an insured over the insurer’s duty to defend a claim being made against an insured, the insured will ordinarily need to bring an application for... 

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5 Apr

Buyers not allowed to terminate purchase due to size misdescription or building permit concerns

Monday, April 5, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationReal Estate, Mississauga, Renovations

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While the discovery of misdescriptions as to the size of a property or unpermitted renovations may allow a buyer to terminate a purchase transaction,...

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1 Apr

A short walk to the beach – What is reasonably necessary for a prescriptive easement?

Thursday, April 1, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCottage Country, Easement, Lakefront

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One of the requirements to establish a prescriptive easement is that it is “reasonably necessary” for the better enjoyment of the owner of the land who claims the prescriptive

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28 Mar

Court dismisses non-competition injunction against former key employee

Sunday, March 28, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Employment LawContract Law, Employer, Employee, Restrictive Covenant, Non-Compete

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When relationships end between a business and an individual who was a principal thereof, the business may be understandably concerned about competitive ventures it may face from its...

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26 Mar

Buyers’ liability to sellers in aborted real estate closings - Part 1

Friday, March 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateSummary Judgment, Planning Act

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“The factual background to this summary judgment motion is a sad story that has frequently been retold in courtrooms across the land with the same tragic ending.”

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22 Mar

Municipality improperly abandoned ratepayers by failing to oppose application for legal non-conforming use of lakeside land

Monday, March 22, 2021James R.G. CookMunicipal Law, Litigation, Real EstateOntario, Zoning By-Law, Norfolk County

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Some municipal zoning restrictions are intended to address local planning needs for commercial and residential purposes, while other...

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15 Mar

Estate’s claim to recover $700,000 gift from elderly man to fiancée dismissed

Monday, March 15, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Court of Appeal , Trustee Act

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We have previously written about gratuitous transfers of real estate between family members, and the requirement on the recipient’s part to prove that the transfer was intended to be a gift if the purpose... 

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12 Mar

Legal non-conforming use prevents municipality from enforcing zoning by-law

Friday, March 12, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationZoning By-Law, Planning Act, Town of Caledon

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While some property owners may believe that they can do what they want with their own land, municipalities control development and the permitted use...

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11 Mar

Online e-commerce platform not required to provide services to retailer of products promoting hate or violence

Thursday, March 11, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed an injunction sought by an online retainer against an e-commerce platform which refused to allow it to carry on business selling...

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10 Mar

Hockey tournament dispute leads to shareholder oppression remedy

Wednesday, March 10, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationHockey, Corporations Act

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Individuals involved in a small business venture may view themselves as equal partners, but if they make the decision to use a corporation for their business, they should be aware that the...

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9 Mar

Court grapples with fake electronic evidence and Zoom imposter witness

Tuesday, March 9, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Ontario Evidence Act, Evidence, Zoom

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As we discussed in a recent blog, technological advances have resulted in a digital revolution in the justice system, but these same... 

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8 Mar

Claim for adverse possession of land against an unknown owner

Monday, March 8, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateLand Registry, Land Title Act, Adverse Possession

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A claim for title by adverse possession can grant property rights to a non-owner of land resulting from their use or occupation of the lands over an...

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23 Feb

“Enough is Enough” – frustration expressed by Ontario Courts over litigation misconduct during the pandemic

Tuesday, February 23, 2021Gavin J. Tighe, James R.G. Cook, Kevin MooibroekLitigationCOVID-19, Frustration

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At the time of this writing, it has been almost a year since civil litigation was routinely conducted in a physical courtroom. While parties and their...

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22 Feb

Letters of Request denied for access to confidential business information

Monday, February 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Court of Appeal , Letters of Request, Referral Agreement

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The process by which a foreign court seeks the assistance of an Ontario court to gather evidence for use in local proceedings, as discussed...

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22 Feb

Airbnb renters of landlocked cottage allowed to access lake via right-of-way

Monday, February 22, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCottage Country, Right-of-way Access , Airbnb, Bay of Quinte

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It is not uncommon for non-lakefront cottage properties in Ontario to have access to the water via a right-of-way (ROW). ROWs may be registered on title or...

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17 Feb

Breach of privacy class action against Facebook relating to Cambridge Analytica dismissed

Wednesday, February 17, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, LitigationCambridge Analytica, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, Facebook, Class Action, Class Action, Privacy Rights, Privacy Rights

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed a class action against Facebook for breach of privacy arising from what the motion judge described as...

