Dysfuncctional 4

DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES- Your Family May Actually Hate You

I spend a good deal of time in my estate litigation practice explaining to clients the various aspects to dysfunctional families, which they invariably come from. I keep a number of my previous articles on aspects of the topic on hand for them to read…. Read more

Judicial Bias

Allegations of judicial bias occasionally make the news when a litigant asserts that the proposed  Judge is so biased that a fair trial cannot be obtained, and the Judge is asked to recuse him or herself. Bias is very different from a court finding a… Read more

Litigation Loans

The spiralling costs of litigation has led to an increasing number of litigants and lawyers  having to seek litigation loans to fund the court case. It is not unheard of for personal 9njury lawyers to have a million dollars in out of pocket disbursement a… Read more

Dysfunctional Families Produce Dysfunctional Adults

Dysfunctional Families Produce Dysfunctional Adults I mean no offence to anyone born into a dysfunctional family, but in my experience many of my clients are from such families and often carry many of the same attributes of dysfunction as a result. Understanding  the dynamics of… Read more

Loan or Gift?

In family environments it is often very difficult or near impossible for third parties such as a court to easily determine if that parental advancement of funds used to buy their child’s new family home was a loan or a gift.   From the parent’s… Read more

Breach of Trust

A breach of trust occurs when the trustee’s duty to act precisely within the terms of his obligations is not fulfilled.  If he fails in this, it is of no significance that he or she had no intention of departing from his duty. Trustees have been… Read more

S. 52 WESA-Undue Influence Presumption re Dependence

S. 52 WESA is a new provision that applies where a person establishes that a party was in a position where there was potential for dependence or domination of the will maker, and alleges that a gift in the will, resulted from the party using… Read more

Champerty No, Contingency Fee Yes

Champerty is defined in Black’s Law dictionary as “a bargain by a stranger with a party to a lawsuit, by which such third person undertakes to carry on the litigation at his or her own cost and risk, in consideration of receiving if successful, a… Read more

Everything to Fido

In the early 1990s I was consulted by executors of a deceased doctor who died without a spouse or children, and left her at that time large estate of $1 million to her two dogs and four cats in trust for their lives, and upon the death… Read more

Court Disallows Committee Gift

In Re Walsh 2015 BCSC 1992 the Court disallowed two gifts of $100,000 each to the children of a patient by her husband and court appointed committee. Her husband had been appointed such after Mrs. Walsh had been catastrophically injured in an accident.   The… Read more

Can Mediation be Mandatory?

Can Mediation be Mandatory? In British Columbia once one party to litigation serves  a Notice to Mediate on the other, it becomes mandatory for each party to the lawsuit to “engage in mediation”. Section 23 of the Regulation requires attendance of the parties at a… Read more

Mutual will sever JT

Mutual Will Severs Joint Tenancy

While mutual wills are rare, consideration should be given whenever reviewing them as to whether any prior property owned in joint tenancy has been severed by the execution of mutual wills. That was the situation in Szabo v. Boros 58 WWR 247, where joint tenants… Read more

Secret Relationship Found Non Marriage Like

Chowdhury v Argenti et al 2007 BCSC 1207 involved an unjust enrichment/wills variation  claim by a homosexual lover of 14 years with the deceased, that was dismissed on the basis that their relationship was entirely secret and they did not hold themselves out to the… Read more


Research shows that 5% of the population has a hoarding disorder characterized by the excessive acquisition of and an inability or extreme unwillingness to discard quantities of junk  or useless objects. Hoarding  goes well beyond any stretch of what might be considered “clutter”. What is… Read more

Boomers Don’t Want to “Retire”

I went to a course on retirement sponsored for lawyers, and found many of my classmates there, all having practised law for approximately 40 years and being in their mid-60s. In response to the speaker’s first question of who here wants to work forever, every… Read more