Case In Point

In Battiston v. Microsoft Canada Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal held that an employee who provided online acknowledgements that he had read the employer’s stock option agreement was bound by the provisions of that agreement (including the termination provisions), whether he had read them or not. Background Facts Mr. Battiston had been employed by…

Case In Point

In one of its final decisions of 2020, C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, the Supreme Court of Canada held that parties to any and all contracts (which would include employment contracts) cannot lie or otherwise knowingly deceive each other about matters directly linked to the performance of the contract. This type of deceptive conduct is…

FTR Now

New Year – New Standard of Review

· 6 min read

Just prior to the end of 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada established a new framework that is designed to guide lower courts on applying the standard of review in judicial review applications. The Court’s long-awaited “trilogy” of cases in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov and the two companion appeals heard together in Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General) represents an express departure and evolution from the framework that the Court set out in the case of Dunsmuir decided over a decade ago.

FTR Now

Universities value their autonomy, and though subject to court supervision, have long been accorded significant leeway in managing their academic and non-academic affairs. The Alberta Court of Appeal recently issued a decision that is controversial in its recognition that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms governs an Alberta university’s control over the use of its space. This decision conflicts with jurisprudence in other jurisdictions and may be challenged, but it does highlight the pressures on university autonomy today, particularly as they pertain to matters involving free expression.

FTR Now

The Divisional Court recently issued an important decision, Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa v. University of Ottawa, with respect to the ability of a union to challenge a university’s determination of compensation payable to its non-unionized employees on the basis that the determination is contrary to the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act,…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Fifteenth Edition

· 9 min read

In this issue, we bring you some of our favorite and most practical recent court decisions and share with you a list of key considerations in approaching and negotiating settlements. Chances are that you are working on, or negotiating, a settlement right now, so we encourage you to study our list and feel free to reach out with any questions!

Case In Point

Early in 2016, we reported on a case in which the Ontario Superior Court articulated a new private tort: “public disclosure of embarrassing private facts.” The plaintiff in that case had been coaxed by a former boyfriend (the defendant) to send him a sexually explicit video of herself. Despite promising the plaintiff confidentiality, the defendant…

Federal Post

Federal Post – Third Edition

· 22 min read

Along with the arrival of spring, we are pleased to bring you the first Federal Post edition of 2016, our newsletter designed exclusively for federally regulated employers…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Eleventh Edition

· 12 min read

Dear Friends, As we are heading into the busy holiday season, we wanted to give you, our loyal RTB readers, some reading material for any quiet moments that you might be able to steal before the New Year. We are delighted to bring you this newest edition of RTB. In this edition, we bring you…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Tenth Edition

· 15 min read

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus Dear Readers, Welcome to Fall 2015! We are excited to bring you this latest edition of RTB as you get ready for the changing of the season. In this edition, we have a very interesting collection of decisions that you need to…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Ninth Edition

· 17 min read

Dear Friends, Welcome to summer! We’re very pleased to bring you this pre-beach edition of Raising the Bar. In this edition, we’ll guide you through important recent decisions on topics ranging from offers to settle, to case management, to costs, to the question of when is enough discovery “enough”. We will also Shine a Light…

FTR Now

Expert evidence has been a hot topic in Canadian law recently. Following this trend, in White Burgess Langille Inman v. Abbott and Haliburton Co., the Supreme Court of Canada considered the duty owed by an expert witness to the court to be independent, impartial and unbiased. The Court clarified that where an expert is “unable”…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Eighth Edition

· 13 min read

Dear Readers, With the first big snowfall and the coming of the holiday season, we’re thrilled to bring you the Winter 2014 edition of Raising the Bar. This time, we’re doing something a little different. Rather than our usual format, we’re devoting this entire issue to a topic that clients have been increasingly asking us…

FTR Now

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a significant decision on the duty of good faith in the law of commercial contracts. In Bhasin v. Hrynew, the Court recognized good faith contractual performance as a general organizing principle of contract law and recognized a new “duty of honest performance” in the fulfillment of contractual obligations….

News

In the last several years, there have been some significant punitive damages awards in employment cases, where the court found that an employer acted in a “callous” or “hardball” manner upon termination. This recently happened in Pate Estate v. Galway-Cavendish and Harvey (Township). A trial judge had awarded $550,000 against a Township which had acted…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Seventh Edition

· 13 min read

We are very pleased to bring you the final issue of Raising the Bar for 2013. We wish you all the best for the new year and we look forward to keeping you up to date on the latest legal developments in 2014. In this issue, we shine a light on the law of relevance,…

Case In Point

In a cautionary tale for employers, the Court of Appeal for Ontario has upheld a lower court decision which found a Township guilty of malicious prosecution in its actions relating to a dismissed employee. The quantum of punitive damages awarded is also a stark reminder that employee terminations must be conducted in a fair and…

FTR Now

The law on restrictive covenants is all about context. Restrictive covenants typically arise in a sale of a business agreement or an employment contract. If you are drafting a restrictive covenant or determining whether a covenant is enforceable, you must be aware of the context because the applicable legal principles vary based on the context….

