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May 15, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

The conduct of a trial is not for the faint of heart. It is stressful, time consuming work. In its March 2009 cover story entitled “7 over 70, Lions of the Trial Bar”, the American Bar Association Journal profiled seven of the most distinguished trial lawyers in the United States, all of them over 70...

May 14, 2009

Disturbing Allegations

The Globe & Mail is reporting today on a case of alleged corruption involving participants in the Ontario justice system. The case started out as an investigation into fraud at Bombardier Inc. and has since expanded to include a member of the Ontario Provincial Police and a Toronto Crown Prosecutor. Included among the charges against...

May 13, 2009

The Obligations of an Expert Witness

In an influential decision from 1993 known as the Ikarian Reefer, the English Queens Bench held that expert witnesses owe their primary duty to the Court instead of the party who may have retained their services. In the decision, the Court made the following important points: Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and...

The Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal

There is an interesting decision out today from the Court of Appeal for Ontario on the technical but important issue of the jurisdiction of the court. The decision, Mignacca v. Merck Frost Canada Ltd., 2009 ONCA 393, involves a class action lawsuit over the drug Vioxx. An Ontario Superior Court judge had certified the case...

May 11, 2009

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

It is not uncommon for an accused person convicted of a criminal offence to blame their lawyer for the outcome. While courts look upon such complaints with scepticism, the reality is that mistakes can happen and inadequate representation can cause a miscarriage of justice. The Court of Appeal for Ontario has recognized the importance of...