Case Law Category Archives

The Civil Jury

In North America, the jury trial is almost sacrosanct. Even lawyers who have never tried a case before a jury will argue passionately that a jury trial is every litigant’s right and should be preserved at all costs. Over the past several years there is a push by the judiciary to find ways to decide disputes more efficiently and at less cost. One target for …

Top Five Highlights from Moore v. Getahun

It takes an exceptional issue to get both the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Canadian Defence Lawyers reading from the same gospel, however the controversial comments regarding counsel/expert relationships in the trial decision in Moore v. Getahun (2014 ONSC 237) did just that. Following the 2014 trial decision, counsel on both sides of the bar were left confused as to how they ought to …

Expansion of the Duties Owed to Rescuers

What can be reasonably foreseeable in rescue situations? In Maguire v. Padt, Suzanne Padt was found to be negligent when she drove into a ditch while driving in winter whiteout road conditions. Two other drivers and a police officer stopped to assist Ms. Padt and her daughter out of the ditch and were successful in getting them into the police car safely. Amidst the investigation …

The Real Facts in McDonald’s Coffee Case Percolating Through Social Media

Social media and online news sources are providing trial lawyers and victims’ rights activists with new opportunities to ensure that the public is informed and not misled by tort “reform” and big business propaganda. The McDonald’s hot coffee case was actively lauded by tort “reformers” as an example of all that was wrong with the American civil justice system. The actual facts of the case were …

Put the phone down! Ontario’s Top Court sends strong message to distracted drivers

The Ontario Court of Appeal delivered two decisions on Friday, September 26, 2013, which make it very clear that even holding a cellphone while driving constitutes an offence. The decisions will make enforcement of s.78.1(1)of the Highway Traffic Act much easier for police as the Court found that there is no requirement for the Crown to actually prove the device was being used or was capable …