Law Times

October 23, 2017

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Concerns voiced over new condo tribunal BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times L awyers are voicing con- cerns over the limited jurisdiction of the new tri- bunal being set up to han- dle condominium disputes when it opens its doors in November. The Condo Authority Tribunal was set up as part of the provin- cial government's overhaul of the Condominium Act and initially will only adjudicate disputes con- cerning access to condo records. It is expected to widen its jurisdiction on certain issues, but some condo lawyers say it should be expanded to everything con- do-related. "If we are going to have a spe- cialized tribunal, that tribunal should deal with everything and anything that is within the con- dominium world," says Rodrigue Escayola, partner with Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP. The provincial government has created the new tribunal in the hopes of getting condo disputes out of the courts and into a spe- cialized tribunal that will make them faster and cheaper. Lawyers say the effectiveness of the tribu- nal will largely depend on how restrictive the tribunal's authority will be going forward. The government has also set up a new administrative author- ity called the Condominium Authority of Ontario, as well as a new regulator for condo man- agers called the Condominium Management Regulatory Author- ity of Ontario, which will handle complaints against managers. The CAT is expected to be pri- marily an online dispute resolu- tion platform and will make bind- ing decisions about disputes under the Condo Act. But new regulations that have been rolled out up to this point have only given the tribunal juris- diction to handle records dis- putes. While the act gives the tribu- nal a broad spectrum of issues KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Campaigns important but limited P7 FOCUS ON Trusts & Estates Law P8 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 28, No. 33 October 23, 2017 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M STATEMENT DEBATE Controversy over LSUC requirement P4 BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times T he Ontario Court of Ap- peal has issued a warn- ing to lawyers that they should only bring partial summary judgment motions in the clearest of cases. In a recent judgment in Butera v. Chown, Cairns LLP, 2017, the court allowed a $5-million neg- ligence action brought against a law firm to proceed to trial in its entirety and rolled back a lower court judge's decision to dismiss part of the case. "A motion for partial summary judgment should be considered a rare procedure that is reserved for an issue or issues that may be readily bifurcated from those in the main action and that may be dealt with expeditiously and in a cost effective manner," Justice Sarah Pepall wrote in the decision on behalf of a three-judge panel. Since the Supreme Court of Canada's 2014 decision in Hryn- iak v. Mauldin, courts have seen an uptick in the amount of sum- mary judgment motions being brought. The Hryniak ruling expanded the use of summary judgment to streamline cases that can be de- cided without trial. Before that decision, the Court of Appeal had stressed that a re- strictive approach to partial sum- mary judgment was necessary. Lawyers say the decision in Butera confirms that the same will apply in the post-Hryniak era. Neil Wilson, the lawyer who represented the former client, Luciano Butera, says that partial summary judgment can actually undermine access to justice be- cause of delay and expense. Wilson, who is a lawyer with Stevenson Whelton MacDonald & Swan LLP, adds that such mo- tions can strain judicial resources if not used properly and judi- ciously. "I think it will discourage par- ties from using partial summary judgment," Wilson says of the de- cision. Butera brought the lawsuit against Chown Cairns LLP, a St. Catherines, Ont.-based firm for solicitors' negligence and lost op- portunity damages. Chown Cairns had acted for the client in a prior lawsuit that was dismissed, as a two-year limi- See Entire, page 2 OCA rules on partial summary judgment Rodrigue Escayola says practitioners and their clients might not want to wait to have their compliance matters heard by the Condominium Authority Tribunal at this point. See CAT, page 2 CLOUD 3.0 – DRAFTING & NEGOTIATING EFFECTIVE CLOUD COMPUTING AGREEMENTS JOIN OUR FULLY ACCREDITED PROGRAM | EXPAND YOUR NETWORK AND OBTAIN CPD HOURS Register online: • 416-609-5868 | 1-877-298-5868 *Discount applies to in-class only USE PROMO CODE EARLYBIRD2017 & SAVE $300* EARLY BIRD ENDS NOV. 6 Untitled-2 1 2017-10-18 10:01 AM & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Follow Neil Wilson says partial summary judgment can put a strain on judicial resources if not used properly. Photo: Robin Kuniski

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