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21 Oct

Defamer gets 18 month jail sentence for contempt of court

Thursday, October 21, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Remedies, Contempt of Court

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In the law of defamation, we only tend to think about the damages that are awarded for a person’s loss of reputation or the intellectual analysis conducted by... 

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15 Oct

Incorrect Counting of Unused Ballots Results in Judicial Recount

Friday, October 15, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationPolitical Law, Election Law , Recounts

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An election is not officially over until all of the ballots are counted and the results are certified by the Chief Electoral Officer. This includes the...

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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. CookLitigationSupreme Court of Canada, Toronto Politics, 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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30 Sep

GR lawyers succeed in having action over cancelled building permit transferred to correct court

Thursday, September 30, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Kenneth JullLitigationConservation Authorities Act, Conservation Authority

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Each jurisdiction has different levels of court. In Ontario, there is the Small Claims Court, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court and the...

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20 Sep

Restrictive covenants and short-term vacation rentals

Monday, September 20, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Real EstateCondominium, Restrictive Covenant, Short-term vacation rentals

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Owning a condominium unit that can be leased for short-term vacation rentals can be exciting. Not only does the owner have a property at which to stay while on vacation without the need to pay for... 

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13 Sep

Sports law and the Competition Act

Monday, September 13, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationSports Law, Competition Act, Professional Sports

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Sports law is not just about representing athletes in their contract negotiations with teams, providing advice and legal services on marketing agreements for...

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1 Sep

Court Refuses To Dismiss Claims That Did Not Engage SLAPP Provisions

Wednesday, September 1, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP

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Section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act (the “CJA”), which permits the dismissal of actions related to an expression made with respect to a matter of public interest, continues to...

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26 Aug

Court finds 500% “penalty” clause enforceable

Thursday, August 26, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Howard WolchLitigationContract Law, Breach of Contract

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In the law of contracts, a penalty is the payment of a stipulated sum on the breach of the contract, irrespective of the damage sustained. In general, where the penalty is...

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24 Aug

Lack of standing prevents challenge to COVID-19 restrictions

Tuesday, August 24, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCOVID-19, Civil Procedure, Charter, Charter Challenge

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to various court challenges in connection with some of the restrictive measures imposed by federal, provincial and...

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30 Jul

Stay refused: Ontario court rules arbitration clause in international commercial contract inoperative

Friday, July 30, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Howard WolchLitigationArbitration

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Courts are not the only place where parties can have their civil disputes resolved. Parties can mutually agree to have their disputes resolved by a mediator or by...

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26 Jul

Facility operator dodges damages award because patron waived liability

Monday, July 26, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationSports Law, Contract Law, Waiver of Liability

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Participating in sports is an activity that is encouraged by many. For example, parents enrol their children in a variety of winter and summer sports so that the children can meet and interact... 

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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, Sports Law, Torts

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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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13 Jul

Wrong for City Councillor to have entered residential properties without permission

Tuesday, July 13, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationPolitical Law, City Councillors, Integrity Complaints

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Politicians occupy an important position in our democracy. They are elected to represent all individuals and to make well-reasoned decisions that, among other things, steer and guide the economy, impose necessary limits on behaviour and put into place a social safety net that...

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5 Jul

Claim for online research costs rejected in Ontario commercial proceeding

Monday, July 5, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Costs

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As we have previously written, many courts are extremely reluctant to grant a winning party recovery for online legal research disbursements when making a costs award. A party who seeks the... 

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29 Jun

Student-Athletes Prevail in Antitrust Action Against the National Collegiate Athletic Association to Secure Education-Related Benefits

Tuesday, June 29, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationSports Law, College, Student Athletes, University

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Last week, in the case of National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston et al. 594 U.S., the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that the rules of the National Collegiate... 

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24 Jun

Tribunal’s independent legal research not procedurally unfair

Thursday, June 24, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Orders and Judgments, Procedural Fairness

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When a judge or an adjudicator renders a decision that is not anchored in the pleadings, evidence, positions or submissions of the parties, appellate courts have overturned the...

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15 Jun

Integrity Commissioner’s ruling against Councillor upheld, but Council cannot unreasonably restrain his ability to communicate with constituents

Tuesday, June 15, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationPolitical Law, Scope, Municipal Code of conduct for members

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In general, politicians at all levels of government in Canada are required to either adhere to a Code of Conduct or are subject to integrity legislation. These Codes or statutory provisions are designed to...

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10 Jun

Ontario third party advertising provisions held to be unconstitutional

Thursday, June 10, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Political Law, Election LawConstitutionality, Third Party Advertising

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The ability to openly and freely debate political issues is the lifeblood of democracy. There is significant value in people being engaged in issues and voicing their positions to others, including government. However, in the past 20 years...

