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29 Aug

Lawyer’s defamation action allowed to proceed in Small Claims Court

Monday, August 29, 2022James R.G. CookLitigationSmall Claims Court, Defamation, Courts of Justice Act

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Ontario’s Small Claims Court is intended to provide litigants with a cost-effective forum for civil claims up to $35,000, including claims for defamation. Defamation claims in the...

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8 Aug

Richmond Hill Councillor’s lawsuit is SLAPPed

Monday, August 8, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, Anti-SLAPP

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An action that arises out of an expression on a matter of public interest is vulnerable to a motion for dismissal under section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act (the “CJA”). Actions against elected

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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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29 Jul

Statutory immunity and qualified privilege protect City Councillor against night club’s action

Friday, July 29, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Political Law, Torts, Municipal Councillors, Qualified Privilege

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In the past few months, I have written a number of blogs about court decisions involving City Councillors. The courts and other processes...

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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...

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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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9 May

Could full indemnity costs become the norm in defamation actions?

Monday, May 9, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationCosts, Defamation, Torts

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As the use of social media platforms continues to grow, there is a correspondingly growing danger that the misuse of these platforms can cause devastating damage to

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23 Mar

Credit Reports and the Law of Defamation

Wednesday, March 23, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation

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Individuals and businesses are zealously concerned with protecting their respective reputations. Having a stellar reputation can be an important asset. For individuals, a positive reputation...

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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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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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17 Jan

Watchdog’s defamation action against municipality allowed to continue

Monday, January 17, 2022Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Political Law, Torts, SLAPP

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The law of defamation in the political arena has a long history. Passionate sparring between political opponents and the tendency to attack an...

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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. TigheLitigationDefamation, 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 the person defamed is a professional. In Soliman v. Bordman, 2021 ONSC 7023, a prominent and...

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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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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. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, 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. 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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25 May

Summary judgment denied over defamatory TV show first aired in Pakistan

Tuesday, May 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationSummary Judgment, Libel, Slander, Defamation, Torts

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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. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, Pre-trial Disposition, SLAPP

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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. ThieleLitigationAlberta, Advertising, Defamation, 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. ThieleLitigationSlander, Defamation

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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, Ontario Court of Appeal , Limitations Act

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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. ThieleLitigationBritish Columbia, Defamation, 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. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Torts, 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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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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28 Jan

Defamation action against Ontario Premier dismissed under Courts of Justice Act

Thursday, January 28, 2021Stephen A. Thiele, Gavin J. TigheLitigationDefamation, 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, 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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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

Defamation suit surrounding BC’s foreign buyer tax is dismissed

Monday, January 25, 2021Stephen A. ThieleLitigationDefamation, Defences, Political Law, Torts

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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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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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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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9 Dec

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2020Stephen A. ThieleLitigationSupreme Court of Canada, Defamation

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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, 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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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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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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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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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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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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