Court of Appeal Provides Guidance On Pleading Defamation

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation0 Comments

In The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. v. Veritas Investment Research Corporation, the parties were involved in the venture capital industry.  The plaintiff company alleged that the defendants had attempted to damage the plaintiff with a “short selling” strategy.  The plaintiff claimed damages for conspiracy to injure, intentional interference with economic relations, and defamation.   As part of the defamation claim, the plaintiff alleged that defamatory material was published by one of the defendants to known individuals on known dates as well as to to unknown people on unknown dates.  The defendants brought a motion to strike the allegations of unknown publication, arguing that it was impermissible in a defamation claim to plead publication to unknown people on unknown dates.  The motion judge agreed, and ordered that specific allegation be struck out. On appeal, the Court of Appeal disagreed.  The Court of Appeal acknowledged that defamation claims are typically held to … Read More

Court of Appeal Upholds Finding Of Jurisdiction Based on Business Activities in Ontario

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges0 Comments

In Stuart Budd & Sons Limited v. IFS Vehicle Distributors ULC, 2016 ONCA 977, the plaintiff/respondents were eight car dealerships.  Four of the eight were located outside of Ontario.  The defendant/appellants were: IFS Vehicle Distributors ULC (“IFS”), a British Columbia corporation; International Fleet Sales Inc. (“International”), a California corporation, an affiliate of IFS which supplied parts and accessories to IFS; and two individuals who were officers of both IFS and International, and who resided outside of Ontario. The defendants brought a motion to stay the action, arguing that the out-of-province plaintiffs could not be part of the action, and could not sue the defendants in Ontario.   However, the motion judge found that the claim was presumptively connected to Ontario based on one of the factors set out by the Supreme Court in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda: that the defendant carried on business within the jurisdiction.  The motion judge found that … Read More

Court Refuses to Enforce Forum Selection Clause

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

In McMillan McGee Corp. v Northrop Grumman Canada, 2016 ONSC 6334, the Plaintiff sued the Defendants (“Northrop”) for damages arising from work done by the Plaintiff for the Northrop in Ontario.  Northrop’s Request for Proposals included “Purchase Order Terms and Conditions” (the “RFP Terms and Conditions”).  The RFP Terms and Conditions contained: a forum selection clause, stating that “either Party may only bring suit in federal or state court in the state from which this Order is issued”; and a choice of law clause, stating that “his Order will be construed and interpreted according to the law of the state from which this Order is issued, as identified in the Order”. “Order” was defined as “The instrument of contracting including this Purchase Order and all referenced documents”. The parties’ relationship involved three Purchase Orders, and many change orders.  The lawsuit involved invoices delivered after the Second Purchase Order. The First Purchase Order … Read More

Court of Appeal Upholds Stay Based on Contractual Choice of Forum/Arbitration Clause Against Non-Contracting Parties

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cross-Border Litigation0 Comments

In Novatrax International Inc. v. Hägele Landtechnik GmbH, 2016 ONCA 771, the plaintiff and the defendant Hägele were parties to an Exclusive Sales Agreement (“ESA”).  Hägele terminated the ESA.  The plaintiff sued Hägele, its individual principals and Cleanfix, a North American company related to Hägele. The defendants collectively moved to stay the Plaintiff’s claim, relying on a forum selection clause in the ESA which stated: “The contractual parties agree that German law is binding and to settle any disputes by a binding arbitration through the “Industrie und Handelskammer” (Chamber of Commerce) in Frankfurt.” The motion judge granted the stay, despite the fact that only Hägele, and not the other defendants, was a party to the ESA. The plaintiff appealed on two grounds: that the motion judge erred in i) interpreting the scope of the forum selection clause and ii) staying the action against the defendants who were not party to the … Read More

Ontario Court of Appeal Finds Misrepresentation and Breaches of OSC Rulings Against Trump Hotel Developer

Gilbertson Davis LLPCommercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Summary Judgment0 Comments

