Suspicious Circumstances

Arauju v Neto 2001 BCSC 935 is an undue influence /lack of capacity case that discusses suspicious circumstances.   The court found that due to suspicious circumstances the will maker was not allowed to rely upon the presumption that he was mentally capable when the… Read more

The Usual Rules For Costs In Trusts

The Usual  Rules For Costs In Trusts In matters of trust administration, the “usual rule” is for the court to award special costs to all parties, payable out of the estate or trust: Collett Estate, Re, 2005 BCCA 291 (B.C. C.A.), at paras. 5-6, Miles v…. Read more

Removing Certificates of Pending Litigation (CPL’s)

Jacobs v Yehia 2015 BCSC 267 contains an excellent summary on the law removing certificates of pending litigation. Such a document is typically filed by a plaintiff who claims an interest in the lands in question, and the certificate is notice to the world under… Read more

Security For Costs

An application for security for court costs may occur in case one party here in BC  has a strong case  and may win, while  the other party typically is out of the jurisdiction, or lacks assets to pay costs if he/she/it loses the case.   Sunshine… Read more

Estoppel By Convention

Estoppel By Convention. The Supreme Court of Canada has set out the criteria as to what establishes estoppel by convention in Ryan v. Moore, 2005 SCC 38, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 53. In paragraphs 53 and 54, the Court sets out how the forms of estoppel… Read more

Mutual Release

At the end of each court case, the lawyers generally have each party sign a Mutual release that in layman’s terms means they will never sue each other for the same matter again, it being a final settlement. The mutual release signed by the parties… Read more

Credibility – Who Is Believed Wins

Credibility  is whoever is believed , usually wins the case.One can have the best of court cases, but if the Judge does not believe your client’s testimony, as  there is no witnesses credibility, usually results in a lost trial. The BC  Court of Appeal in… Read more

Abuse of Process

The tort of abuse of process is made out when a party shows a misuse or perversion of the Court’s process for an exterior or ulterior purpose. In other words, using a certificate of pending litigation to tie up a property and prevent it being… Read more

The Courts Power to Amend Pleadings

It is frequent in estate litigation that new facts arise and the claim must be amended to provide for the adequate remedy. This blog is a summary of the courts power to make such an order.   Rule 6-1(1) of the Supreme Court Rules provides… Read more

The Implied Confidentiality of Documents In Litigation

Sovani v Gray, Jampolsky and ICBC 2007 BCSC 403 deals with the issue of confidentiality of document exchange in litigation relating to the disclosure of documents to non-parties to the litigation, without the consent of the actual parties to the litigation. The court held that to… Read more

Pleading Invalid Will and Wills Variation Claim Together Allowed

From time to time during the almost 40 years that I have practiced estate litigation, I have been told by various opposing counsel that it is inappropriate to plead in the same court action that a will is not valid, and therefore must be proved… Read more

Court of Appeal Rules on Res Judicata, Abuse of Process and Estoppel

Bronson v. Tompkins Ranching Ltd., 2013 BCCA 477 The Beneficiaries of a trust obtained a judgment against the trustee for a breach of trust in relation to the sale of shares by the trust. They then commenced a second action, against the recipient of the… Read more

Cost Awards in Estate Litigation

Cost Awards in Estate Litigation

INTRODUCTION Cost awards are the amount of monies that a Court awards one litigant against another as a contribution towards legal fees incurred. Until recent years, practitioners in estate litigation , had little to fear with respect to costs awards. Win or lose, the costs… Read more

What is Solicitor-Client Privilege?

In Skogstad v Law Society of BC 2007 BCCA 310 the Bc Court of Appeal held: “6. Solicitor-client privilege is a substantive rule of law, a core legal value. The protection of the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and his or her client is… Read more

The Collateral Attack Rule

The trusts of the late Sam Cohen reported in Re Newton Trust 2013 BCSC 1665 involved an issue relating to the collateral attack rule. One of the trustees sought $800,000 in past fees for periods covered in previous passing of accounts. Various legal issues such… Read more