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?
The task of an estate trustee is rarely an easy one. Much less so when a beneficiary of the estate was born in 1925, is believed to have lived in the United Kingdom, and whose whereabouts are not forthcoming from any of the deceased’s family members. On top of this, he is rumoured to have had an affair with his sister-in-law, after which he was threatened by his brother and may have had reason to go into hiding. The above facts are drawn from a real case, Steele v. Smith, which was recently decided in Ontario. Did the estate trustee in this situation have an obligation to attempt to find the elusive beneficiary? What should he have done if he couldn’t find him? These questions, and other related legal issues, will be discussed in this blog.
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.
As set out in the blogs of my colleagues, no discussion of the doctrine of unjust enrichment is complete without a thorough discussion of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Moore v. Sweet.
Lawyers and laypeople alike may be aware of the equitable principle that no one should be able to profit from committing a wrongful act. The doctrine of unjust enrichment is similar and deals with transfers of property from one person to another where there is no valid reason to allow the transferee to retain the property. The doctrine has specific application in estates litigation.
The Supreme Court of Canada explains that “[r]emedies for unjust enrichment are restitutionary in nature; that is, the object of the remedy is to require the defendant to repay or reverse the unjustified enrichment”.
This blog will examine some of the defences that can be asserted to a claim for unjust enrichment.
This blog is intended to look at the last part of the unjust enrichment test and what exactly the court means by “juristic reason” and what the courts have found such reasons to include.
Unjust enrichment is an independent cause of action whereby the plaintiff seeks either a monetary or proprietary award against the defendant. The basis for the claim is that the defendant was enriched at the plaintiff’s expense without juristic reason.
“Unjust enrichment” is a very evocative legal phrase. The use of the term “unjust” tells us that something important is happening that merits our attention, and indeed that is the case.