What does Fearn v Canada Customs add to OPCA jurisprudence?

By: Admin

PDF Version: What does Fearn v Canada Customs add to OPCA jurisprudence?

Case commented on: Fearn v Canada Customs, 2014 ABQB 114 (CanLII)

The leading case on Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (OPCA) litigation is the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision of Justice John Rooke in Meads v Meads, 2013 ABQB 571 (CanLII) (summarized here). In Fearn v Canada Customs, Justice W A Tilleman very deliberately builds on Meads and develops the court’s responses to OPCA litigants in two ways. First, Fearn sets out guidelines for awarding costs against OPCA defendants in criminal proceedings, a context in which costs are very rarely awarded (at paras 113-139). Second, Fearn adds to what Meads had to say about when OPCA concepts and litigation strategies might amount to contempt of court, whether civil or criminal contempt (at paras 140-256). In this regard, Justice Tilleman identifies some OPCA strategies which, in and of themselves, are prima facie civil contempt. He also urges the use of criminal contempt prosecutions against some of the activities of OPCA “gurus”, i.e., those who sell instructional material and training in OPCA schemes.

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Posted in Civil Procedure: New Rules of Court, Criminal | Leave a comment

Drug Paraphernalia Bylaw Upheld as Constitutional

By: Linda McKay-Panos

PDF Version: Drug Paraphernalia Bylaw Upheld as Constitutional

Case commented on: Smith v St. Albert (City), 2014 ABCA 76

University of Calgary Constitutional law students will find this case interesting and perhaps will feel vindicated when they read this decision; it may also bring back memories of the midterm exam. In an earlier blog (see here) I discussed Justice Terry Clackson’s decision that portions of St. Albert’s Bylaw “restricting the sale and display of items associated with illicit drug consumption are unconstitutional, on the ground that they are, in pith and substance, criminal law and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the municipality” (para 1).

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Posted in Constitutional, Criminal, Municipal Law | Leave a comment

Unilateral Mistake in Integration: When is Rectification an Appropriate Remedy?

By: Evaristus Oshionebo

PDF Version: Unilateral Mistake in Integration: When is Rectification an Appropriate Remedy?

Case commented on: Johnson v Moody, 2014 ABQB 80

A written contract may be executed by the parties on the basis of a unilateral mistake as to a term or terms of the contract. For example, the parties may reach an oral agreement but the terms of the oral agreement may not be accurately recorded in the written contract signed by the parties. This type of mistake, usually referred to as ‘mistake in integration’, may be remedied by an order of rectification particularly where the non-mistaken party’s attempt to take advantage of the written contract would amount to fraud or the equivalent of fraud. As discussed subsequently, a mistake in integration occurred in Johnson v. Moody, a recent decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

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Posted in Contracts | Leave a comment

Worth the Wait – New Estate Administration Act Introduced

By: Maria Lavelle

PDF Version: Worth the Wait – New Estate Administration Act Introduced

Legislation commented on: Bill 4, Estate Administration Act, Second Session, 28th Legislature, 63 Elizabeth II (2014)

In an earlier post, I indicated that the Government of Alberta was likely to introduce new estate administration legislation in the Fall term. Although the original timing estimate was off, new estate administration legislation has now been introduced and, as of the date of this blog, is adjourned in Third Reading.

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Posted in Wills and Estates | Leave a comment

Orders for Genetic Testing: Is the Genie Out of the Bottle?

By: Geoff Costeloe

PDF Version: Orders for Genetic Testing: Is the Genie Out of the Bottle?

Case commented on: Adacsi v Amin, 2013 ABCA 315

A recent decision at the Alberta Court of Appeal raises a major issue in personal injury jurisprudence. Adacsi v Amin, 2013 ABCA 315, is a precedent setting ruling that allows for the forced collection of a blood test for the purpose of determining the existence of a possible predisposition to disease.

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Posted in Health Law, Privacy | 1 Comment

Professional Bodies, Internationally Educated Graduates and the Alberta Human Rights Act

By: Jason Wai and Linda McKay-Panos

PDF Version: Professional Bodies, Internationally Educated Graduates and the Alberta Human Rights Act

Case commented on: Mihaly v The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, 2014 AHRC 1

A recent Human Rights Tribunal decision about the actions of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA, now called the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta or APEGA) has sparked a fair bit of critical commentary (see here and here). Mr. Mihaly filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission on August 5, 2008, alleging that he was discriminated against when he was denied registration as a Professional Engineer (PEng). He argued that the requirements imposed upon him by APEGGA for registration are contrary to the Alberta Human Rights Act, RSA 2000, c A-25.5 (AHRA).

