• OCA clarifies Insurance Act amendments

    OCA clarifies Insurance Act amendments

    Oct 2, 2017

    The Ontario Court of Appeal has clarified that 2015 amendments to the Insurance Act could apply to actions that were brought forward before changes came into force. In complimenting decisions of two cases heard together on appeal — El-Khodr v. Lackie and Cobb v. Long Estate — the court found that a new prejudgment interest rate applied to actions brought over motor vehicle accidents that predated the legislation.

  • Broken system needs an overhaul

    Oct 2, 2017

    Bringing paralegals into a broken court system is not the solution to providing efficient, cost-effective access to the legal system. The court system is complicated and arduous.

  • Potential changes concern pharma companies

    Potential changes concern pharma companies

    Oct 2, 2017

    Proposed changes to the way Canada puts a ceiling on patented drug prices have put pharmaceutical companies on alert, says an Ottawa intellectual property lawyer. Earlier this summer, Health Canada released a consultation report entitled “Protecting Canadians from Excessive Drug Prices” that included a number of suggested amendments to the federal Patented Medicines Regulations, which are in turn used by the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board to determine the level at which a drug’s price crosses the threshold to become excessive.

  • Rush to register trademarks before 2019

    Rush to register trademarks before 2019

    Oct 2, 2017

    According to Vaccari, the amendments also provide additional tools that will help tackle potential misuse of the application process by trolls. When they take effect, they will add a new ground of opposition to s. 38(2) of the Trade-marks Act, allowing registrations to be challenged where the applicant was not using and did not intend to use the mark in association with a specified good or service at the time it was filed. “Oppositions are going to increase, and that’s something they have seen in Europe, too. Some squatters are going to be trolls who see it as an opportunity to make money, but I’m not sure how successful they will be,” Vaccari says.

  • Tax changes could have costly consequences

    Tax changes could have costly consequences

    Sep 25, 2017

    Proposed changes to private incorporation tax rules could have costly consequences for corporate clients, say lawyers who have reviewed potential shifts to the Income Tax Act. The federal Liberal government has been at the centre of ongoing controversy over the proposed changes, which were announced this summer and could go into effect later this fall.

  • Contingency caution

    Sep 25, 2017

    Controversy over contingency fees isn’t new. However, a ruling this week in the family law realm has important takeaways. In Jackson v. Stephen Durbin and Associates, Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Lofchik ordered a Toronto law firm to refund a $72,000 premium it charged to a family litigant for the favourable result achieved at trial in a custody battle.

  • New bail policy coming for Crowns

    New bail policy coming for Crowns

    Sep 18, 2017

    While new bail policies are on the horizon for Ontario’s Crown attorneys, criminal defence lawyers say the bail process needs an entire cultural shift. At an opening of the courts ceremony in downtown Toronto in early September, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told judges and prominent members of the bar that his ministry will soon unveil a new set of bail policies and procedures for Crown attorneys.

  • Ontario to improve provincial court diversity

    Ontario to improve provincial court diversity

    Sep 18, 2017

    The Ontario government has announced plans to bolster the diversity of provincial court appointments with reforms to the province’s Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee. Lawyers say that this is a needed move, as the Ontario Court of Justice is noticeably lacking in diversity, especially outside of Toronto. “It’s a positive thing that the government is seeking a diversity of candidates when looking at judicial applications,” says Michael Spratt, partner with Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP and also former vice president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa.

  • Lawyers unhappy with CBA over tax stance

    Lawyers unhappy with CBA over tax stance

    Sep 18, 2017

    The Canadian Bar Association’s decision to join with other small business groups in protesting the federal government’s planned changes to private incorporation tax rules has some lawyers revoking their membership in protest, saying that it’s not something they should be fighting against. “I don’t feel like I was adequately consulted before they took this position,” says Chris Rudnicki, partner with Rusonik O’Connor Robbins Ross Gorham & Angelini LLP in Toronto.

  • Consider research when it comes to polyamory

    Sep 18, 2017

    This July, in R. v Blackmore, 2017 BCSC 1288, a Canadian court rendered the country’s first polygamy convictions in more than a century. There can be little doubt that convictions rendered against breakaway FLDS Mormon polygamists Winston Blackmore and James Oler were a correct application of the current law, laid out in s. 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

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