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17 May

Kielburger defamation claim against Canadaland survives anti-SLAPP motion (Kielburger v. Canadaland Inc.)

Friday, May 17, 2024James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation

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A defamation action brought by the mother of WE Charity founders Craig and Marc Kielburger against Canadaland Inc. was allowed to continue after an...

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29 Apr

Bank hit with $850,000 damages award for defaming former employee (Curtis v. Bank of Nova Scotia)

Monday, April 29, 2024Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Evidence, Damages

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In any civil action, evidence is important for the purposes of either proving or defending against a claim. While in most cases, the... 

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12 Apr

The failure to prove publication is fatal to a defamation claim (Knight v. Sunshine Coast Campground Group Ltd.)

Friday, April 12, 2024Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Publication

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My purpose in writing law blogs is to educate the reader about the legal issues reviewed in court decisions in a way...

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11 Apr

Injunction against CBC denied in contractor’s defamation claim (Evangelisti v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Thursday, April 11, 2024James R.G. CookLitigationlibel, slander, CBC, Defamation

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A party seeking an injunction to prevent a broadcaster from publishing a story about them will face significant obstacles due to the principles of...

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3 Apr

No reasonable cause of action for alleged defamation protected by absolute privilege (Lopinski v. Raji)

Wednesday, April 3, 2024Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Absolute Privilege, Defences

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Regular followers of my blogs will probably have recognized that they often feature defamation cases and...

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1 Mar

Allegedly defamatory Tweets about medical doctor dismissed as “fair comment” under Anti-SLAPP legislation (Gill v. Maciver)

Friday, March 1, 2024James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Anti-SLAPP

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In Gill v. Maciver, 2024 ONCA 126 (CanLII), the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the dismissal of an action brought by a... 

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26 Feb

Defamation action against family members of nursing home resident dismissed (Fiddick Nursing Home Ltd. v. Moore)

Monday, February 26, 2024Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Anti-SLAPP, Dismissal of Action

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The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a lot of media coverage about the care provided to seniors in nursing homes. Seniors were...

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5 Feb

Employment letter not subject to six-week notice deadline for defamation actions (Wurdell v. Paramount Safety Consulting Inc.)

Monday, February 5, 2024James R.G. CookLitigation, Employment Lawlibel, slander, Wrongful Dismissal, Defamation

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The Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice affirmed that an otherwise private letter may be...

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29 Jan

Defamation action against Law Society Treasurer transferred from Small Claims to Superior Court (Horvat v. Goldstein)

Monday, January 29, 2024Isabel YooLitigationSmall Claims Court, Defamation, Law Society of Ontario

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Litigants seeking damages in an amount of $35,000 or less may bring their claim in the Small Claims Court, which generally provides a faster and...

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19 Jan

Instagram social media influencer liable for defamation (Achor v. Ihekweme)

Friday, January 19, 2024James R.G. CookLitigationSocial Media, Defamation, Alberta

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In Achor v Ihekweme, 2023 ABKB 606 (CanLII), the plaintiffs obtained damages for defamation against a social media influencer who had...

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14 Dec

Defamation claim by long-term care home dismissed due to lack of evidence of harm (Universalcare Canada Inc. v. Gusciglio)

Thursday, December 14, 2023James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Long-term Care Homes

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In Universalcare Canada Inc. v. Gusciglio2023 ONSC 6874 (CanLII), a defamation action against the daughter of...

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11 Dec

Neighbours liable for defamation, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of mental distress (Khan v. Bujold)

Monday, December 11, 2023James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Police Services Act

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In Khan v. Bujold2023 ONSC 6618 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded the plaintiff damages against his neighbours...

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30 Nov

Law firm successfully sues former client for defamatory online review (D’Alessio v. Chowdhury)

Thursday, November 30, 2023James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, libel

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In D’Alessio v. Chowdhury, 2023 ONSC 6075 (CanLII), an Ontario law firm successfully sued a former client for defamation as a result of her online...

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29 Nov

Court blasts school board chairman for undemocratic attempt to curtail freedom of expression (Burjoski v. Waterloo Region District School Board)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023James R.G. Cook, Isabel YooLitigationAnti-SLAPP, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Defamation

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Anti-SLAPP motions continue to reflect the conflicts that may arise over the freedom of the public to express opinions on ...

