#GetLoud: CMHA Mental Health Week 2018

This week (May 7 to 13 2018) is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. As we did last year, we’d like to again take a brief pause in our regular Robeside Assistance programming to remind our readers of the mental health supports that are available to members of the legal community.

The Member Assistance Program, provided through Homewood Health, is a confidential health service that is funded by, and runs entirely independently of, the Law Society of Ontario. A variety of counselling options are available through their service (online, telephone, and in-person), to address all manner of mental health care issues (such as stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and much more). This is available to all lawyers, paralegals, law students, and judges in Ontario, as well as their partners and children.

To find out more, check out www.myassistplan.com, or call 1-855-403-8922.


Ottawa Blog Roll: April 2018

Please find below links to blog posts or articles authored by the Ottawa legal community in April.

Civil Litigation

Disability Insurance vs Instagram
– Frank Van Dyke, Van Dyke Injury Law Blog

Condominium Law

New and Improved Forms to Call Condo Meetings
– Rodrigue Escayola, Condo Adviser

Improving the New Prescribed Proxy Form
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Condominium Not Liable for Assault at Board Meeting
– Jessica Weick, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Applying an Owner’s Payments to the Earliest Arrears
– James Davidson, Davidson Houle Allen LLP

Corporate Commercial Law

Seeing Through Shell Corporations: The Court of Appeal Addresses Complex Fraud Cases
– Alexander Bissonnette, Mann Lawyers

Criminal Law

The Digital Era In Our Criminal Justice System
– Dallas Mack, Mack’s Criminal Law

The Perils Of Bill C-75 (Or: Why We Should Care About Criminal Justice Policy)
– Anne Marie McElroy, McElroy Law

April 2018 Criminal Law Round-Up
– Anne Marie McElroy, McElroy Law

Harm Without Physical Contact
– Louise Tansey, Mack’s Criminal Law

Expecting Privacy?
– Dallas Mack, Mack’s Criminal Law

Investigating Our Research Habits And Tools: Poll #1
– Dallas Mack, Mack’s Criminal Law

Time for the Law Society to Turn Its Principles into Action
– Michael Spratt, Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP

Employment & Labour Law

Ontario court overturns just cause dismissal and awards over $97,000 in damages
– Paul Willetts, Vey Willetts LLP

Punitive Damages Awarded for Failure to Conduct Harassment Investigation
– Sean Bawden, Labour Pains

Termination of Employment Does Not Terminate Ability to Apply for LTD Benefits
– Sean Bawden, Labour Pains

Family Law

“Habitual residence”: SCC revamps Hague Convention analysis with hybrid approach
– Jeff Beedell & Shawn Duguay, Gowling WLG

Revenge Porn Update
– Natasha Chettiar, Nelligan O’Brien Payne

The Right to One’s Image – Privacy Laws in Quebec
– Stéphane Sérafin, Nelligan O’Brien Payne

Indigenous Law

Construction Licensing: Does it apply in Indigenous Communities?
– Stéphane Sérafin, Nelligan O’Brien Payne

IP & Copyright Law

Post-grant patent validity challenges in Canada and the UK
– Michael Crichton & Ailsa Carter, Gowling WLG

Regulatory Law

Cannabis advertising in Canada: What we know right now
– Megan Martins, Gowling WLG

We include highlights of recent posts and articles from Ottawa-area blogs that are of substantive value to the legal community. Did we miss one? Let us know!

Recently Published Ottawa Decisions

Find below recently published Ottawa decisions, available for free through CanLII.org.

Family Matters

Jiang v. Parham (2018 ONSC 2706)
father — child support — income — financial — motion
Justice J. Mackinnon

Saunders v. Patricelli (2018 ONSC 2650)
spousal support — income — employable — range — retroactive
Justice P. Roger

Murray v. Choudhary (2018 ONSC 2533)
motion — home — recordings — messages — restraining
Justice S. Corthorn

Paquin v. Lamoureaux (2018 ONSC 2480)
parenting — children — status quo — motion — temporary
Justice T. Engelking

N.H. v. J.H. (2018 ONSC 2266)
father — cell phone — text messages — disclosure — records
Justice J. Audet

CAS v. R.J. (2018 ONSC 2309)
children — father — police — wife — genuine
Justice J. Mackinnon

A.-Z. v. A.H. (2018 ONSC 680)
children — income — passports — supervised access — restraining
Justice T. Engelking

Civil Matters

Barresi v. Jones LaSalle Real Estate Services, Inc. (2018 ONSC 2579)
offer to settle — favourable — substantial indemnity costs — damages for negligent misrepresentation — declaratory
Justice C. Aitken

Continue Reading…

New Titles – April 2018

The following is a list of new books we’ve acquired in the library recently. Most are newer editions to titles we already had, but we also have a few new titles by John Hollander that he kindly donated to us.

