Law Times

April 8, 2013

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

JUDICIAL INTERVENTION DISCLOSURE ORDER Third party must reveal financial details Follow LAW TIMES on $4.00 • Vol. 24, No. 12 P3 Abella captivates with defence of judiciary FOCUS ON P7 ADR l Aw TIMes P8 CO V E R I N G O N TA R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W. L AW T I M E S N E W S . CO M ntitled-4 1 April 8, 2013 TV judge sheds light on Ontario judiciary 12-03-20 10:44 A Justice Harvey Brownstone readies for 2nd season of Family Matters BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times O ntario Court Justice Harvey Brownstone says he's tearing down the thick shroud over Canada's judiciary by moving readily between the bench and the TV spotlight. The family court judge has grown tired of looking on from the bench as litigants struggle to navigate the justice system. That's why, Brownstone says, he didn't hesitate when a producer approached him about hosting a TV show called Family Matters. It all started with his 2009 book, Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court. His tale of the family court and tips on how to handle it struck a chord with Canadians, he says. "The book became a bestseller, quite by surprise to me. I never thought a book by a judge would attract a lot of media, but it did." After his extensive book tour, a quick-thinking producer had an idea to tape discussions between Brownstone and others in the family law bar and post them on the Internet. With more than 70 per cent of family court litigants acting for themselves, Brownstone agreed it would make sense to host a public education show. "The show became so successful online, [with] thousands and thousands of hits every day from all over the world, we ended up getting picked up by TV," says Brownstone, whose show debuted on CHCH TV in September 2011. The first season had 15 episodes dealing with issues ranging from better ways to handle divorce and separation to sex addiction and men's issues in family law. Brownstone notes he tapes the show during his Justice Harvey Brownstone is passionate about informing the public about family law through his TV show. The second season of Family Matters begins airing next month. vacation. "I don't get any money for it because I'm a judge," he says. After its renewal for another year, Family Matters has filmed its second season that will air in May 2013. The season's 16 episodes will include experts discussing topics such as gambling, family finances, bullying, anger management, same-sex parenting, and Internet dating. The rule is if a topic comes up See TV, page 4 Insurer to pay $200K in punitive damages Law Times I Surveillance evidence isn't absolute proof of someone's ability to do a particular job, an Ontario Superior Court judge has concluded. n a warning about the use of surveillance evidence, an Ontario Superior Court judge has awarded $300,000 in punitive and aggravated damages against an insurance company found to have demonstrated bad faith towards a longterm disability applicant. In a March 22 decision, Justice P.B. Hambly ruled in favour of a Kitchener, Ont., man caught on surveillance video doing work his insurer said was sufficient to prove he didn't qualify for total disability benefits. The judge also slapped the insurer, Penncorp Life Insurance Co., with more than $500,000 in aggravated, punitive, and contractual damages. The plaintiff, Avelino Fernandes, had suffered injuries to his lower back after repeated falls during his work as a bricklayer. He received monthly disability payments from Penncorp for two years following his claim. In 2006, the insurer stopped making payments to Fernandes as it required him to have a total disability in order to receive payments for more than two years. If a person can't work in any suitable occupation for more than two years, the law considers them to have a total disability. When Fernandes started an action against Penncorp for refusing payment, the insurer argued he could in fact take other jobs. The company used dozens of hours of surveillance evidence that showed Fernandes doing manual work to back up its case that he was fit to work. "Avelino was observed in the surveillance on August 3, 2005, to lift a wheelbarrow and a wooden skid in and out of a truck on a single occasion," wrote Hambly in Fernandes v. Penncorp. "He was also observed to shovel some dirt. This does not PM #40762529 Photo: Shutterstock/Rido BY YAMRI TADDESE See Malice, page 4 Get more online • Fresh Canadian legal news and analysis every day Canadian Lawyer | Law Times | 4Students | InHouse | Legal Feeds Visit Us Online 1-8-5X.indd 1 2/28/11 2:37:34 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - April 8, 2013