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16 Feb

Proposed Danforth Shooting class action against Smith & Wesson relating to authorized user technology allowed to proceed

Tuesday, February 16, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationRules of Civil Procedure, Class Proceedings Act, 1992, Handgun

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed a motion by Smith & Wesson Corp to throw out a potential class action for negligent manufacturing of the firearm used in a mass shooting in... 

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10 Feb

Defamation Judgment Upheld Against Pseudonymous Online Poster

Wednesday, February 10, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation

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In Theralase Technologies Inc. v Lanter, 2021 ONSC 943 (CanLII)Justice F.L. Myers dismissed a motion to set aside default judgment obtained against a defendant who...

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1 Feb

Internet Harassment Tort Recognized by Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Monday, February 1, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Torts, Cyber-stalking, Harassment

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Cyber-stalking and anonymous malicious postings on the internet, which may be disseminated across a variety of sites and platforms across the world, are issues to which the...

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27 Jan

Township Liable to Muskoka Cottage Owners for Failing to Inspect Building Permit

Wednesday, January 27, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCottage Country, Building Code, Building Code Act, Muskoka

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Owners of a cottage in Muskoka obtained judgment against the Township of the Lake of Bays in the amount of $361,875, resulting from the...

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26 Jan

Defamation claim against Twitter allowed to proceed in British Columbia

Tuesday, January 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationBritish Columbia, Defamation, Twitter

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When defamatory statements are alleged to have been transmitted internationally via social media, the question of where to start a...

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25 Jan

Subway’s $210 million chicken content defamation claim against the CBC restored by Court of Appeal

Monday, January 25, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Subway, Chicken, CBC

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The Ontario Court of Appeal has restored Subway’s defamation action against the CBC which was dismissed in 2019 pursuant to Ontario’s...

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18 Jan

Notoriously Bad Movie leads to Unprecedented Order for Security for Costs of Trial Judgment

Monday, January 18, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationCopyright, Rules of Civil Procedure, Ontario Court of Appeal , Copyright Act, Documentary Film-makers

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For perhaps the first time, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered an unsuccessful litigant to post security for costs of a trial judgment before being allowed to proceed with...

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15 Jan

Home Owners Ordered to Remove Pool built over Municipal Easement

Friday, January 15, 2021James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateMunicipal Act, Easement

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Home buyers would do well to ensure that their local municipal by-laws and easements do not prohibit their development plans before they embark...

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14 Jan

Employer Breached Employee’s Right to Privacy by Reviewing Private Messages sent from Work Laptop

Thursday, January 14, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationArbitration, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Human Rights Act

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Employees frequently use laptop computers provided to them by their employer for personal matters as well as employment-related tasks. To what extent can an employer review private messages...

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8 Jan

Freelance Consultants Not Bound by Non-Competition Agreement

Friday, January 8, 2021James R.G. Cook, Kevin MooibroekLitigation, Employment LawContract Law, Non-Compete, Trial Procedure, Civil Procedure

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Freelance consultants may often be faced with a decision to enter into contracts which purport to limit their ability to seek out what might be construed as...

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4 Jan

Recent Treatment of Letters of Request from U.S. Courts by the Ontario Court of Appeal

Monday, January 4, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Court of Appeal , Letters of Request, Ontario Evidence Act

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As a result of the highly integrated economies and efficient cross-border movement between Canada and the United States (at least prior to the 2020 pandemic), the courts in each country frequently seek each other’s...

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30 Dec

Court Prohibits Competing Restaurant Business from Opening

Wednesday, December 30, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationShareholders’ Agreement, Ottawa, Restaurant, Interlocutory Injunction , Non-Compete

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Many will be grateful to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, none more so than restaurant owners. With restaurants scrambling to re-focus on take-out service, perhaps the last thing...

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24 Dec

Court Denies Mortgagee’s Claim for Unproven Fees and Charges under Overdue Mortgage

Thursday, December 24, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateMortgage Fees, Interest Act, Ontario Mortgages Act

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Mortgagees suing to recover amounts owing under a mortgage in default should not expect a court to rubber stamp the amounts claimed for fees...

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22 Dec

Seller Not Responsible for Zoning or Future Use Limitations of a Property

Tuesday, December 22, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Zoning By-Law

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A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice affirmed that preliminary discussions between a buyer and seller regarding the potential zoning or...

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14 Dec

Civil Conspiracy Established against Directors of Shell Company for Loss of Investment

Monday, December 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Civil LawFraud, Ontario Court of Appeal

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The Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that liability for civil conspiracy may arise from the “constructive intent” of a defendant to cause harm even if they are not in direct communication with the plaintiff during...

