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

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

Costs: The Standard of Review

Costs: The Standard of Review

The BC Court of Appeal in Giles v Westminster Savings Credit Union 2010 BCCA 282 reviewed the standard of awarding costs and the various purposes for an award of costs. The case was recently followed in Kyle Estate v Kyle 2017 BCSC 752 which stated… 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

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

Independent Legal Advice

Independent Legal Advice – 7 Factors to Look For

I am typically attempting to set aside a transaction or a will and I often look to see if there was independent legal advice (ILA) given and if so, was it truly independent. For example on a recent file a daughter took her mother to… Read more

Use of Multiple Wills Approved

Use of Multiple Wills Approved

In re: Berkner Estate 2017 BCSC 619 the Court approved the use  of Multiple Wills in estate planning.  The applicant submits that a person is entitled to have more than one valid will. As an example, multiple wills may be used when a will maker… Read more

Gratuitous Agency

Gratuitous Agency

Agency can simply be defined as a person authorized by another to act for him or her with entrusted business, and the agent represents that the agent is acting for another under the contract of the relation of agency. The  case of Siemens v Howard… Read more

Gift to Witness to Will Cured By S 43 WESA

Gift to Witness to Will Cured By S 43 WESA

Bach Estate 2017 BCSC 548  cured a gift to witness to will to be valid   when prior to WESA  on March 31, 2014 it would  have been invalid. One of the witnesses to the will was the husband of the deceased and a beneficiary under her… Read more

Spoliation of Evidence

Spoliation of Evidence

Spoliation of evidence is the intentional destruction of relevant evidence when litigation exists or is pending. There are few cases on the issue in Canada but it does occur on occasion. In Holland ( Guardian ad litem) v Marshall 2008 BCCA 468 the appeal court… Read more

Executor Trustee Removed For Delay

Executor Trustee Removed For Delay

Re Collett Estate 2017 BCSC 473 is the most recent of a judicial trend to remove an executor trustee for delay in the distribution and finalization of an estate. In Collett the deceased died in 2008 and was removed as a result of the inordinate delay in… Read more

Security For Costs of Trial and Appeal

Security For Costs of Trial and Appeal

Arbutus Bay Estates Ltd v Canada ( A-G) 2017 BCCA 133 dealt with the law for security for costs for both an appeal as well as  trial that lasted 18 days and was appealed. Security for costs was awarded in the amount of $50,000 for… Read more

Stay of Proceedings

Stay of Proceedings

Gerritse v Hospital For Sick Children 2017 ONSC 1859 dealt with an application for a stay of proceedings in one court case until the paternity issue in another case was firstly decided. The Court refused the application and cited the law as previously set out in… Read more