Law Times

November 9, 2015

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Courts 'taking a harder line' on vexatious lawsuits BY JULIUS MELNITZER For Law Times he Ontario Court of Ap- peal's recent adoption of guidelines for the inter- pretation of a relatively new rule against vexatious pro- ceedings is a welcome addition to the ongoing battle against such actions, lawyers say. Nevertheless, some lawyers suggest that even the clarity it pro- vided on Rule 2.1.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure won't be enough ammunition to discourage vexa- tious litigation in the absence of financial sanctions on those who bring meritless cases. In Scaduto v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, a unanimous court "fully endorsed" the approach lower courts had taken to the rule since it came into force on June 1, 2014. The rule provides a summary and expeditious procedure on written materials to deal with proceedings that are "frivolous or vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court." Scaduto arose after Giuliano Scaduto was unsuccessful in a claim before the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. He pursued the matter all the way to the Su- preme Court of Canada, which ended things by denying leave to appeal. Scaduto then sued the law soci- ety and the Ontario attorney gen- eral for being remiss in their statu- tory duties by failing to investigate his complaints about certain law- yers, including the registrar of the Supreme Court who had refused his request for reconsideration of the failed leave application. The law society and the attor- ney general moved for dismissal of the lawsuit against them as frivo- lous and vexatious. After reading Scaduto's written submissions, Justice Fred Myers, who had de- cided a number of such cases since the rule's inception, found Scadu- to's complaints were an attempt to relitigate his failed WSIB claim and dismissed the lawsuit. Scaduto appealed, claiming Myers had erred by not reviewing the large volume of written evi- dence he had filed. The appeal court, however, en- dorsed Myers' approach. "Under the [existing] line of A DAILY BLOG OF CANADIAN LEGAL NEWS FEEDS LEGAL POWERED BY CANADIANLAWYERMAG.COM/LEGALFEEDS FEEDS LEGAL POWERED BY LegalFeeds_LT_Dec1_14.indd 1 2014-11-26 9:44 AM A closer look at new carding rules Regulations welcomed, but some lawyers want clarity BY SHANNON KARI For Law Times he Ontario government's proposed changes to limit arbitrary stops by police is a good first step, say many of the people and groups who have been working to end the practice known as carding. But while there have generally been positive reviews of the announcement late last month by Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi, there are still concerns over some of the exemptions granted to police in the draft regulations. "There is now a framework within which to work," says Anthony Morgan, a policy and research lawyer at the Afri- can Canadian Legal Clinic in Toronto. Morgan praises the province for its action and says he believes the draft regulations are a sign of "good faith" by Naqvi in response to the criticism of the practice of street checks by police in Ontario. But Morgan stresses that the proposed changes are only a beginning. "The struggle for equitable policing does not end with these regulations," he says. NDP attorney general critic Jagmeet Singh echoes that view. "I am cautiously optimistic. This is a work in prog- ress," says Singh. Many media reports have suggested the provincial gov- ernment is moving to ban carding. The proposals include a number of restrictions to limit the practice, yet there are also provisions that call out for clarification or amendment, says Toronto defence lawyer Lori Anne Thomas. "The regulations are better than I expected, but there are NON-PROFIT ACT Proclamation an urgent priority P7 FOCUS ON Family Law P8 'The struggle for equitable policing does not end with these regulations,' says Anthony Morgan. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Courts, page 5 See NDP, page 5 'We have to balance the right to open access by creating processes that filter meritless cases and get rid of them inexpensively and quickly,' says John Olah. PM #40762529 TORONTO | BARRIE | HAMILTON | KITCHENER 1-866-685-3311 | cLeish Orlando_LT_Jan_20_14.indd 1 14-01-15 3:15 PM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 35 November 9, 2015 DM Tools Cloud For details, visit Work anywhere, anytime, on any device. ntitled-2 1 2015-11-04 9:23 AM L AW TIMES T T SLAPP BILL DEBATED Lawyers consider impact of new legislation P3

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