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9 Jun

Litigant Misses the Cut in Lawsuit After Being Hit in the Head by a Golf Ball

Wednesday, June 9, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationSports, Torts, Negligence, Golf, Sports Law

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Spectating a live sporting event is typically an enjoyable experience. Whether in the arena watching a hockey game or on the course taking in a round of golf, there is a general entertainment value that comes with... 

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7 Jun

A Judge’s Duty is to Judge

Monday, June 7, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Rules of Civil Procedure

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A judge plays many roles, but one of the most important is to render a decision between conflicting parties. In rendering a decision, a judge must...

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1 Jun

COVID-19 increases length of reasonable wrongful termination notice to 24 months

Tuesday, June 1, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Employment LawWrongful Dismissal, Reasonable Notice, COVID-19, Wrongful Termination

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COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our economy. Some businesses have gone bankrupt, while others have simply closed down forever. Many people have seen their work hours reduced, while others...

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25 May

Summary judgment denied over defamatory TV show first aired in Pakistan

Tuesday, May 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Summary Judgment, Libel, Slander

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Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure provide that where there is no genuine issue requiring a trial, summary judgment shall be granted. It has been determined by Ontario courts that this rule is...

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20 May

Nova Scotia court prevents anti-masking protest from happening

Thursday, May 20, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, InjunctionsCOVID-19, Remedies

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This past weekend, despite Ontario’s stay-at-home order, there were two major public protests in Toronto. On late Saturday afternoon (May 15th) an estimated crowd of...

 

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14 May

$500,000 in damages awarded for comments about yellow Ferrari’s ownership

Friday, May 14, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Damages, Torts

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Cars are a tremendous invention. Historically, among other things, cars changed the way that people travelled and reduced significantly the travel time between destinations. Cars are certainly very popular and...

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30 Apr

Injunction granted to stop defamatory posts published on Instagram

Friday, April 30, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, Injunction

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Social media is a great tool for, among other things, the promotion of personal or business interests, or connecting with like-minded individuals. It provides a window to... 

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21 Apr

Recovering Online Legal Research Disbursements

Wednesday, April 21, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Disbursements

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In previous blogs, I have written about the careful scrutiny given by courts to claims for costs for online legal research incurred during a proceeding. In most instances, the claims have either been disallowed or...

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5 Apr

Gratuitous Defamatory Tweets About Plaintiff Not Protected as a Matter of Public Interest

Monday, April 5, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP, Pre-trial Disposition

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The internet and social media have spawned much civil litigation in the area of defamation. There is no cost to obtaining a Twitter account, for example, and to “tweeting” out a...

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26 Mar

Federal Conservative Party Member Wins Pyrrhic Court Victory: Loses in Party Election

Friday, March 26, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationPolitical Law, Contract Law, Contractual Rights, Political Parties, Membership

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I preface this political law blog with the full disclosure that although I am involved in party politics, I am not a member of any federal political party in Canada...

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24 Mar

Motion to enjoin hotel quarantine law denied

Wednesday, March 24, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Constitutional Law, Charter of Rights and FreedomsCOVID-19, Interim Injunction

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused our governments to implement laws aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. While many of those laws arguably have a minimal effect or none at all on...

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15 Mar

A Victory for Freedom of Speech

Monday, March 15, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationFreedom of Expression, Political Law, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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The framers of the U.S. Constitution wrote that government “shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” Although these words were written in the context of... 

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8 Mar

Correcting some misconceptions about online legal research costs

Monday, March 8, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationLegal Research, Costs, Online Searches

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The greatest revolution in law over the last 30 years has been the ability to access case law and secondary sources online. When I started law school at... 

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3 Mar

Defaming a professional can be costly

Wednesday, March 3, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Advertising, Alberta, Alberta Dental Association

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The law of defamation is unique in that general damages are awarded at-large. There is no upper ceiling for an award and there is little value to be gained in attempting to compare...

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27 Feb

The judicial rant heard around the legal profession: a legal research lesson

Saturday, February 27, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCivil Procedure, Legal Research, Transfer Motion, Rules of Civil Procedure

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As we approach the one year anniversary of Ontario’s declaration of a state of emergency because of Covid-19 pandemic, the stresses and strains caused by the lockdown can be seen and...

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25 Feb

Reputation can be everything

Thursday, February 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation

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The tort of defamation is all about the protection of a person’s reputation. Where a person suffers a loss of reputation because of words spoken or published about... 

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22 Feb

God’s law is not supraconstitutional

Monday, February 22, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationGod's Law, Bible

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Although Part 1 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c. 11 references “the supremacy of God”, this...

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18 Feb

You can’t play dress up with a defamation action

Thursday, February 18, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Slander

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The law of defamation is subject to many strict rules, which may vary from province-to-province under respective special libel and slander... 

