Focus On

  • Pay close attention to assessments, say lawyers

    With real estate at a premium in large cities, redeveloping old industrial and commercial properties is a growing trend, but this kind of brownfield reclamation also contains risks when it comes to liabilities.

  • Where aboriginal law and environmental law intersect

    As more environmental assessments for projects are taking traditional knowledge and consultation with indigenous peoples into account, lawyers say there can sometimes be a collision between project proponents and the duty to consult as outlined in s. 35 of the Constitution.

  • Uneven carbon pricing means guidance needed

    As a national price on carbon looms across Canada and with the cap-and-trade system now up and running in Ontario, disclosure is an increasingly important issue with regards to financial liabilities and risk assessment. Lawyers say that because there is a mandated federal carbon price that is a backstop and most prices will be administered provincially, the patchwork approach across the country will mean different requirements from province to province.

  • Legal expenses insurance assists with access to justice

    The legal profession should renew its focus on legal expenses insurance as the product slowly but steadily gains traction in Canada, says the former head of the Canadian Bar Association’s access to justice committee. John Sims headed the committee in late 2013 when the CBA announced its aim to have 75 per cent of middle-income Canadians covered by legal insurance by 2030.

  • Ontario court finds disability claim was time-barred

    Ontario lawmakers should force insurers to notify claimants of the limitation period to challenge denials after the province’s appeal court ruled companies that fail to provide such a warning do not breach their duty of good faith to customers, according to a Kitchener, Ont. personal injury lawyer.

  • Insurer ordered to pay plaintiffs’ entire legal bill

    A Toronto lawyer says insurers should factor in the risk of additional expenses when denying coverage after a judge awarded two plaintiffs full indemnity costs following their success in court.

  • Expect more Charter challenges in benefit disputes

    The provincial attorney general’s failure to defend the constitutionality of its Minor Injury Guideline has helped open the floodgates to Charter challenges in accident benefit disputes, says a Toronto insurance lawyer.

  • Will expansion become a reality?

    A proposal for increasing the number of Unified Family Courts in Ontario has emerged from the Ministry of the Attorney General. After decades of lobbying, members of the family law bar are hoping this two-stage plan will graduate from intention to implementation.

  • Equal shared parenting’s latest push

    The 2014 defeat of a private member’s bill establishing equal shared parenting as the default position in custody disputes is not deterring advocates from commencing another attempt, setting the scene for a battle between those who support a rebuttable presumption of equal parenting time and those who believe a blanket presumption to be ill advised.

  • New way to hear voice of child

    A new study has found a way to circumvent the costs and labour intensity of reports from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer while still ensuring that a child’s voice is heard in custody and access matters. The use of non-evaluated reports, which simply outline the child’s wishes, has been found to lead to faster, earlier settlements in many cases.