Carefully chosen for relevance to the paralegal profession, these articles are selected from reliable sources. Click on the tags, or the Search function, to access more SCOPE articles and links to resources on topics that are important to legal services providers.
- Lawyers’ Charter challenge allowed in part. This affects the Fed’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, S.C. 2000, c. 17 — specifically, solicitor-client privilege.
- Lawyer arrested in court — and led to a cruiser still in her court robes — at Superior Court, Brampton.
- Samsung SmartTV an “absurd” privacy intruder: Ann Cavoukian
- One step closer to robot law? Ask the prototype: “Can you terminate an employee without notice if they fail to meet their sales target under the employment contract?” ROSS will understand the question and its context, and within a matter of seconds deliver a number of citations and suggested readings.
- Smileys as evidence: Cyberlaw Clinic explains that “context is crucial for understanding just what an alien head might mean.”
- Sun-Brite Foods Inc. fined $70,000; worker injured in canning facility
- Brantford company fined $170,000 after worker crushed
- Young workers electrocuted, killing one; London events company fined $100k in 2013 incident during a wedding-tent setup.
- Ministry of Labour Quarterly update: Health & Safety At Work
- How NOT to dismiss an employee. Hint: don’t fire a whistle-blower right after an MOL Inspector visit
- Changes delayed for people on ODSP who work
- Gideon Christian, Ottawa lawyer, accuses Scotiabank of customer profiling
- Professor Kent Roach on Charter rights and effective remedies: Your rights, your remedies
- More trouble at Toronto’s new detention centre, labelled a “death trap” by some staff
A Hamilton Landlord & Tenant Board member has suggested the Law Society of Upper Canada should look into the exemption status of an “agent” who has represented landlords at hearings.
In a Dec. 29 Order (SOL-53590-14 (Re), 2014 CanLII 77457) regarding an eviction application, Jonelle Van Delft summarized her reasons for allowing “A.P.” to continue to represent the landlord, MAI. When the application came before the Board Nov. 18, 2014, Van Delft noted that the agent had an outstanding fine from an unrelated matter. This led to an interim order, to which the agent responded, providing documents suggesting that he is exempt from licensing, under Law Society’s By-Law 4.
The Law Society deals with licensing and prescribes the persons or class of persons that are deemed to not be practicing law, providing legal services or are exempt from By-law 4, Van Delft notes. “In the application before the Board, in the absence of a coherent submission from Mr. P, I am presuming that the Landlord’s Agent believes himself to be exempt from By-law 4 because he is an officer of MAI.”
Van Delft quotes the relevant section of the By-law:
The member found that the agent does not meet the single employer exemption because “he routinely appears before the Board for other corporations.” However, because she did not have detailed information respecting the relationship between the various corporate landlords the agent routinely represents at the Board, Van Delt wrote that she could not determine whether the agent is entitled to rely upon the licensing exemption.
“It would not be unfair to permit Mr. P to represent the Landlord in this matter on ground that he has claimed an exemption from the law society licensing requirements,” she found. “However, given my concerns about Mr. P’s claimed exemption, this is a matter that the Law Society may wish to consider further.”
