Can Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Patients Change Their Minds About Their Care?

by: , May 8, 2015

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Bentley v. Maplewood Seniors Care Society. The closely watched case involved a late-stage Alzheimer’s patient who was supposedly “consenting” to being fed. Her “consent” consisted of opening her mouth when a spoon or glass was placed on her lower lip. The case raises difficult…read more

Mandatory Mediation – A Binding Success

by: , April 29, 2015

In 1999, a pilot program was implemented in Toronto requiring mandatory mediation for all estates, trusts, and substitute decisions matters.  In 2002, mandatory mediation was expanded to Windsor and Ottawa.  The pilot program was considered a success and mandatory mediation has been enshrined in rule 75.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (see the Ministry…read more

End of Life Decisions and the Substitute Decision Maker

by: , April 22, 2015

When the end is near, decisions regarding food are up to the substitute decision maker In a recent article for the New York Times, Theresa Brown, a hospice nurse and author, described the story of an Italian grandmother who was caring for her dying husband. Her husband was long past the point of being able…read more

Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die

by: , March 19, 2015

Could Canadians one day be able to make a power of attorney that authorizes their death? In a Charter decision that may already rank among its most significant, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down the criminal offences that prohibit aiding or abetting a person to commit suicide this past month. The ruling, in…read more

How Far Can A Lawyer Go in Defending His Client?

by: , March 9, 2015

The latest ruling by the Divisional Court makes clear that a lawyer’s conduct in court is not beyond reproach In Groia v Law Society of Upper Canada, Justice Nordheimer of the Superior Court of Justice’s Divisional Court issued the latest ruling in a long-running legal saga that has become infamous for its questions of balancing…read more

Justice David Brown: A Lasting Legacy

by: , December 22, 2014

Congratulations to Justice David Brown who was appointed to the ONCA this week. I am sure that I speak for the Estates Bar when I wish him well in his new role. Justice Brown had a profound impact on the Estates Bar (and beyond) and leaves a lasting legacy. He certainly imposed procedural rigour on the…read more

California Dreaming – The Right to Visit an Elderly Parent

by: , November 7, 2014

I recently came across this news article while reading about the litigation surrounding the final days of Casey Kasem.  The article detailed the recent enactment of new sections to California’s probate code which will come into effect January 1, 2016.  The changes will require “conservators” (a position comparable to Ontario’s court-appointed guardian of the person…read more

Ethics and Lawyers: Changes to Ontario Rules of Professional Conduct

by: , September 25, 2014

Starting October 1, 2014, the Ontario Rules of Professional Conduct (ROPC) are being updated with a number of new rules, the first big change since 2000.  While many of the changes will likely be of interest to practitioners, there are a number of new rules that are intended to more clearly set out the relationship between…read more

You’ve Got…No Spam Anymore! Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

by: , June 20, 2014

What is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation? – You’ve probably been receiving a lot of emails lately asking for your consent to receive further electronic messages. – These emails arise from new Canadian legislation with the not-so-memorable full title, “An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance…read more