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16 Feb

Legal research in costs awards

Tuesday, February 16, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCivil Litigation, Legal Research, Costs

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Despite its importance, legal research is often a line item that comes under close scrutiny when a court awards costs to a...

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5 Feb

Criminal proceedings and the civil defamation claim: A limitation period lesson

Friday, February 5, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Limitations Act, Ontario Court of Appeal

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In Ontario, section 4 of the Limitations Act, 2002 establishes a general two-year limitation period for commencing an action from... 

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2 Feb

Disgorgement of profits could be a potential remedy in a defamation action

Tuesday, February 2, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, British Columbia, Damages

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Remedies are an important aspect of any case. In the law of defamation, the usual remedy sought by most plaintiffs is general damages for reputational harm. In a defamation case...

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1 Feb

Limitation period avoided: Claims of republication of libel by third party allowed to be added action because stories were on internet

Monday, February 1, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Republication, Limitation Periods

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Across the country, limitation periods have been enacted to regulate the time in which an action can be commenced. Defendants are entitled to finality, and... 

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28 Jan

Defamation action against Ontario Premier dismissed under Courts of Justice Act

Thursday, January 28, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. Tighe, Rojin JazayeriLitigationDefamation, Political Law, Police Services Act, Members’ Integrity Act, Courts of Justice Act

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Early last year, the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, in a highly sensationalized lawsuit was sued for defamation by a former Deputy Commissioner and... 

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27 Jan

Patrick Brown takes down insurance company

Wednesday, January 27, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Political Law, Insurance Law

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An issue that sometimes arises in defamation actions is whether the costs of a prosecution or a defence is covered by an insurance...

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25 Jan

Defamation suit surrounding BC’s foreign buyer tax is dismissed

Monday, January 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defences, Defamation, Political Law

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The law of defamation is fascinating because the fact scenarios of each case are unique. Where matters of public interest are involved, people are prone to express opinions about the...

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20 Jan

Plaintiffs who started debate on matters of public interest have defamation claim dismissed

Wednesday, January 20, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Defences

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Vigorous and passionate debate over matters of public interest are the lifeblood of democracy because it is often...

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15 Jan

President of Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to be an “adverse witness” in potato farmer’s case

Friday, January 15, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationEvidence, Political Law, Witnesses, Adverse Witness

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The examination of witnesses at a trial is governed by certain basic rules. For a witness who is being questioned by the side for which that person is a...

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8 Jan

Former Agriculture Minister Not Required to Testify

Friday, January 8, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCivil Litigation, Evidence, Witnesses, Political Law, Interprovincial Summonses Act

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Despite courts moving to electronic hearings whereby theoretically a witness could appear virtually from anywhere...

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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. CookLitigationLetters of Request, Ontario Evidence Act, Ontario Court of Appeal

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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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28 Dec

Housing construction project turned sour results in personal liability and dismissal of defamation claim

Monday, December 28, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Real EstateAlberta, Fraud, Dream Home, Construction , Kickbacks

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Although building a house can take much planning and hard work in securing a developer, labour and material, it is meant to be a joyous exercise which...

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24 Dec

Election law’s substantive approach applies to judicial recounts

Thursday, December 24, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Election Law, Public Law, Political Law

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Over eight years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada in Opitz v. Wrzesnewskyj, 2012 SCC 55 rejected a bid to overturn a close election result under a contested election application by applying a...

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21 Dec

Legal research and the duty to disclose relevant law

Monday, December 21, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Research, Disciplinary Hearing, Ethics, Legal Research, Law Society of Ontario

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Legal research is important. In general, every legal issue requires some form of legal research because each legal issue is informed either by...

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14 Dec

The frailties of online legal research: the words “and” and “or”

Monday, December 14, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationResearch, COVID-19, Lexis Advance, Quicklaw, CanLII, NextCanada

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I have been a legal research lawyer for almost 30 years. When I started law school in 1987 the use of laptops to take notes in lectures was completely unknown. Our first year legal research and writing class was based... 

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9 Dec

Who is that guy? A lesson in the law of defamation

Wednesday, December 9, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Supreme Court of Canada

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The law of defamation is about protecting a person’s reputation. Accordingly, as determined by the Supreme Court of Canada in the seminal case of...

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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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21 Sep
19 Jun

Ontario Suspends Commercial Tenant Evictions

Friday, June 19, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. TigheLitigationBill 192 - Protecting Small Business Act, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), Commercial Tenancies Act, Commercial Landlord, COVID-19, Ontario Government

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have implemented physical distancing measures to “flatten the curve”. 

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9 Jun

A Litigation Update: The Small Claims Court and Short Motions or Applications

Tuesday, June 9, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. Tighe, Rojin JazayeriLitigationRules of Professional Conduct, Small Claims Court, Short Motions

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As we near the three month anniversary date of Ontario’s state of emergency, our court system continues to re-emerge from its suspension and to evolve.