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23 Oct

Bona fide complaints to police are matters of public interest (Zeppa v. Rea)

Monday, October 23, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP, Matter of Public Interest

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When a person believes that someone has committed a crime, it is, of course, perfectly reasonable that they...

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12 Oct

Defamation action against employee who spoke out about workplace racism dismissed (Williams v. Vac Developments Ltd.)

Thursday, October 12, 2023Isabel YooLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP Motion, Dismissed

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Our past blogs have discussed anti-SLAPP motions at length. This post explores yet another decision on an...

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19 Sep

Defamation action against “consumer alert” reporter dismissed (Boraks v. Hussein)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP, Dismissal of Action

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In general, ordinary consumers of goods and services are viewed as a vulnerable class. While in certain circumstances, consumers can be protected by...

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18 Aug

Court of Appeal upholds dismissal of anti-SLAPP motion in trucking protest case (2110120 Ontario Inc. v. Buttar)

Friday, August 18, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP Motion, Dismissed

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Last April, I wrote a blog about a motion judge’s decision to dismiss an anti-SLAPP motion in a trucking protest case on the grounds that the dispute between the parties...

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2 Aug

Defamatory Facebook Posts Prove Costly – Part 2 (Robinson v. Niganobe)

Wednesday, August 2, 2023James R.G. CookLitigationFacebook, Defamation, Social Media

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As we have previously discussed, defamatory posts on Facebook and similar social media platforms can be...

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1 Aug

Torts that Might Apply in a Dispute Between Neighbours in a Condominium (Novakovic v. Salvador)

Tuesday, August 1, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation

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Part of the purpose of our blogs is to help educate the reader about the law and the tests that apply to various causes of... 

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31 Jul

A review of the test for anti-SLAPP motions (Yates v. Iron Horse Corporation and St. Martin)

Monday, July 31, 2023Isabel YooLitigationTorts, Defamation, Anti-SLAPP

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The acronym “SLAPP” is short for “strategic lawsuits against public participation”. These are tools used to intimidate or silence criticism by engaging the critic with...

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27 Jul

A Lawyer’s Office is not a Drop Box for Service (Yuk-Shum v. Jiang)

Thursday, July 27, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, Procedure, Notice

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Service of an originating process, like a statement of claim, or other court documents is, in general, governed by the...

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24 Jul

The law of defamation in a nutshell (Stratuscent Inc. v. Chehade)

Monday, July 24, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, Remedies, Injunction

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Over the past few years, we have written a lot of blogs on the law of defamation...

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12 Jul

Defamatory Online Postings and Cyber-Bullying Leads to One of the Highest Defamation Awards in Canada

Wednesday, July 12, 2023Isabel YooLitigationTorts, Defamation, Damages, Internet

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Online defamatory statements have the potential to reach a global audience and maintain a perpetual existence. It is impossible to...

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6 Jul

$50,000 costs guideline for successful anti-SLAPP motion not applied again

Thursday, July 6, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Defamation, SLAPP, Costs

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As we have written before, Canada’s civil court system is “a loser pays” jurisdiction. In general, a party that loses a motion or...

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12 Jun

“Chilling effect” on a plaintiff or others not grounds for harm on an anti-SLAPP motion

Monday, June 12, 2023Stephen A. Thiele, Michael LauricellaLitigationTorts, Defamation, Anti-SLAPP

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Since 2020, two Supreme Court of Canada cases have guided the analysis of anti-SLAPP motions in Ontario and...

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10 Apr

Counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty in wrongful dismissal action dismissed under anti-SLAPP legislation

Monday, April 10, 2023James R.G. CookLitigationCourts of Justice Act, Anti-SLAPP, Defamation

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While defamation lawsuits continue to receive the most judicial attention under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) legislation, the statutory remedy has also proven...

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13 Feb

Former Chamber of Commerce employee's defamation action allowed to continue

Monday, February 13, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Anti-SLAPP, Defamation, Motion Dismissed

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Although section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act (the “CJA”), the “anti-SLAPP provision”, has become a powerful tool to dismiss defamation actions at an early stage, there is certainly no guarantee that its use will always be...

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16 Jan

Freedom of expression prevails in responses to COVID-19 protest organizers’ defamation action

Monday, January 16, 2023Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Anti-SLAPP, Defamation

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March 2020 will live in our memories forever. It is the month that, among other things, the world panicked, that governments issued emergency orders to shutdown...

