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When is an Environmental Contamination Claim Too Old to Extend the Limitation Period?

40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers...more

The Corporate Veil Matters

In two related decisions, the Ontario Court has said, resoundingly, that it will respect the corporate veil, even for complicated corporate groups with numerous subsidiaries. Both decisions involve the enforcement of foreign...more

Alberta Court of Appeal Revisits Contractual Good Faith Principles

The organizing principle of good faith and the duty of honest contractual performance laid down by the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 [Bhasin] do not give courts the ability to review the fairness of...more

Supreme Court of Canada Revisits Oppression

A corporation's failure to follow legal formalities under the Canada Business Corporations Act, RSC 1985 c C-44 [CBCA] does not, by itself, establish oppression, the Supreme Court recently held in Mennillo v Intramodal inc.,...more

Deference for Assessment Review Boards

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Reasonableness as Standard of Review - The standard of review of a composite assessment review board’s decision to increase a property tax assessment is reasonableness, the Supreme Court...more

When is Communication Between a Client’s Accountant and Lawyer Privileged?

Communications between lawyers and their clients’ accountants or other non-legal professionals are not in themselves privileged but can be where the communication is in “furtherance of a function essential to the...more

Canadian Contractual Interpretation Just Got More Difficult

Supreme Court of Canada Revives Correctness Test for Interpreting Standard Form Contracts - There is a new exception to the new Canadian approach for reviewing the interpretation of contracts: a trial court’s...more

Whole Agreement Clause Upheld by Court of Appeal

A properly-worded whole agreement clause is effective to exclude liability for innocent and negligent misrepresentations, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held in Houle v Knelsen Sand and Gravel Ltd, 2016 ABCA 247...more

Internal Investigations and Privilege: A Redux

An internal investigation into a workplace accident was privileged, and thus protected from disclosure, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Alberta v Suncor Energy Inc, 2016 ABQB 264 [Suncor]. The Court found...more

Trial Court’s Interpretation of a Contract Much Harder to Overturn, the Supreme Court of Canada Confirms

To overturn a trial court’s interpretation of a contract on appeal, it is not enough that the trial court was wrong, it must be really wrong, the Supreme Court of Canada recently affirmed in Heritage Capital Corp v Equitable...more

Litigious Corporate Plaintiffs Take Note: Large Security for Costs Award for Multiple Defendants

In a hefty security for costs award in favour of multiple defendants, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held that the Court may consider the global effect of the costs of multiple proceedings by a single corporate...more

2/26/2016  /  Canada , Litigation Fees & Costs

One Arbitration Binds the Next: Alberta Court of Appeal Says Res Judicata Applies to Arbitrations

The doctrines of res judicata and issue estoppel can, as a matter of law, apply to subsequent arbitration proceedings, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held in Enmax Energy Corporation v TransAlta Generation Partnership,...more

Are CCAA Proceedings a Panacea for Assignment or Novation Without Consent?

A purported assignment of a contract without consent and an alleged novation were ineffective, the BC Court of Appeal recently held in Barafield Realty Ltd. v. Just Energy (B.C.) Limited Partnership, 2015 BCCA 421 [Barafield]...more

Is an Internal Investigation Privileged?

An internal investigation into whistleblower allegations was privileged, thus protected from disclosure, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Talisman Energy Inc v Flo-Dynamics Systems Inc, 2015 ABQB 561...more

Dangers of a Self-Drafted Letter Agreement

Court Unwilling to Impose a Reasonableness Limit on Expenditures - Exploration expenditures incurred to earn into a mining claim did not have to be reasonable, the B.C. Court of Appeal recently held in American Creek...more

Inconsistent Administrative Tribunal Decisions: The Alberta Court of Appeal Weighs In

Conflicting interpretations of the same statute by an administrative tribunal are unlikely to be reasonable, let alone correct, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held in Altus Group Limited v Calgary (City), 2015 ABCA 86...more

New Good-Faith Duty of Honesty in Contractual Performance Recognized by Supreme Court of Canada

In a precedent setting case, the Supreme Court of Canada has: (1) recognized good faith as a "general organizing principle" of Canadian contract law; and (2) recognized a new duty of "honest performance", which requires...more

11/26/2014  /  Canada , Contract Formation , Good Faith , SCC

New Good-Faith Duty of Honesty in Contractual Performance Recognized by Supreme Court of Canada

A new duty of honest performance has been imposed on all Canadian contracts by the Supreme Court of Canada. The notion of a general and independent doctrine of good faith performance of contracts has historically been...more

11/14/2014  /  Canada , Contract Disputes , Good Faith

Proving An Operator’s Gross Negligence: Is Intention Required?

Establishing an operator’s gross negligence requires “a degree of intentionality”, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Bernum Petroleum Ltd v Birch Lake Energy Inc, 2014 ABQB 652 [Bernum]....more

11/10/2014  /  Canada , Gross Negligence , Intent , Negligence

Regulatory Proceedings and Litigation Privilege: ‘Zone of Privacy’ Bolstered in Alberta

Litigation privilege applies to regulatory proceedings where the consequences of the proceedings are significant, and the privilege cannot be excluded by statute without express and clear language, the Alberta Court of Appeal...more

6/20/2014  /  Appeals , Canada , Litigation Privilege

Seismic Data Held by a Board: A Further Look

The Federal and Nova Scotia regulations that require oil and gas companies to submit seismic data to Nova Scotia’s offshore oil and gas board are not ultra vires, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently held in Geophysical...more

5/16/2014  /  Canada , Oil & Gas , Seismic Data

Confidentiality Clauses and Privilege: A Delicate Balance

Parties to a mediation have a wide latitude to contractually shape the extent of confidentiality that applies, and even may exclude exceptions to settlement privilege, the Supreme Court of Canada recently held in Union...more

Myth of Trial No Longer Governs: Alberta Embraces New Summary Judgment Test

Effecting a cultural shift, a new summary judgment test has been embraced by the Alberta Court of Appeal in Windsor v Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, 2014 ABCA 108 [Windsor]. This new test will make it easier to obtain summary...more

3/24/2014  /  Canada , Summary Judgment

Good News for Corporate Plaintiffs in Alberta?

A defendant seeking a security for costs order against a corporate plaintiff faces a more stringent test than other defendants, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Amex Electrical Ltd v 726934 Alberta Ltd,...more

Default Notices and Freehold Leases: Take Two

There may be a sign that last year’s dire consequences for a freehold oil and gas lessee who does not quickly respond to a default notice by commencing legal proceedings may be moderating somewhat, at least in certain...more

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