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7 May

Ontario re-opening for business: A gradual approach

Thursday, May 7, 2020Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. TigheLitigationCOVID-19, Ontario Government, Ontario, State of Emergency

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With Victoria Day a little more than a week away and people experiencing a growing urge to return to pre-COVID-19 routines, many governments, including the Ontario government, have...

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6 Apr

A CERB Application Update

Monday, April 6, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCOVID-19, Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

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On Friday, April 3rd, 2020, the Government of Canada released a comprehensive question and answer resource on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Specifically, eligibility requirements and the application process was clarified

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4 Apr

Ontario expands non-essential business closures

Saturday, April 4, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCOVID-19, Ontario, Infectious Diseases, Infectious Diseases Emergencies, Healthcare

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On April 3, 2020, the Ontario government expanded the list of non-essential businesses that will be required to close while the province courageously battles to control the spread of COVID-19.

Under Regulation 82/20, the Ontario government had previously provided a list of businesses that it had deemed essential and that could remain open during the current health emergency.

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2 Apr

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Federal and Provincial Government Relief Measures Available to Businesses

Thursday, April 2, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Business LawLayoffs, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Wage Subsidy, Work-Sharing Program Extensions, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

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This blog will provide an overview of the most significant federal and provincial relief measures to assist businesses and entrepreneurs in the face of the unique and pressing challenges presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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20 Feb

The other side of MeToo

Tuesday, February 20, 2018Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation

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The #MeToo movement has started a revolution. No longer are women, in particular, afraid to speak about incidents in which they have...

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15 Aug

Where will marijuana laws end up?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017Stephen A. ThieleLitigationMarijuana, General Interest, Ontario, Mental Health

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As Canada prepares to legalize marijuana next July, questions remain about the restrictions that will be put on this drug.

In a recent position paper released by the Ontario wing of the Canadian Mental Health Association, it is...

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5 Jul

Is Canada Day celebration controversy worth breach of contract claim?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017Stephen A. ThieleLitigation, Employment LawToronto, Toronto Politics, Termination, Ontario, Canada Day

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On July 1, 2017, Canada turned 150 years old. All across the nation, public and private organizers...

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15 Mar

Missing Comma May Prove Costly

Wednesday, March 15, 2017Stephen A. ThieleLitigationGeneral Interest

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Good legal writing is an important skill.

The failure to properly draft a contract or a legislative provision can have significant...

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18 Jan

Collecting legal fees: The Small Claims Court is back in business

Wednesday, January 18, 2017Stephen A. ThieleSolicitors Act, LitigationLegal Fees, Small Claims Court

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For the past few years, the courts have grappled with the issue of whether the Small Claims Court has jurisdiction to hear cases about the collection of unpaid legal fees. First, a court determined that...

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14 Dec

Check Before You Rent

Wednesday, December 14, 2016Stephen A. ThieleReal Estate, LitigationCondominium, Rental Property, Tenant

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With Toronto still in the middle of a condominium boom and more people buying condominium units for investment purposes, particularly for short-term rentals, it is important to review both the...

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7 Dec

What’s in a name? Everything if it is a registered Trade-mark!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016Stephen A. ThieleIntellectual Property, Litigation, Common LawHockey, Trademarks, NHL, Copyright, Las Vegas, Nevada, Sports, Vegas Golden Knights

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At the end of November, the new National Hockey League franchise awarded to Las Vegas unveiled, along with a logo, that the team would be named the...

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2 Nov

Lessons from the Dreamworld Crisis

Wednesday, November 2, 2016Stephen A. ThieleLitigation

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Last week, 4 adults were killed at the Dreamworld Amusement Park in Australia when they were thrown from a family-friendly, river-raft ride onto a conveyor belt. Media reports indicated that...

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5 Oct

Civil Liability for STDs and Jurisdiction

Wednesday, October 5, 2016Stephen A. ThieleCivil Law, LitigationBaseball, Civil Liability

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On October 4, 2016, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion hit a dramatic three-run homerun to lift his team past the Baltimore Orioles in their...

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17 Aug

Pokemon “No!”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016Stephen A. ThieleMunicipal Law, Criminal Code, LitigationGeneral Interest, Technology, Mobile Phones

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The proliferation of iPhones, iPads, androids and other personal technology devices has also resulted in the growth of online games for both the young and old. It is difficult to watch television without... 

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1 Jun

Toronto Police Arrest Nearly 100 In Marijuana Raids

Wednesday, June 1, 2016Stephen A. ThieleLitigationMarijuana, Charter

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Toronto police and the City of Toronto licensing and standards officers carried out dozens of search warrants of marijuana dispensaries and arrested nearly 100 people.

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