A Judge’s Three Tips to Improve Scheduling Appointments

by: , November 26, 2015

I had the privilege of hearing the Honourable Justice Thomas McEwen of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice speak at The Advocates’ Society’s Estates Litigation Networking Reception on November 23, 2015. Justice McEwen sits in Toronto and is currently the Civil Team Leader. Justice McEwen noted that the system of 9:30 a.m. scheduling appointments on the…read more

New Small Estate Probate Procedure Proposed for Estates Below $50,000

by: , November 20, 2015

The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has released its final report on a proposal for a new simplified probate procedure for small estates. The LCO’s report, which includes 15 different recommendations, envisions the creation of a process for estates valued at up to $50,000. In effect, the new system would be a simpler probate system that…read more

Ontario Court of Appeal Endorses Tougher Approach for Vexatious Litigants

by: , November 11, 2015

Ontario officially added Rule 2.1 to its Rules of Civil Procedure on July 1, 2014. The rule gives the courts a general power to stay or dismiss proceedings if they are “frivolous or vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court.” The court may do so on its own initiative, although any…read more

Actions to be Dismissed for Delay on January 1, 2017

by: , August 17, 2015

A doomsday cult believes the world will end on January 1, 2017 (at least according to the British press). If the earth somehow survives, we will need to face the consequences of another event occurring on that date: the dismissal for delay of numerous actions without notice. Rule 48.14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure…read more

Nova Scotia repeals “habitual drunkard” law

by: , May 29, 2015

Until earlier this month, Nova Scotia had a statute on the books called the Inebriates’ Guardianship Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 227 which allowed for the court to appoint a guardian over a “habitual drunkard”. While Nova Scotia has other statutes which allow the Court to appoint a guardian for a person found to be incapable,…read more

Ontario Has Jurisdiction Over Invalid Italian Will

by: , March 11, 2015

Antonina’s father died during his vacation to Italy. She and her two siblings then received a purported handwritten will made just before his death which named their cousin Anna as a beneficiary. In Re Estate of Domenico Grillo, 2015 ONSC 1352, Justice Newbould found Ontario had jurisdiction over Antonina’s application to set aside this holograph…read more

Summary Judgment and Trotter Estate

by: , January 6, 2015

As expected, the Supreme Court of Canada’s major decision in Hyrniak v. Mauldin has led to an increased use of the summary judgement motion in Ontario. On a motion for summary judgement, a court disposes of a case without the need for a costly and time consuming hearing or trial. However, some recent court decisions…read more

Orders for Directions in Estate Litigation

by: , October 7, 2014

Orders for directions can be sought at any time where appropriate in the context of estate litigation. However, parties typically seek such an order at the outset of the litigation. Moreover, it usually becomes apparent to the parties early on that many will or POA challenges, which are commenced by way of notice of application,…read more

Court Allows Delay in Will Challenge

by: , September 29, 2014

When someone tries to challenge a will in court, undue delays on the challenger’s part can be fatal to their claim. The Rules of Civil Procedure, Ontario’s legal procedure guidelines, say that a civil claim can be dismissed for delay if, after the initial pleadings stage, the action isn’t set down for trial within six…read more

Bozo Eruption of Secret Tapes: A Litigator’s View

by: , June 4, 2014

We have been hearing a lot lately about secret audio/video footage – from late night wild rants at the Steak Queen to a pro-life liberal MP chided by a conservative sympathiser into calling Justin Trudeau’s recent stance on abortion a “bozo eruption”. If you google the words “secret taping”, a list of smart phone products appear,…read more