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6 Jan

Claim against Google for hosting defamatory reviews allowed to proceed

Friday, January 6, 2023James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Removal of online posts, Google, Online Reviews

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Online search engines such as Google allow businesses to market their services to a wide customer base. Businesses may also be subject to online reviews which are...

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25 Nov

Defamatory statements made in a pleading are immune to attack

Friday, November 25, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefences, Torts, Defamation, Absolute Privilege

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The law of defamation permits a defendant to raise specialized defences to defeat a claim. The most common defences are...

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18 Nov

Damages in a defamation action

Friday, November 18, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDamages, Torts, Defamation

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Reputational harm is serious. It can have devastating impacts on the person whose reputation has...

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15 Nov

Female mining executive’s defamation claim against government employee allowed to proceed

Tuesday, November 15, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, SLAPP, Defamation

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Ontario and British Columbia are the only two common law provinces that have anti-SLAPP legislation. This legislation permits the early dismissal of claims that...

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2 Nov

75-day house arrest ordered for contempt in a defamation case

Wednesday, November 2, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationTorts, Contempt of Court, Defamation

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In a previous blog dated June 30, 2022, my colleague James Cook wrote about the award granted to a university instructor who was defamed on Twitter by ...

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14 Jul

Losing an anti-SLAPP motion can be costly for a plaintiff

Thursday, July 14, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCosts, Defamation, Torts, Anti-SLAPP

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The issue of costs is important for parties to take into consideration when litigating a case. Presumptively, winning parties are entitled to...

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4 Jul

Toronto City Councillor knocks out defamation action

Monday, July 4, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Torts

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Although politicians continue to be targets of defamation actions, politicians also continue to knock them out under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP...

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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 expressed through tweets that

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10 Jun

City politicians succeed in getting defamation claim against them dismissed

Friday, June 10, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, Anti-SLAPP

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Politics can be a rough profession, particularly where the issues being debated attract diametrically opposed views. Some social issues often bleed into...

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24 Jan

Defamation basics and pre-trial disposition motions

Monday, January 24, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, Pre-trial Disposition

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We have written a lot about defamation cases on this blog and the pre-trial disposition of defamation actions under...

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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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26 Nov

Ford wins again! Court of Appeal for Ontario upholds dismissal of defamation action against him

Friday, November 26, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Alexander Melfi, Gavin J. Tighe, K.C.LitigationDefamation, Torts, SLAPP

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Section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act (the “CJA”) has made it harder for a plaintiff to maintain a defamation action against a defendant where the issue related to the expression involves a matter of...

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28 Oct

Lawyer wins $500,000 in defamation action

Thursday, October 28, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Damages, Torts

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Damage awards in a defamation case can be significant. This is especially the case where...

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21 Oct

Defamer gets 18 month jail sentence for contempt of court

Thursday, October 21, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, 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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18 Oct

Snapchat post results in liability for defamation

Monday, October 18, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Social Media

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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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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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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 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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18 Jun

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

Friday, June 18, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationSocial Media, Facebook, Defamation, SLAPP, libel

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

Internet Harassment Tort Recognized by Ontario Superior Court of Justice

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

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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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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, K.C.LitigationDefamation, Funds, Police Services Act, Members’ Integrity Act, Courts of Justice Act, Political Law

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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, Funds, 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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26 Jan

Defamation claim against Twitter allowed to proceed in British Columbia

Tuesday, January 26, 2021James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, British Columbia, Twitter

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Defamation claim against Twitter allowed to proceed in British Columbia

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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, CBC, Chicken

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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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20 Jan

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Courts of Justice Act

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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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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 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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27 Nov

Injunction to Remove Allegedly Defamatory Social Media Posts Dismissed

Friday, November 27, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationDefamation, Damages, Social Media, BLM Movement, 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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2 Nov

Volunteer Coaches' Defamation Claim Dismissed as Contrary to Public Interest

Monday, November 2, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationOntario Superior Court of Justice, Courts of Justice Act, Ringette, Coaching, Defamation

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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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24 Sep

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

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

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In Niu v. Cao, 2020 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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14 Sep

Fence Dispute Leads to $70,000 Defamation Judgment

Monday, September 14, 2020James R.G. CookLitigation, Real EstateDefamation, Small Claims Court, libel, slander

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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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17 Aug

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

Monday, August 17, 2020James R.G. CookLitigationComplaints, Defamation, Anti-SLAPP Legislation, Online Reviews

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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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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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