Demystifying Judges’ Reasons

While trial counsel cannot control the adequacy of a judge’s reasons, we can provide clarity, identify the issues and ensure there is an evidentiary record that can be reviewed on appeal if necessary. When a judge’s reasons appear inadequate, the work of trial counsel can make the difference in advancing a successful appeal. In a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Manos v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2020 ONCA, the Court considered the appellant’s argument that the trial judge provided inadequate reasons because he did not explicitly consider the medical evidence of the appellant’s witnesses regarding whether the respondent

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Commercial Contracts and Failed Real Estate Transactions

On July 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal involving a failed real estate transaction. In Telsec Developments Ltd v Abstak Holdings Inc, 2020 ABCA 40, the Alberta Court of Appeal provided a compendium of principles to consider in these types of cases. They are a useful reminder to anyone involved in real estate. In brief, the purchase and sale agreement contained a condition requiring the purchaser to obtain a development permit from the city by a particular date. The city did not grant the development permit. The purchaser appealed the city’s decision,

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Preserve Your Wealth and Maximize Your Legacy

The hard truth about your Will is that you won’t really know if it is a good one, until it is too late to change it. By the time someone recognizes that an issue was addressed improperly, inadequately, or not at all… you will likely be deceased. “People often say they have ‘peace of mind’ after they execute estate planning documents, but too often after a person passes away, we know that was a false sense of security,” explains Elyssa Lockhart, a partner at McQuarrie and an expert in corporate succession and wealth preservation. “If a Will is drafted based

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Fighting For Ellie – Long Term Disability Claim Denial

Ellie H. was a 40 year old woman working in Human Resources. She was great at what she did. Ellie was also born with spina-bifida, a condition arising during fetal/child development where the vertebrae don’t form properly around part of the spinal cord. These spinal issues have resulted in life-long chronic pain. But that never stopped her from working. She worked 20 years in the business and achieved the respect of her peers and employers. Shortly after commencing a new dream job, she became ill with an infection. This infection led to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue. And it was incapacitating.  She was

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Buyers beware, when you don’t buy: What goes down, may go up!

Warning You are the purchaser of real estate. You have paid a deposit. You don’t complete the transaction. The failure to complete a real estate transaction has real and costly consequences. As the purchaser, you risk losing your deposit and paying damages to the seller. In the context of a falling real estate market, the damages you may end up paying can go up. And, the seller may be entitled to consequential damages arising from the failed transaction to compensate for other costs, such as: Financing and other additional costs associated with another property that the seller bought with the

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Keeping Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we wait for further guidance on the Canada Emergency Wage subsidy, employers would do well to survey all resources available to them and establish a payroll management plan to weather through the COVID-19 pandemic. In this discussion, “employers” also includes self-employed persons. There are options available to help employers keep employees. The temporary wage subsidy, for example, allows employers to reduce payroll remittances by up to 10% of remuneration paid, to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Private companies that are associated will not be required to share the maximum subsidy per employer. Under the

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