2018 Annotated Ontario Personal Property Security Act (Thomson Reuters)

Annotated Aboriginal Law: The Constitution, Legislation, Treaties and Supreme Court of Canada Case Summaries 2018 (Thomson Reuters)

Annotated Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Act, 17th ed. (LexisNexis)

Estate Litigation: Trial Advocacy Techniques in Canadian Estate Cases (John Hollander)

Ethics and Criminal Law, 2nd ed. (Irwin Law)

Ethics and Professional Practice For Paralegals, 4th ed. (Emond Publishing)

Impaired Driving in Canada, 5th ed. (LexisNexis)

Introduction to Trial Advocacy: How Canadian Lawyers Prepare for and Conduct Civil Cases (John Hollander)

The Law of Evidence, 5th ed. (LexisNexis)

The Law of Libel in Canada, 4th ed. (LexisNexis)

Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada, 4th ed. (LexisNexis)

The Ontario Municipal Service Directory: A Comprehensive Guide for Real Estate Professionals 2018 (Thomson Reuters)

Outlining: How to Structure Examinations in Civil Litigation (John Hollander)

Personal Injury Damages in Canada, 3rd ed. (Thomson Reuters)

Pocket Ontario OH&S Act & Regulations 2018 (Thomson Reuters)

Provincial Offences for Paralegals, 2nd ed., (Emond Publishing)

Stikeman Income Tax Act Annotated 2018, 63rd ed. (Thomson Reuters)

Supreme Court of Canada Practice 2018 (Thomson Reuters)

Taxation of Trusts and Estates: A Practitioner’s Guide 2018 (Thomson Reuters)

#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After

We should have some exciting news on the renovations project coming soon (subscribe to the CCLA newsletter for all the latest info, of course), but in the meantime, here’s a recent progress shot for you.

This was the old view when you came in through the front doors. Us library staff never particularly liked that we were tucked around the corner, which lead to plenty of awkward moments of people coming in and not knowing where anyone was to talk to.

Continue Reading…

International Materials on Quicklaw Advance

Looking for international materials? While we are quite fortunate here to have access to some great British databases, often times we are asked about American or Australian case law as well. Perhaps lesser-known is that our Lexis Advance subscription has some coverage of these countries also!

To access them, on the left side of the main screen’s search bar you will notice a country flag. By clicking on this it will bring you to a dropdown menu where you can select which country’s materials you would like to search.


After you enter a search term, you can also easily navigate between countries through the sidebar where you will see these flags again, for example in the screenshot below. Underneath there is also a nice breakdown of the different types of content available, so you can narrow down your results if you are only interested in a specific type.



As you can see from this very generic “wrongful dismissal” search, there is quite a lot of international content on there! It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for foreign materials.


New Titles from The Advocacy Club

Recently, John Hollander was so kind as to stop by the library with copies of these three titles for our collection. Many of you know of The Advocacy Club, which has been instructing new lawyers in advocacy skills for over ten years now. These three volumes make up a series of books from the Advocacy Club, and we think they’ll be popular with our students and new lawyers.


The three titles are:

  • Trial Advocacy: How Canadian Lawyers Prepare For and Conduct Civil Cases
  • Outlining: How to Structure Examinations in Civil Litigation
  • Estate Litigation: Trial Advocacy Techniques in Canadian Estate Cases

These are currently in process at the library, but please let us know if you’d like to see them and we’ll be happy to get them for you.

Recently Published Ottawa Decisions

Find below recently published Ottawa decisions, available for free through CanLII.org.

Family Matters

Menard v. Jodoin Feres (2018 ONSC 2228)
arrears — child support — outstanding balance — payments — mistake
Justice T. Engelking

Everett v. Carey (2018 ONSC 2166)
father — tutoring — access — surf boards — child
Justice J. Mackinnon

Derakhshan v. Narula (2018 ONSC 2125)
costs — offer to settle — litigation — research — properties
Justice L. Sheard

Dwaydar v. Mohsen (2018 ONSC 2037)
costs — motion — bad faith — cross-motion — step
Justice J. Audet

Mwadi c. Mihalache (2018 ONSC 2052)
visites — pierre tombale — motion en variation — définitive — courriel
Juge M. O’Bonsawin

