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

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

Offers to settle double costs

Offers to Settle Double Costs

Sim v Sim estate 2017 BCSC 345 discussed offers to settle and rejected an award for double costs finding that the offer was one that ought not to have reasonably been accepted as it required the plaintiff to give up the claim entirely while providing… Read more

Who Can Be an Expert Witness?

Who Can Be an Expert Witness?

The complexity  litigation issues  has increased the need and use of expert witnesses, and just who can be one is sometime an issue in itself. Some of the experts that I have  utilized over years of estate litigation are geriatric psychiatrists, accountants and forensic auditors, and… Read more

Copy of Will Probated

Copy of Will Probated

Under certain circumstances a copy of a will rather than the original, may be admitted to probate as the last valid will of the deceased. The competing claimants will typically  argue that there is a presumption of revocation when the original will cannot be produced…. Read more

Quantifying Special Costs and Contingency Fees

Quantifying Special Costs and Contingency Fees

Norris v Burgess 2016 BCSC 1451 stated the law for quantifying special costs and then applied that amount towards the plaintiff’s contingency fees. Norris was an ICBC case where the judge in a Jury trial found fault on the insurer for the late production of… 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

Implied Confidentiality

The Implied Confidentiality of Documents In Litigation

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 disclose discovery information by the parties to nonparties, constitutes… 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 BC 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

conversion

The Tort of Conversion

The tort of conversion was discussed in Ast v Mikolas 2010 BCSC 127 .   [125] The tort of conversion involves the wrongful interference with another person’s chattels such as taking, using or destroying the goods in a way that is inconsistent with the owner’s… Read more