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Sixth Edition

· 18 min read

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. “                                                                                           C.S. Lewis Dear Friends, Welcome back from the summer! We hope that all of our readers had a chance to get in some rest and relaxation with friends and family over the past few months, and we are sure that you…

News

Employers who are party to an employment contract which stipulates an employee is limited to the minimum statutory entitlements upon termination should be sure that those termination provisions are not offside the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). Otherwise, an employer may find that the provisions are not enforceable and that it is liable for payment…

Case In Point

Two cases of the Ontario Superior Court serve as reminders that termination provisions in employment contracts must be compliant with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) for all purposes; otherwise they may be found void and unenforceable by a court. In the first decision, Wright v. Young and Rubicam, the Court found that while a…

FTR Now

Organizations should be paying close attention to data loss prevention and response in light of recent developments. Recent media frenzies over the loss of portable storage devices illustrate that individuals’ fears and perceptions can cause great pressure on organizations even when the risk of real harm to individuals is remote. In addition, the risk of…

News

In a time where employees are unlikely to remain with one employer throughout their working lives, employers often seek to put in place restrictive covenants to limit departing employees from competing with them, soliciting their clients/customers or using confidential information obtained in the course of their employment. The scope of restrictive covenants has recently been…

Case In Point

In Evans v. The Sports Corporation, the Alberta Court of Appeal provides some important guidance on what classes of employees will be considered fiduciaries and what type of conduct will constitute solicitation of clients. Richard Evans was employed for six years by The Sports Corporation (“TSC”) as a sports agent responsible for TSC prospects and…

Case In Point

In Martin v. ConCreate USL Limited Partnership, a decision released yesterday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario determined that the restrictive covenants included in sale of business agreements were unenforceable.  Among other things, the Court found that the duration for the covenants was unreasonable because it was “for an indeterminate period, and there is no fixed,…

FTR Now

Restrictive covenants in an employment context are intended to control an individual’s competition and conduct in relation to her employer’s business after the employment relationship ends. These covenants will only be upheld by the courts if they are reasonable as between the parties and reasonable in light of the broader public interest in discouraging restraints…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Fifth Edition

· 14 min read

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”                                                                        Albert Einstein Dear Friends, We’re very pleased to bring you the first 2013 edition of Raising the Bar, as our publication hits its second year. In this issue, we shine a light on the law of fiduciary duties. We discuss…

FTR Now

When is a Pension Assignment not an Assignment?

· 6 min read

Pension plan administrators are often required to interpret the wording of court orders and separation agreements to determine whether there is a valid and effective assignment of an interest to a member’s former spouse. Until now, the courts have not provided clear guidance on what language is needed in order to create an assignment. On…

FTR Now

Privacy is an expanding area of law, and it has particular impact on employers. In a recent decision outside of the employment context – R v. Ward – the Court of Appeal for Ontario speaks to the scope of an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The decision in Ward highlights two points of importance to…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Fourth Edition

· 17 min read

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery Dear Friends, We are pleased to provide you with the fourth issue of Raising the Bar. Our batteries are recharged following a summer break, and we are ready for autumn! In this issue, we share with you recent decisions that you…

College Update

College Update

· 22 min read

The Colleges Practice Group at Hicks Morley is pleased to introduce our first FTR Now edition of College Update. Our College Update is designed to provide you with timely legal updates on topics that are of particular interest to the Colleges community, as well as information about, and analysis of, key developments that impact your…

FTR Now

The Supreme Court of Canada has rewritten the ‘real and substantial connection’ test for determining when a court can assume jurisdiction over a dispute. In Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, the Court created a list of ‘connecting factors’ that, when present, will lead to a presumption of jurisdiction and allow a court to assume…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – Second Edition

· 15 min read

Dear Friends, Spring has arrived, and with the changing of the season, what better time for us to deliver our second issue of Raising the Bar! We hope that this issue will invigorate your mind and spark your interest with fresh and noteworthy developments from the courts. This issue will “shine a light” on expert…

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar – First Edition

· 12 min read

On behalf of the Litigation Practice Group at Hicks Morley, we are delighted to introduce the inaugural issue of Raising the Bar. Our goal is to provide you with timely information and analysis about the key litigation-related legal developments that will have an impact on employers. Our focus is squarely on giving you the practical…

FTR Now

Appreciate This: The New Test for Summary Judgment

· 8 min read

The Ontario Court of Appeal has created a new test for granting summary judgment. The Court convened a rare five-judge panel and heard five cases together to provide “guidance” to lower courts, litigants and lawyers on the law of summary judgment. This process culminated in the recent decision, Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch,…