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11 Dec

Parent’s Claim to Recover Home Transferred to Daughter Dismissed

Friday, December 11, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationWills, Real Estate, Smith Falls, Trusts

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Property is often transferred between family members without money exchanging hands. There are many reasons for doing so, including estate planning, assisting children with buying a home, removing property from...

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8 Dec

HBC’s Efforts to Withhold Rent Due to Landlords’ Failure to Maintain “First Class” Shopping Centres

Tuesday, December 8, 2020James R.G. Cook, Eli BordmanLitigationRetail Shopping, COVID-19, Commercial Tenancies Act, Commercial Landlord, HVAC

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers leery of indoor shopping and retailers being forced to keep their doors closed due to health...

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7 Dec

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Doctor’s Damages for Defamatory Postings on RateMDs.com

Monday, December 7, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Damages, Ontario Court of Appeal

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In response to a series of negative and untruthful online reviews, a medical doctor sued the author of the posts for defamation and was awarded...

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2 Dec

Misrepresentation in Square Footage leads to Rescission of Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Wednesday, December 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Ontario Court of Appeal , Stouffville, Misrepresentation

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A misrepresentation by the seller and real estate agent as to the square footage of a residential property in Stouffville, Ontario resulted in the rescission of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale... 

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30 Nov

Abandoned Use of Easement Leads to Loss of Backyard Parking Pad

Monday, November 30, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationToronto, Land Title Act, Easement, Conveyancing Law and Property Act , Real Estate

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In a densely populated city like Toronto, many older neighbourhoods contain tightly-packed homes separated by narrow easements which provide access to...

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27 Nov

Injunction to Remove Allegedly Defamatory Social Media Posts Dismissed

Friday, November 27, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Damages, BLM Movement, Social Media, Free Speech

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A recent case of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice illustrates the difficulties that a plaintiff may encounter when seeking to stop allegedly defamatory posts...

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9 Nov

Dock Dispute leads to Nuisance Claim and $598,000 Costs Award

Monday, November 9, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateDamages, Cottage Country, Ontario Court of Appeal , Lake Simcoe, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry , Boat Dock

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After years of litigation, a dispute between neighbours of waterfront properties on Lake Simcoe led to a mandatory order requiring the removal...

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6 Nov

Municipality Restrained from Interfering with Cottage Owners’ use of Fire-Pit Lands

Friday, November 6, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCottage Country, Zoning By-Law, Georgian Bay, Fire-Pit

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Seasonal residents of cottage properties in Tiny Township obtained an injunction prohibiting the municipality from interfering with their use of disputed lands containing...

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5 Nov

Injunction to Stop Neighbour’s House Construction near Escarpment Dismissed

Thursday, November 5, 2020James R.G. CookMunicipal Law, Litigation, Real EstateBuilding, Building Code Act, 1992, Conservation Authorities Act

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A property owner’s application for an injunction against his neighbour to stop construction of a property which he claimed was in contravention of municipal and conservation authority regulations was...

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2 Nov

Volunteer Coaches’ Defamation Claim Dismissed as Contrary to Public Interest

Monday, November 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation

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The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a defamation claim which arose from an email sent by parents of a competitive ringette player expressing their dissatisfaction with

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28 Oct

Injunction Granted to Hotel to Enforce Noise By-Law

Wednesday, October 28, 2020James R.G. CookMunicipal Law, LitigationEnvironmental Protection Act, Municipal Act

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Potential harm to a hotel’s online reputation for providing a quiet night’s sleep may be sufficient grounds to obtain an injunction to restrain a noisy neighbour. In JJ’s Hospitality v. Kal Tire2020 ONSC 6198 (CanLII), a hotel in...

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23 Oct

Discovery of Water Damage Insufficient to Terminate Real Estate Purchase Transaction

Friday, October 23, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateFlooding, Insurance Policy, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Damages

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In Bilotta v. Booth2020 ONCA 522, the Ontario Court of Appeal determined that the buyer of a residential property did not have the right to...

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20 Oct

Real Estate Investor’s Claim for Lost Opportunity Damages Rejected

Tuesday, October 20, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateAgreement of Purchase and Sale, Damages

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In Akelius Canada Inc. v. 2436196 Ontario Inc., 2020 ONSC 6182 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice...

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14 Oct

Caveat Emptor Applied to Alleged Basement Flooding Damage

Wednesday, October 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateTermination, Flooding, Damages

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In Giancola v. Dobrydnev, 2020 ONSC 6007 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected a buyer’s attempt to...

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9 Oct

Township’s Prescriptive Easement Upheld by Court of Appeal

Friday, October 9, 2020James R.G. CookMunicipal Law, LitigationLand Registry, Ontario Court of Appeal , Land Title Act

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In Paleshi Motors Limited v. Woolwich (Township)2020 ONCA 625 (CanLII), the Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed that a Township had established a prescriptive easement over private lands for the...

