Focus On


  • Where aboriginal law and environmental law intersect
    Patrick Duffy says looking at traditional knowledge of local indigenous people is now required as part of the assessment process by a number of legal statutes.

    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
    Laura Zizzo says there will not be a 'standard one-size-fits-all approach across every province' when it comes to carbon pricing.

    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
    Julie Macfarlane says legal expenses insurance would be a good option for the increasing number of Canadians who earn too much to qualify for legal aid but still can’t afford counsel.

    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
    Vincent Genova says the plaintiff involved in a legal battle over notification of a limitation period ‘wanted to expand the law of good faith in a way I think was inappropriate.’

    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
    Alexandra Wilkins says full indemnity cost awards are rare and normally reserved for cases involving extremely poor conduct by one party.

    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
    Kadey Schultz is not confident that the minor injury guideline will survive further constitutional scrutiny.

    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?
    Ron Shulman says an expansion of unified family courts is long overdue.

    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
    Angela Princewill says the introduction of a presumption of equal shared parenting in the Divorce Act will not take away the courts’ ability to apply the best interests test.

    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
    Nicholas Bala says it’s ‘incredibly important that children’s views are heard to establish their best interests and long-term well-being.’

    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.

  • Child support extending to reflect adults at home
    Joanna Radbord says she hopes there will be legislative change when it comes to support for adults with disabilities who remain living in a family home.

    Child support extending to reflect adults at home

    The growing trend of young adults living in the family home is generating a demand for child support that flows on past childhood into adulthood. With perpetual students and adults with disabilities joining the ranks of young adults who do not live independently, parental responsibilities are continually extending.

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