Given the unprecedented disruption wrought by COVID-19 in Ontario and around the world, both employers and employees may be asking themselves the following questions: 1. what is the difference between a layoff and being dismissed?; 2. does an employer have a statutory or common law right to lay off an employee absent a contractual provision explicitly or implicitly permitting layoffs to take place?; and 3. can an employee claim that a “layoff” is really wrongful dismissal and seek damages?
This blog is intended to provide a brief overview of force majeure clauses and the equitable principle of frustration of contract and their potential applicability to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most fundamental principles of Canadian corporate law is that a corporation has a legal personality distinct from its shareholders. At common law, shareholders were precluded from bringing their own action in respect of a wrong done to the corporation. Even majority or controlling shareholders had no personal cause of action for a wrong done to the corporation.
Courts are generally loath to permit “execution before judgment”. The simple reason is that a plaintiff has not yet proven their case against the defendant. Tying up a defendant’s assets pending a trial that may be a couple years away may cause an inequitable result if the defendant is ultimately successful in showing that a plaintiff’s claim is unmeritorious. The freezing order could also make the defendant unable to defend itself or result in a “forced” settlement on terms that the defendant would not have otherwise agreed to.
It has been 18 years since the Court of Appeal for Ontario decided Stone v. Stone. In this case the Court characterized inter vivos gifts from a father to his adult children as a fraudulent conveyance because the gifts were intended to thwart a spouse’s entitlement under the Family Law Act. Let’s see how courts have applied this seminal case.
How do we know when someone has died? This question has been the subject of debate in Western societies since at least the eighteenth century, and in modern times has become increasingly fraught due to advancements in medical knowledge and resuscitative technology. Historically, the conception of the moment of death was largely based upon cessation of a person’s breathing and heartbeat. However, in recent years most countries have accepted that “brain death” is an additional basis upon which to define death.
Technology has both lessened and increased people’s ability to stay anonymous in society. Sometimes that anonymity has necessitated the application of old legal and equitable doctrines to new legal problems.
The doctrine of undue influence is frequently employed to attack gifts. However, can the doctrine of equitable fraud apply when the requirements of undue influence are not otherwise met? That is the subject of this blog.
In our previous blog, we talked about how expert evidence is often essential to establish the parameters of the standard of care in professional negligence claims. In this blog, we outline how an expert formulates an opinion on those parameters using professional negligence claims against accountants as an example.
Liability in negligence does not necessarily follow where the conduct of one person has caused economic loss to another. To impose liability, you must first establish the existence of a duty of care and a failure on the part of the defendant to meet the required standard of care.