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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as public health measures to curb the spread of the virus are being implemented, we have ensured that our lawyers and staff have the tools and resources to work remotely. We have taken steps to guarantee that the timeliness and quality of our work remain unaffected and we remain fully accessible and committed to serving our clients as usual. In lieu of in-person meetings, we are encouraging our existing and potential clients to meet with us via video conferencing on Zoom and Google Hangouts or by telephone.

We wish you all health and strength during this challenging time.

Layoffs and COVID-19: Isolating the Issues

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?
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Two sides of same coin: Derivative action and oppression remedy

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.
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Freeze Assets

Going nuclear: Freezing assets with a Mareva injunction

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.
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Defining Death

Defining Death – The Court of Appeal Weighs in on McKitty v. Hayani

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.
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