Undue Delay: Equitable Defence of Laches

Undue Delay: Laches

Hrenyk v Preiss estate 2017 SKQB 151 contains a through discussion of the equitable defence of laches- the plaintiff’s undue delay in proceeding with a court action to resolution. 26 Laches is discussed in Ahone v. Holloway (1988), 30 B.C.L.R. (2d) 368 (C.A.), at page 378:… Read more

Duplicate Litigation

Avoiding Duplicate Litigation (Res Judicata)

Duplicate litigation is to be avoided and thus the legal concept of res judicata- when a court has decided the legal issue already it constitutes a bar to a subsequent action involving the same claim. Alexander v Alexander 2017 BCSC 914 is a recent case… Read more

Partition of Property Orders

Partition of Property Orders in Joint Tenancy Agreements

Whether property be owned as tenants in common, or as joint tenants, if the parties cannot agree on the sale of the property, the BC Court has the power to do so under the provisions of the Partition of Property Act RSBC. This blog sets… Read more

Determining Legal Fees When No Retainer Agreement is Present

Determining Legal Fees When No Retainer Agreement is Present

If a lawyer does not have a contingency fee agreement or retainer agreement then the courts will use various criteria to determine the appropriateness of the legal fees based on quantum meruit (a reasonable fee for services rendered). One of the chestnuts in this area of… Read more

Appointing and Removing a Litigation Guardian

Appointing and Removing a Litigation Guardian

Under Supreme Court Rule 20 – 2 (2) a proceeding brought by or against a person under a legal disability must be started or defended by his or her litigation Guardian. A person is typically under a legal disability when under the age of 19… Read more

Notice to Dispute: Understanding the Rules

Notice to Dispute: Understanding the Rules

A party wishing to contest the issuance of a grant of probate or administration may file a Notice to Dispute under Rule 25 (10) of the Supreme Court Rules. While a notice to dispute is in effect, the registrar must not issue an estate grant…. Read more

Ensuring Independent Legal Advice

Ensuring Independent Legal Advice

Many transactions are set aside in British Columbia by the courts on the basis that true independent legal advice was not obtained by the person making a radically changed will or transferring an asset for little or no consideration. A lawyer’s duty in such situations… Read more

Lower Courts Bound By Higher Courts (Stare Decisis)

Lower Courts Bound By Higher Courts (Stare Decisis)

Most people likely know that higher courts such as appeal courts bind the decisions of lower courts through precedents. The legal term is stare decisis (to adhere to precedents), and the legal rationale is that like decisions should be decided alike so as to give more… Read more

The Principles of Moot Court Cases

The Principles of Moot Court Cases

Moot court cases occur when a determination is sought on a matter which when decided by the court will not have any practical effect on the existing dispute such as the legal issue no longer exists. The courts do however have discretion when the moot… Read more

Release of Claims and Different Claim

Release of Claims and Different Claim

Bykerk v Kappalka Estate 2017 BCSC 655 discussed a previous Release of Claims signed by the parties to a second court action under the Wills Variation act (Section 60 WESA) and found that the Release was not binding to prevent the latter claim. The court… Read more

Hearsay Evidence In Vancouver Estate Disputes

Hearsay Evidence In Vancouver Estate Disputes

Hearsay evidence is very common in Vancouver estate disputes and generally speaking is allowed by the courts subject to a few principled rules so long as it is not relied upon for “the truth of its contents”. Hearsay evidence was discussed in Horton v Bruce… Read more

Dismissal For Delay (Want of Prosecution)

Dismissal For Delay (Want of Prosecution)

PMC Builders & Developers Ltd v Country West Construction Ltd 2009 BCCA 535 is one of the leading cases in BC for dismissal of a court action for delay, also known as want of prosecution. It was recently followed in an estate case Re Strom… Read more

Self Represented Litigants

The Rising Trend of Self Represented Litigants

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v Apollo & Beauty Care 2017 ONCA 383 discussed the increasing trend of self  represented litigants appearing before the courts. Self represented litigants present a problem for both the Court and any opposing counsel due to their general… Read more

Court Directions

Court Directions

Biely Estate v CNIB 2017 BCSC 788 involved an application for Court directions to be followed with respect to three competing wills of a deceased. The application was brought pursuant to Supreme Court Civil Rule 25-14(8)(a) and sought directions that the litigation only deal with… Read more

Special Costs Not to Include Pre Litigation Conduct

Special Costs Not to Include Pre Litigation Conduct

The BC Appeal court in Smithies Holdings Inc. v. RCV Holdings Ltd., 2017 BCCA  extensively reviewed the law relating to an award of special costs and held that reprehensible pre litigation conduct should not be included when a judge exercises his or her discretion  as to award… Read more