Michael’s Law Firm Blog2018-10-05T15:09:06-04:00

Michael’s Law Firm Blog

Parental Liability For Schoolyard Bullying – Don’t Count on Your Insurance to Bail You Out

Historically, parents were not legally responsible for restitution for damages caused by their children. Accordingly, as recently as 1978, the Ontario Superior Court held that "[t]here is no liability upon parents resulting from a child's torts based solely on the parent and child relationship unless negligence is established on the part of the parents." Floyd et al. v. Bowers et al., 1978 CanLii 1465 (ON SC). Nonetheless, the Court in [...]

By |October 3rd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth in Ontario?

If you've been injured in an accident or through the negligence of another, you may be wondering if you're entitled to compensation. If your injuries are serious, you're probably wondering what happens now, what are my options and "how much is my personal injury claim worth?" The answer to how much your personal injury claim could be worth will depend upon a number of factors, some of which I will [...]

By |August 26th, 2015|Categories: Ontario Courts, Personal Injury|

Slip and Falls on City Sidewalks in Ontario – An Update

The Municipal Act, R.S.O. 1990, c M.45 and/or the City of Toronto Act, 2006, SO 2006, C 11, Sch A impose a responsibility upon a municipality to keep a road or sidewalk in a reasonable state of repair in the circumstances. Accordingly, a municipality may be liable where someone trips (and is injured) on a change of elevation of as little as 3/4". Grayling v. The Corporation of Haldimand County, [...]

By |August 23rd, 2015|Categories: Personal Injury|

The Statute of Limitations – Often an elastic 2 years

The Limitations Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 24, Sched. B. generally provides a two year period to bring an action. However, in practice, that period can be somewhat elastic and subject to what the courts term the 'discoverability principal.' This was illustrated in the recent Naipaul v State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, 2015 ONSC 2186 (CanLII) case. In the mentioned case, a husband and wife were injured in a car accident with [...]

By |August 8th, 2015|Categories: Ontario Courts|

Success in Court – Motion to Set Aside a Default Judgment

Recently, a defendant moved to set aside a default judgment (Rule 19.08) in a case I was prosecuting. Generally, in determining whether to set aside a default judgment, the Ontario Court will consider the following five major factors: a) Whether the motion was brought promptly after the defendant learned of the default judgment; b) Whether the defendant has a plausible excuse or explanation for the default; c) Whether the defendant [...]

By |July 31st, 2015|Categories: Legal System, Ontario Courts|

Success in Court – Motion for Security for Costs

Recently, a foreign resident brought a frivolous lawsuit against one of my clients. Even if my client won the case and successfully defended the claim, there was no guarantee he would be able to recover any of his legal expenses. In order to avoid that outcome, I scheduled a hearing and brought a Motion for Security for Costs under Rule 56.01. On a motion for security for costs, the Court [...]

By |July 31st, 2015|Categories: Ontario Courts|

A Close Election – For a Seat on the LSUC Board

I would like to thank my colleagues, for their wonderful support in the recent Law Society election. Every four years, Ontario's lawyers hold elections to elect the 40 lawyers who will sit on the Board of the Law Society, which governs the legal profession in Ontario. I had hoped to win a seat on the Board in order to push to modernize the Court system. Results came out on May [...]

By |May 11th, 2015|Categories: News|

Why Hire a Lawyer Who Can Do Math?

Let's face it, many lawyers are terrible at math. Hiring a lawyer who can't do math can be a costly mistake.

For example, let's assume someone was disabled in a car accident on December 24, 2008, such that they were not able to do their job. They would be entitled to accident benefits for their lost income, commencing on January 1, 2009. For simplicity, let's assume they were entitled to $400 per week in lost wages, the maximum benefit, for a period of 104 weeks (at which point the disability test changes). Now, let's say we wanted to know the value of their claim on January 1, 2013, four years after benefits were first payable (perhaps for settlement purposes). Straight arithmetic tells us that $400 x 104 = $41,600.00. In the legal field, the straight math is wrong.

By |December 11th, 2014|Categories: Legal System|

Videotaping Independent Medical Examinations

In any claim for personal injuries, the defendant is given the right to select a doctor to conduct a defence medical exam, often (erroneously) called an 'independent' medical exam. This right is provided to defendants by section 105 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990. c. C.43 and Rule 33 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. Despite the passage of time, the prevalence of smart phones, the fact it is general practice in many jurisdictions, and the common law right to record your conversations, recording defence medical exams is not generally permitted in Ontario.

The first Ontario case to suggest that recording of medical examinations could be permitted was Bellamy v. Johnson, 1992 CanLii 7491 (On. Ca). In that case, the plaintiff's request to record the defence medical was ultimately denied. In declining to endorse the routine recording of defence medical examinations, Doherty J.A. indicated (in his concurrence, later adopted by the Court as the legal test):

By |December 3rd, 2014|Categories: Malpractice|

A Proposal to Improve Judicial Writing in Ontario

Too frequently, Canadian Courts write overly long opinions or judgments. Specifically, it is not uncommon for judgments to run from the tens into the hundreds of pages. Such verbose judgments detract from the role of the Court, which is to set forth what the law is (if something is said, that no one understands, was anything really said at all?).

Likewise, verbose opinions create systemic inefficiency, requiring large amounts of time both to write, then later to read, analyze and try to determine "just what exactly does this mean or say." This adds cost and complexity to the system, which ultimately is borne by the public purse.

By |November 15th, 2014|Categories: Ontario Courts|
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