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7 Oct

Partial shutdown of business does not preclude business interruption claim

Wednesday, October 7, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, James R.G. CookLitigation, Insurance ActCOVID-19, Business Interruption Loss Policy

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As we head into the seventh month of the artificial economic lockdown ordered by Canadian governments at all levels and brace ourselves for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in multiple sectors continue to seek compensation from their...

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5 Oct

Ontario Court of Appeal Declines to Enforce “Building Scheme” Restrictions

Monday, October 5, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario, Development, Ontario Court of Appeal , Land Title Act, Restrictive Covenant

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A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed a developer’s attempt to enforce a “building scheme” restricting the construction of an...

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24 Sep

Real Estate Agent’s Defamation Claim Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion

Thursday, September 24, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateDefamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Online Review

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In Niu v. Cao2020 ONSC 5407 (CanLII), an Ontario real estate agent was permitted to proceed with a defamation claim stemming from online postings maligning...

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21 Sep
14 Sep

Fence Dispute Leads to $70,000 Defamation Judgment

Monday, September 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateSmall Claims Court, Libel, Slander, Defamation

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A dispute between two neighbours over a fence led to a $70,000 judgment against an online activist who posted defamatory comments about one of the...

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4 Sep

Lake access easements should be carefully scrutinized prior to purchase

Friday, September 4, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateCottage Country, Right-of-way Access , Lake Waseosa

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In a dispute not uncommon to Canadian cottage country, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently addressed whether the owner of a non-lakefront property...

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2 Sep

Buyer’s Claim for Lost Value Damages of a Residential Subdivision Home

Wednesday, September 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateContract Law, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Damages

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The party seeking damages arising from a failed real estate transaction is often the seller, who seeks to recover the agreed-upon sale price from a buyer. Conversely, when a seller breaches the agreement...

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31 Aug

Unconscionability in Real Estate Transactions Post-Uber

Monday, August 31, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateToronto, Contract Law, Irrevocability Clause

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In Forest Hill Homes (Cornell Rouge) Limited v. Wei2020 ONSC 5060 (CanLII), Justice F.L. Myers applied the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent review of the...

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17 Aug

Online Reviews, Freedom of Expression and Anti-SLAPP Legislation: 910938 Ontario Inc v Moore

Monday, August 17, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Complaints, Anti-SLAPP Legislation

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Consider a time when you had a terrible customer service experience while shopping, going to the dentist, or grabbing a bite to eat with some friends. Perhaps you felt sufficiently motivated to post a negative...

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27 Apr

Property Disputes during a Pandemic

Monday, April 27, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateOntario, Coronavirus, COVID-19

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In Ontario regular civil court operations have been largely suspended since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One consequence of this has been the temporary postponement of...

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11 Mar

Zombie Deed Sparks Reoccurring Legal Debate

Wednesday, March 11, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateZombie Deed, Probate, Land Registry

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Absent a sequel by way of appeal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice may have struck the final blow to the head of “zombie deeds”. A “zombie deed” generally refers to...

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29 Jan

Dispute Over Outhouse Clogs Up The Courts: Armstrong v. Moore

Wednesday, January 29, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Land Use Regulation, Real Estate, Land Titles ActCosts, Ontario

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Can the location of an outhouse grant title to a portion of the neighbour’s land? This was the smelly issue facing the Court in a matter that went through a seven day trial followed by a recent trip to...

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5 Dec

Advertisers Beware

Tuesday, December 5, 2017James R.G. CookLitigationSmall Claims Court, Ontario, Advertising

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How much is your physical image worth if it is used in an advertisement without your permission? A recent decision of the Ontario Superior of Justice (Ottawa Small Claims Court) addressed this...

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22 Aug

Cottage Country Access Lessons

Tuesday, August 22, 2017James R.G. CookMunicipal Law, Litigation, Land Use Regulation, Land Titles Act

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With the 2017 summer cottage season winding down, a recent case involving sparing neighbours reminds us of the importance of ensuring you have some form of legalized road access to your rural retreat.

Brown v Savage, 2017 ONSC 4357, involved two waterfront properties on Buckham’s Bay on the Ottawa River...

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29 Mar

Mortgage Fraud: Who Has Priority In A Dispute?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017James R.G. CookLitigation, Land Titles ActMortgage Fraud

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A recent Ontario Divisional Court decision, CIBC Mortgages Inc. v Computershare Trust Company of Canada, 2016 ONSC 7094...

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