Civil Litigation Law

Ontario’s Provincial Government has recently proposed Bill 218, titled the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act (the “Bill”). If passed, the most significant effect that the Bill would have would be to drastically limit the potential liability that businesses, individuals and the government could face from lawsuits brought by people who were infected or exposed to COVID-19....
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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to understand how you may end up in a contract litigation dispute and how to avoid these problems in the future. On October 7, 2020, Walker Law presented a webinar on contract law disputes, specifically to provide a synopsis of contract law cases applicable to...
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employers need to keep in mind employee’s rights under the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) and the Human Rights Code (the “Code”) as both contain phrases that discipline employers who wrongfully terminate employees and/or discriminate against them based on a prohibited ground.
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In March 2020, the government established the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“IDEL”) in response to the pandemic. IDEL grants employees the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are not performing their jobs due to a prescribed set of reasons related to COVID-19.
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Last Thursday, Tanya Walker and Jordan Koenig of Walker Law presented a webinar to provide updates on how the pandemic has impacted employment law. Just hours after the webinar, the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Carla Qualtrough, made an important announcement regarding changes to Employment Insurance (“EI”) and the introduction...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty and has changed the way that we do business in the foreseeable future, especially when negotiating agreements. Many individuals feel the stress of negotiating during this time because of the uncertainty, a lack of alternatives, and general inequality in bargaining power. As a result, parties need to be cautious...
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In July 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal released two decisions that commercial landlords should be aware of as they impact notice requirements for breach of a lease and the consequences of a landlord for improperly terminating a lease.
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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a great deal of uncertainty and concern regarding the matter of safety in the workplace. In mid-March, Ontario declared a State of Emergency and all non-essential businesses within the province were ordered to close on March 24, 2020.
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On Friday, May 29, 2020, Ontario’s government issued Regulation, O.Reg 228/20, under the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). Its most significant effects have to do with the options that are available to employers with regard to terminating or laying off its employees due to COVID-19-related reductions in business and the rights of employees to sue for...
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The COVID-19 health pandemic has had a significant impact on all industries. However, there are a number of changes that are unique to the construction industry. On March 16, 2020, the Ontario government declared that all limitation periods for proceedings would be suspended.
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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the economy has been struggling to maintain the balance between the continued delivery of essential services and the need to promote physical distancing. Ontario’s court system has been trying to balance public health concerns with the need to continue promoting access to justice. In mid-March, 2020, with very few exceptions,...
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Much like the reception that greeted ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft when they first entered Toronto’s marketplace, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the short-term housing rental economy ever since apps like Airbnb gained popularity in the city. Supporters of Airbnb and other forms of short-term housing rentals argue that they...
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Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been concerned about the Novel Coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause influenza-like symptoms in humans. An interesting characteristic of Coronaviruses is that they are “zoonotic”, meaning they can be transferred between humans and animals. In December of 2019, a number of cases of...
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In our December post, we provided information on laws that you may see in 2020. As we celebrate our 10th year, we’re detailing the ten laws that already have or will definitely change this year.
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2020 is likely to bring in some new laws and amendments that could affect everything from internships to a crackdown on parking spots and a possible reversal on pit bull ownership in Ontario.
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On October 23, 2019, the Ontario government confirmed that we would be seeing major changes to the Court rules coming this January 2020.
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Legally speaking, workers are generally classified into different categories. These classifications have very significant implications on a number of rights that workers are entitled to.
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The federal government recently implemented a number of changes to the Canada Labour Code which largely favours federal employees in certain industries such as banks, fisheries, telecommunications, and interprovincial transportation companies.
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The Pattersons hired “Joe Inc.”, a general contractor, to renovate their ground floor bathroom, kitchen, and front entranceway. As the project progressed, the Pattersons noticed a number of defects in the general contractor’s work. However, when they complained, nothing was done to resolve the problems.
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As a result of the large number of new housing and condominium projects, many Ontarions are taking advantage of the opportunity to purchase a newly-built home.
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If you are undergoing home renovations with a contractor or you are a contractor, you should note that effective October 1, 2019, several provisions under the construction law which is called the Construction Act (the “Act”) will come into force and will fundamentally change how contractors request payment from property owners.
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When many people start a lawsuit, the end goal is getting to trial and obtaining a judgment against the other party. However, what many litigants do not consider is that a judgment is only a piece of paper.
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  According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of a condominium apartment in Toronto was $558,728 in Q4 2018. This is a sizeable investment.
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The new year brings with it exciting changes and new laws. Here are two changes to the law that you should be aware of as you ring in 2019.
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On October 17, 2018, the Federal Cannabis Act, 2018, and the Ontario Cannabis Act, 2018 became law in Ontario (“the Acts”). The Acts legalize the consumption of recreational cannabis in Canada.
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On December 12, 2017, Bill 142, the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017, became law in Ontario (“the Act”).
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According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association, at least 500,000 employees are unable to work due to mental health issues in any given week. This statistic demonstrates the importance of accommodating mental illnesses in the workplace. Nevertheless, Ontario lawyers should let clients know of an employer’s legal...
