Law Times

January 11, 2016

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 15

Page 16 January 11, 2016 • Law Times RCMP SEX SUIT CERTIFIED Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell has certified a $600-million sex discrimination class action against the Attorney General of Canada brought by former RCMP offi- cer Linda Gillis Da- vidson. Perell dismissed a Crown motion to have the claim struck for failing to disclose a reasonable cause of action. Davidson, represented by Toronto's Kim Orr Barristers, al- leged she and fellow female RCMP officers and female civilian mem- bers were subject to sexual discrimination, bullying, and harassment by the male officers and civilian members between 1986 and 2009. She sued the AG for negligence and breach of contract. In his ruling released just before the new year, Perell struck Davidson's claim in contract and against the public service mem- bers, but he granted leave to deliver an amended statement of claim. "With respect to the negligence claim, I accept the Crown's ar- gument that the RCMP is not itself a legal entity capable of being sued as an institution and that under the Crown Liability and Pro- ceedings Act, the Crown can only be liable vicariously (i.e., not di- rectly) for the misconduct of individual Crown servants, but I con- clude that Ms. Davidson has adequately pleaded a claim against the collective of all male police officers and all male civilian members of the RCMP during the class period, and, therefore, her systemic negligence claim is a sound claim for which the Crown is vicariously liable," Perell wrote. STIKEMANS BEEFS UP One of the country's leading busi- ness law firms has added eight new lawyers to the partnership, effec- tive Jan. 1. Five will join the offices in Toronto including Mike De- vereux, who comes most recently from the firm's offices in Sydney, Australia, and Meaghan Obee Tower, who was recognized by the International Financial Law Review's IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms 2016 as a rising star in the area of banking. WISE WINS FEES CLAIM Chalk one up for lawyer Roy Wise, who successfully sued a client over fees. He represented the client in a dispute over the sale of taxi licences only to face a $400,000 counterclaim from the client for negligence. In the end, Wise and his lawyer Benjamin Salsberg prevailed. In a cost endorsement, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Stephen Firestone awarded Wise $86,000 for his time spent representing the client and another $80,000 de- fending the counterclaim. He found Wise "exercised his judgment appropriately and that he acted in accordance with his retainer and in his client's best in- terests." Firestone noted that as a "direct result of the counterclaim, both the complexity and trial time were in- creased. "In the counterclaim, the de- fendant called into question Wise's integrity and competence as a so- licitor." He said the client "could rea- sonably have expected that those allegations would be vigorously defended given both the amount sought and the nature of the alle- gations made against Wise." LAW TIMES POLL It was almost a political dead heat. We asked readers whether the Lib- eral government's plan to engage in electoral reform was necessary. A slim majority (53.5%) agreed that the current electoral system is out- dated and needs an overhaul, while 46.5% say our first-past-the-post system works well and politicians should butt out. That could make for some tricky times ahead steer- ing electoral reform through the seas of change. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story Won Kim 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 WIFE GETS LOTTERY FUNDS WON DURING DIVORCE AMSTERDAM — Sometimes, it pays to get di- vorced. A woman who won a 2.1-million-euro ($3.2-million) lottery prize during a divorce has no obligation to share it with her ex-husband, according to a Dutch court. The Amsterdam District Court ruling said the couple had listed the shared assets they wished to divide at the time they filed for divorce on Oct. 20, 2014, though the divorce was not formally granted until June 2015. The woman won the Post Code Lottery on New Year's Day 2015. The man had argued that he and his estranged wife always played the lottery using shared house- hold funds during their 30-year marriage, and it should be included in their divorce settlement. But the judge noted they had separated their finances at least four years earlier when he went to live with his new girlfriend. The woman paid for the winning ticket from her own bank account. "The above means that the prize won did not belong to their joint assets and that the court will hold the prize apart in its division of goods," the written decision said. No word if he sought spousal support. HORSE PENIS COMMENT LEADS TO EJECTION KYRGYZSTAN — A British employee of Kyrgyzstan's biggest gold mine, detained by police after comparing a national dish to a horse penis, was ordered to leave the country for working without an official permit. Michael Mcfeat posted a comment on Face- book saying that his Kyrgyz colleagues were queuing for their "special delicacy, the horse's penis" at New Year celebrations, sparking a brief strike at the Kumtor mine as well as calls for criminal prosecution. The mine is at the centre of a dispute between the government and Canada's Centerra Gold. The dish in question, chuchuk, is a sausage made from horse meat and intestines. Police detained Mcfeat for questioning, but the state security service only gave him a warning de- spite workers insisting that his actions constituted inciting hatred, a crime punishable by three to five years in prison. A local court found that Mcfeat, who worked as a welder for a contractor at Kumtor, had no work permit and ruled that he must be deported. STAR WARS FAN ARRESTED AFTER THREAT TO REVEAL PLOT HELENA, Mont. — A Montana man found out the force is strong when he was arrested on suspi- cion of threatening to shoot a student for divulg- ing a plot line from the new Star Wars epic. Police say Arthur Roy got "angry" with a stu- dent he had friended on Facebook after the boy gave up a subplot to Star Wars: The Force Awakens during an online conversation in December. During the online fight that ensued, Roy is al- leged to have posted a photo of himself in which he appears to brandish a gun, which he indicates is a Colt 1911 with a "hair trigger," according to a probable cause affidavit. The affidavit also says the boy was fearful Roy was going to come to "shoot him." Roy also said he was "coming to find" the boy, whose school was placed on security lock- down after officials saw the exchange, accord- ing to the affidavit. "The victim was afraid it was a legitimate threat," said Melissa Broch, a deputy attorney for Lewis and Clark County. "The victim believed that the defendant might come to his school and harm him." Roy was arrested on suspicion of assault with a weapon, a felony. He made an initial appearance in Lewis and Clark County Jus- tice Court, after which he was ordered held on $10,000 bail, Broch said. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the highest-grossing film of all time in North Amer- ica, surpassing in early January the US$760.5 million earned by Avatar. LT

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - January 11, 2016