In Other Tribunal News:
- A London paralegal got a judgment of $10,000 against an insurance broker. Ian Wilkinson was awarded the amount for the difference between lower insurance rates that were available for Errors & Omissions insurance, and what he paid. Wilkinson v Sneddon Insurance Brokers Limited, 2014 CanLII 78266 (ON SCSM)
- Breaches of trust, abuse of process and jurisdiction, Solicitors’ Act: Wallis v Steven D. Gadbois Professional Corporation, 2015 CanLII 4018 (ON SCSM)
- Fair price for a 1931 Model A pickup truck? St. Catharines Small Claims Court decision discusses undue influence, unconscionability, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit. Smith v Croft, 2015 CanLII 3837 (ON SCSM)
- School bullying and insurance claims: Superior Court finds that the mere possibility that the claim is within the policy is sufficient to trigger the duty to defend. D.E. v. Unifund Assurance Company, 2014 ONSC 5243 (CanLII)
- Superior Court judicial review of a reconsideration decision finds s. 43(1)(c) age cut-offs for LOE benefits do not violate s. 15 (1) of the Charter. Gouthro v. Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal et al., 2014 ONSC 7289 (CanLII)
- A paralegal has been ordered to pay costs to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Adjudicator Caroline King: “The pattern of behaviour was even more egregious as it was carried out by a paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada.” TEL-45395-14 (Re), 2014 CanLII 49224 (ON LTB)
- New rules for housing co-ops are being used at the Landlord & Tenant Board. In this case, an LTB N4C Notice to terminate occupancy was heard, to evict a paralegal whose housing arrears accounted for 60% of the co-op’s total arrears. SWC-00065-14 (Re), 2015 CanLII 1052 (ON LTB)
- The Human Rights Tribunal has chastised a paralegal graduate landlord for “disingenuous” testimony. “I think it more likely than not that she deliberately avoided giving the applicant notice of his rights as a tenant in the hope – which was ultimately realised – that he would leave without putting up a fight.” Sharpe v. Cheuk, 2015 HRTO 10 (CanLII)
- Paralegal Castillo Garcia has been suspended on an interlocutory basis, while the Law Society investigates 12 complaints. Vulnerable individuals paid Garcia for immigration work, which is outside the scope of practice. One complaint concerned 180 foreign applicants for work visas who said they provided retainer fees of $960,000 that were deposited in a bank account that was not a trust account. Law Society of Upper Canada v. Castillo Garcia, 2014 ONLSTH 226 (CanLII)
- This strip search decision discusses rules about pleadings, as well as Charter remedies: Anoquot v. Toronto Police Services Board, 2015 ONSC 553 (CanLII)
- Employment contracts are enforceable. Commentary on the Supreme Court decision dismissing employee’s application for leave
- $38,000 in non-pecuniary damages awarded against Treasury Board for failing to accommodate a return to work. “It is a discriminatory practice to act as if a person does not have a disability in the face of medical information and knowledge that the person does have a disability.” Nicol v. Treasury Board (Service Canada), 2014 PSLREB 3 (CanLII)
- Clear summary of the very long TWU v. NSBS ruling
- An Ottawa man has attempted to file a claim against the federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, because visa delays caused greater childcare costs. Pirogov v Alexander, 2014 CanLII 72876 (ON SCSM)
- Condo owners must accept a “normal” level of noise; condo corporation found not in contempt
- Estoppel and contract enforcement – Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada Corporation (DCFS Canada Corp) v Khatra, 2014 CanLII 75203 (ON SCSM) “It has been held in common law, that where inconsistent words and conduct amount to a misrepresentation, even where that misrepresentation is innocent, or the effect of it gives a false impression, and where the other party relies or acts on it, the misrepresenting party cannot then repudiate his representation by reference to a printed condition or written clause.”
Paralegal Karen Fair summarizes a case in which an application was dismissed by the Human Rights Tribunal.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) reiterates jurisdiction rules in Toker v. 1044765 Ontario Inc., 2014 HRTO 1159 (CanLII). The tribunal found that, where an applicant makes the same claim regarding human rights violations requesting the same remedies in civil proceedings as in a HRTO application, the application to the HRTO is outside its jurisdiction if it meets the requirements of section 34(11) of the Human Rights Code. The intent of section 34(11) is to prevent duplicate court and Tribunal proceedings.
In this case, the applicant raised the same facts and issues in both his statement of claim and his application to the HRTO. The applicant alleged that he experienced panic attacks stemming from his disability and stated that his mistreatment at work partly triggered panic attacks. He alleged that his employer dismissed him without cause because he had to leave early as a result of a panic attack. Further, the applicant requested damages for the violation of the Human Rights Code in his statement of claim.
Writing for the HRTO, David Muir, Vice-chair, found that “the requirements of section 34(11) are met here in that a civil proceeding has been commenced where damages are sought for alleged violations of the Code and that proceeding has not been finally determined, withdrawn or settled. For these reasons the Application is dismissed.”