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Whether purchasing a commercial or residential property, the prevailing law is “buyer beware.” In other words, as a buyer, you must make appropriate inquiries about the property to discover any important information in order to satisfy yourself that the property is suitable for you.
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  As an employer, it is critical that you are aware of your obligations to your employees to avoid potential human rights or wrongful termination lawsuits by current or former employees on the basis of discrimination.
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If you are a business or service provider who asks consumers to purchase a warranty along with your product or service, beware.
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  Are you looking to challenge the re-zoning of your neighbour’s property or oppose that new 30-storey condominium development in your neighbourhood? If so, your concerns will now be addressed by the LPAT.
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The Rental Fairness Act (the “RFA”) is part of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, a strategy released in April 2017 to provide stronger protections for tenants and promote affordable housing in Toronto. The RFA has recently made several changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) that have significant consequences for both landlords and tenants. Below we discuss two important...
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  Many companies offer reward points programs to thank customers for their loyalty.
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Managing employees is a common challenge for many business owners. Even a single employee can have a significant impact on your business’ success, particularly if you are running a small enterprise.
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Defamation typically means negative statements made by one person about another person that are communicated or published. It can also include comments made against a company or organization.
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Given the significant growth in condominium ownership in recent years, we have often wondered why a specialized board or tribunal has not been created to deal with disputes between condo boards, managers, and owners.
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In May, we wrote an article about changes to housing laws in Ontario which aimed to make housing in the province more affordable to buyers and renters.
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In the past year, we have attended many settlement meetings, mediations (settlement meeting with a third neutral person) and pre-trials (settlement meeting with a judge). In each case, we spent a considerable amount of time with our client beforehand preparing a draft settlement agreement. In 97% of our matters, we have found that attending any...
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After many years of trying to address racial inequality in the province, the Ontario government has introduced a new law that many feel is a step in the right direction.
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On April 20, 2017, the Government of Ontario made some ground-breaking changes to the housing laws of the province related to home ownership and tenancies. The new plan is intended to make housing in the province more affordable for buyers and renters alike. Below are some of the key aspects of the plan: Rent is...
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Statistics are showing hate crimes in Canada are on the rise and are being reported almost on a daily basis.
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The year 2017 brings with it change and importantly, new laws. Here are a few you should know about.
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While many employers emphasize a free and expressive workplace to get the best out of their employees, for many, the display of piercings, tattoos and non-business casual attire may be a step too far, particularly when employees are the “front line” between the company and its customers. The question is: when can an employer rightfully...
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Ever signed a contract and now you want to back out? You may need to consider that a Court may hold you responsible for failing to complete the contract.
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This week’s post discusses settlement agreements (a type of contract) and how they’re interpreted by the courts. Often times, parties will attempt to revise a deal after its agreed upon by trying to insert new words or meanings that aren’t present within the four corners of the document. This is rarely a good idea.
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Last month I described the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants; this month’s column discusses the rights and responsibilities of hotels and their guests.
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The year 2016 brings with it exciting new changes and importantly – new laws.
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  Not surprisingly, untrue statements are often an important issue in lawsuits.
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An unfortunate reality in litigation is that lawsuits often pit one family member against another.
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You’ve owned your home for several years and it’s time for a new look. You draw up plans, get estimates, hire a general contractor and eagerly await the splendour of your newly-renovated home.
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In our final article addressing franchise law we will discuss how an individual or company involved in a franchise agreement on behalf of the franchisor, or brand owner, can be held personally responsible for damages suffered by a franchisee, or individual location owner.
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Last month we discussed how franchise disputes can be resolved from the perspective of the franchisor. This month, we consider the options available to the franchisee.
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This next series of articles will examine specific legal issues, beginning with an examination of dispute resolution in the field of franchise law.
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So far in this series of articles we’ve discussed a variety of the steps in the litigation process including the preparation of the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Defence, discoveries, and mediation.
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If you have watched courtroom drama on television you have likely seen portrayals of lawyers asking questions to the opposite site, which is videotaped.
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In our court system today, the reality is that very few lawsuits actually proceed all the way to trial. Instead, most cases settle at some earlier point in the process.
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In our last article we discussed administrative tribunals and the division of responsibilities between tribunals and courts.
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Suppose you’ve sued someone, you’ve won the trial and the judge has ordered the person you sued, now called the judgment debtor, to pay damages to you. What happens next? How do you get the money you are owed?
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You’re involved in a lawsuit, you want your day in court, but you also want to resolve the dispute quickly and you’re concerned about legal bills.
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Jurisdiction…you’ve probably heard the term, but what does it mean, how is it determined and how can it impact on the outcome of your case?
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You’ve become involved in a legal dispute. You’ve hired a lawyer to represent you. What exactly can you expect from your lawyer? Can a lawyer be helpful to you even if a formal lawsuit hasn’t started yet?
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Has someone committed a wrong against you? Are you thinking of suing? Here are some issues you should first consider.
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You may have had a dispute with someone that you have not been able to resolve. Next thing you know, there is a lawsuit handed to you by a mysterious person who says, “you’ve been served”.
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