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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...

May 7, 2009

Beware of Facebook

It is a fundamental aspect of our civil justice system that parties to a lawsuit are required to make available to their opponent any relevant document relating to the matters in issue in the action. It does not matter if the document helps or hurts the cause, it must be produced. Lawyers, and particularly insurance...

May 5, 2009

A Bad Boss Can Cause a Constructive Dismissal

Stress at work is a serious problem. Google bad bosses and see what comes up. It is not well known however that undue stress caused by inappropriate conduct of the employer can lead to a constructive termination of employment. In other words, the employee may be forced to leave work for the sake of their...