Serpellini v. Serpellini (2018 ONSC 1954)
father — income — care — business — overnight
Justice J. Audet

Civil Matters

10313033 Canada Inc. v. 2418973 Ontario Inc. et al. (2018 ONSC 2406)
franchisees — arbitration — interlocutory injunction — franchisor — fees
Justice S. Gomery

Continue Reading…

#ThrowbackThursday: Annual Institute of Family Law 1998

As folks head up to Montebello for the 2018 Annual Institute of Family Law this weekend, we’re doing a throwback to the conference from 20 years ago. The 1998 conference was held on May 8th that year, and as was the custom at the time for the Family Law conference, was held in town (in this particular case at the University of Ottawa). Take a look at the program:

Long-Form: Mediation in Family Violence Cases 1

We’re happy to host a new feature on Robeside Assistance, which we are calling Long-Form. Long-Form welcomes contributions from the various committees and other closely related groups to the CCLA, on a topic of recent interest to their members. This month’s contribution is from Lisa Sharp of the Family Law Study Group, which holds regular meetings to discuss family law topics. For more information, please contact Lisa. Enjoy!

Mediation in family violence cases: A viable option to the family court system?

By Lisa Sharp

For some time, Ontario family lawyers have generally agreed that mediation should not be used in cases where there is any claim of family violence. This is primarily due to concerns that there will be an inherent power imbalance in these matters, and that an aggressive spouse can use this power over the victim during negotiations, which would likely result in an unfair agreement.

Over the past 13 years, I have represented both women and men in over one hundred cases where there has been evidence of family violence. In my experience, going to trial in this type of case is fraught with uncertainty, and is potentially more traumatic to the victim than attending mediation.

When we first meet with victims of abuse, they often have a strongly held idea that the family court system will protect them and their children by giving them sole custody and that the abusive parent will be stripped of their parental rights. In fact, this belief that the court will protect them often leads them to go to trial. But there is some evidence that these parties do not feel that the court was able to protect them or their children from their abusers during the trial or in the resulting decisions.

There are many reasons that our family court cannot provide more protection in these cases. First, it is rare for the court to totally stop all contact between an aggressive parent and their child. Notably, these types of cases have serious evidentiary problems, since victims of long term abuse and violence rarely report incidences to police, let alone to their doctors or even to their family members. As many experienced counsel are aware, most victims are deeply embarrassed and frightened to report the reality of their lives for many different reasons.

In addition, often the only witnesses to family violence are the children, and the court is unlikely to allow them to be called as witnesses in our family courts. In one of my cases, the police had investigated a parent for sexual abuse of a three year old, but they did not charge the parent because the three year old boy was considered too young to testify. In the same family case, the father received a 50/50 parenting schedule. This decision shocked my client.

As well, there is a belief that incidences that took place during a marriage will not be a problem once the parties are no longer living together; and that if we can deal with handling the logistics of communication, things will improve, since these incidences are considered “historical incidents”. In my experience, the type of parent who will stalk and harass their ex upon separation isn’t going to stop these harmful behaviours after a trial.

Another problem with these cases is that an abusive spouse will often fire their lawyer early on in the court process and represent themselves. This leads to many new ways that they can harass the victim, including being able to cross examine the victim during the trial, thus re-traumatizing them. The experience of a victim going through a family trial is harrowing given this factor.

These cases are known as “high conflict” cases, and a predominant factor is that often one or both parties suffer from mental health disorders, and they may not be willing or able to follow court orders that result from trials. In fact, I have observed cases where the parties are back in court within weeks of receiving a trial decision, since one or both of the parties do not accept the decision of the Court.

Given all of these factors, it is not surprising that our family courts struggle with how to handle these cases.

Because of these experiences, I have reconsidered the use of mediation for complex, high conflict cases, including family violence cases. My approach includes bringing an application to family court, and once preliminary issues have been taken care of, I strongly urge my clients to try mediation with an experienced family law mediator. The parties are kept in separate rooms with their lawyers, and negotiations can take place over a few days. The outcomes have been outstanding, with participants feeling like their voices are being heard, and they state that they feel like many of their concerns have been addressed. In addition, the mediation process can be therapeutic for both parties, and it is more likely that their continuing conflict with respect to the children will be de-escalated.

In fact, if both parties are treated with dignity and respect, it is much more likely that they will comply with the resulting court order, since they have been part of the process in creating the agreement. It is true that the victim of family violence may have to make some concessions from their original position, but this is no worse than what they might obtain as a trial outcome.