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

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

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

Claims Involving Land Enjoy Extended Limitation Periods

by: and , June 3, 2014

McConnell v Huxtable (ON CA) is a family law dispute with implications for estates and trust law. The parties were in a relationship from 1993 to 2007 – they were not married and did not have children together. The common law husband bought and sold two houses during the relationship and owned a third home…read more

Claims By or Against Estates Expire After Two Years

by: and , May 14, 2014

The decision of the Ontario Divisional Court in Cerqueira Estate v Ontario provides a useful discussion of the differences between the limitation periods in the Limitation Act and in the Trustee Act.  Whereas limitation periods under the Limitations Act begin running as soon as the cause of the claim is discovered (the principle of discoverability),…read more

Increasing Access to Justice through Orders for Directions

by: and , May 13, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized access to justice as one of the top concerns facing the legal profession today (see our blog post summarizing the Supreme Court’s decision, Hryniak v Mauldin).  Justice Brown of the Ontario Superior Court has made practical the Supreme Court’s directives in Re Estate of Ireni Traitses. Re Estate…read more

You Can’t Have It All: Hybrid Trials, Limited Discovery, and Modest Estates

by: , May 8, 2014

Lorraine Coombs died on April 27, 2012, leaving an estate worth approximately $756,249.00.  Her Last Will and Testament left her house and the residue of her estate to one of her four daughters, Susan Coombs (“Susan”).  Two of her other daughters, Diane Fergueson (“Diane”) and Charlene Coombs (“Charlene”), each received $60,000 and another daughter, Donna…read more