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Posted in Human Rights | Leave a comment

To Be (Justified) or Not To Be: That is (Still) the Question

By: Martin Olszynski

PDF Version: To Be (Justified) or Not To Be: That is (Still) the Question

Document commented on: Decision Statement Issued under Section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, SC 2012, c19, for Taseko’s proposed New Prosperity Mine Project

A couple of weeks ago, the federal Minister of the Environment, Leona Aglukkaq, released another highly anticipated “decision statement” pursuant to section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), this time regarding Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine project. Most readers will know that this was Taseko’s second attempt to secure federal approval for its proposed mine and that the federal review panel that conducted the second environmental assessment (EA) concluded that, like the original Prosperity project, it too was likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects (SAEEs) (for more on the panel’s report, see my previous post here). As with Shell’s Jackpine Oil Sands Mine expansion project and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project, this meant that New Prosperity could only proceed if the Governor in Council (GiC) (which is to say, Cabinet) concluded that these SAEEs were “justified in the circumstances” (section 53). Unlike Jackpine (and probably Northern Gateway), however, the GiC has apparently concluded that New Prosperity’s SAEEs are not justified.  I use the term “apparently” here because, as in Jackpine, there is no explanation or rationale contained in the decision statement as to how or why the GiC reached this result.

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Posted in Environmental | Leave a comment

Bill C-22 and the Proposed Regime for the Development of Transboundary Oil and Gas Pools and Fields

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Bill C-22 and the Proposed Regime for the Development of Transboundary Oil and Gas Pools and Fields

Proposed legislation commented on: Bill C-22, An Act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations, enacting the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, repealing the Nuclear Liability Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts (Energy Safety and Security Act), Second Session, Forty-first Parliament, 62 Elizabeth II, 2013-2014

Bill C-15, An Act to replace the Northwest Territories Act to implement certain provisions of the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement and to repeal or make amendments to the Territorial Lands Act, the Northwest Territories Waters Act, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, other Acts and certain orders and   regulations, (Northwest Territories Act), Second Session, Forty-first Parliament, 62 Elizabeth II, 2013-2014. And see the coordination provision in s 118 of Bill C-22 coordinating the entry into force of the two statutes.

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Posted in Oil & Gas | 1 Comment

What is the Legal Effect of an Unenforceable Agreement in an Unjust Enrichment Claim?

By: Jonnette Watson Hamilton

PDF Version: What is the Legal Effect of an Unenforceable Agreement in an Unjust Enrichment Claim?

Case commented on: Lemoine v Griffith, 2014 ABCA 46

The recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Lemoine v Griffith is interesting for what it tells us, in the context of a claim of unjust enrichment, about the legal effects of a prenuptial agreement that was both found and admitted to be unenforceable because of undue influence and a lack of independent legal advice. According to the majority, Justices Ronald Berger and Clifton O’Brien, once the trial judge found the agreement unenforceable for those reasons — and the appellant abandoned his challenge to that finding — the prenuptial agreement was not a factor in either supplying a juristic reason for any enrichment or evidence of the parties’ intentions. However, despite the fact that the unenforceability of the prenuptial agreement was not an issue, in his dissent Justice Frans Slatter would have overturned the finding of undue influence, holding (at para 103) that the “trial judgment cannot stand.”  While that is not the only point of disagreement between the majority and the dissent, it is the point that I will focus on in this comment.

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Posted in Family, Property | 1 Comment

Law Society of Alberta Responds on TWU Law School Issue

By: Jennifer Koshan

PDF Version: Law Society of Alberta Responds on TWU Law School Issue

Back in February we posted a letter sent by signatories from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta law schools to the Law Society of Alberta concerning the process for approval of Trinity Western University (TWU)’s proposed new law school and the admission of TWU graduates as students at law in Alberta. We asked the Law Society to reconsider its delegation of decision making power to the Federation of Law Societies, or in the alternative, to work together with other Canadian law societies to consider amending the approval criteria to address the issues raised by TWU Law School and its Community Covenant. We received a response from Law Society of Alberta President Kevin Feth QC late last week. The letter:  Continue reading

Posted in Ethics and the Legal Profession, Human Rights, Legal Education | 1 Comment