In the recently released decision of Singh v. Trump, the Ontario Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court decision and granted summary judgment in favour of two investors in the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto, on the basis that the developer made representations to purchasers that purchasing the hotel condominium units would result in highly profitable rental income. The court found those representations to have been false, and that making those representations was in contravention of a previous Ontario Securities Commission ruling which prohibited the developer from marketing the hotel condominium units as a profit-making investment. The Court of Appeal also reversed the motion judge’s dismissal of claims of oppression, collusion, and breaches of fiduciary duty as against current US presidential candidate Donald Trump and other invidiual defendants, on the basis that those issues were not properly put before the summary judgment motion judge at the motion. The … Read More

Ontario Court of Appeal Split Decision on Appropriate Jurisdiction in Online Defamation Case

Gilbertson Davis LLPCommercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Goldhar v. Haaretz.com on the issue of whether Ontario was the appropriate jurisdiction to litigate a defamation claim relating to an online publication by an Israeli newspaper that purported to defame Mr. Goldhar, who lives in Toronto but has business connections in Israel. The majority held that the litigation could proceed in Ontario, as the court had jurisdiction and also that Israel was not a clearly more convenient forum. The majority concluded that, even though Mr. Goldhar was likely more well-known in Israel, and the fact that the facts asserted in the article related to his ownership of a prominent Israeli soccer team, the article had the potential to damage his reputation in Ontario, and the article was read by a number of Ontarians (though only a fraction of the number who read the article in Israel), and therefore, the court had jurisdiction … Read More

Toronto Lawyers for Victims of Investment Fraud: When Investing in a Toronto Business Goes Bad

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorAppeals, Appellate Advocacy, Broker and Agent Claims, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Fraud, Fraud Recovery, Injunction & Specific Performance, Investment Fraud, Summary Judgment0 Comments

A bad investment may not be the result of market fluctuations. A false representation inducing and leading to an investment loss may be actionable at law. Often there is a promised  high-yield on an investment in a company, project or property.  Sometimes a loss occurs from a scheme where there is no intention by those entrusted with an investment to make the promised purchase or transfer. In Ontario, civil lawsuits for the victims of investment fraud have often been framed as claims for deceit, fraudulent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy,  breach of contract, unjust enrichment and restitution. Increasingly though, plaintiffs in lawsuits simply claim damages for losses arising directly from the tort of civil fraud. The leading case on civil fraud in Canada is the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014 in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, and in that case civil fraud is defined this way “… the tort of … Read More

Business Dirty Tricks: Unfair Competition: Intentional Interference, Inducing Breach of Contract, Conspiracy and Defamation

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorAppropriation of Personality, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cross-Border Litigation, Cyber Risks, Fraud, Injunction & Specific Performance, Intellectual Property, Of Interest to US Counsel, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Passing Off, Trademark Infringement0 Comments

Sometimes businesses and their stakeholders act wrongfully in seeking to advance their interests and / or harm competitors. There are often reports of the “dirty tricks” used by those in business to seek to destroy, defeat or diminish the effectiveness of a competitor. These are often unethical tactics, but sometimes such conduct is also wrongful and has been recognized by the common law as actionable in the courts for damages or injunctive or other urgent equitable relief, or prohibited by a statute which provides for a civil monetary remedy or grounds for an injunction. These causes of action have been recognized and provide the basis of lawsuits for harm, loss and damage, and in suitable circumstances, grounds for an immediate injunction or mandatory order prohibiting the further commission of the wrongful acts. In short, wrongful intentional acts causing harm, loss or damage to businesses or their stakeholders may give rise to a cause of action in common law business torts (the so-called … Read More

The Importance of Urgent Injunctive Relief | Referrals for Injunctions

Gilbertson Davis LLPCommercial Litigation, Injunction & Specific Performance0 Comments

Litigation is sometimes a slow and costly process, designed to ensure all parties are provided with sufficient opportunity to present their best case in a dispute. Unfortunately, personal and business realities often move much faster than ordinary litigation can accommodate, meaning that the time it takes to succeed in litigation can – in itself – be detrimental to your interests or your client’s interests. Interim and Interlocutory Injunctions Fortunately, the courts have a robust system in place to give parties immediate, if temporary, relief in the form of an injunction to ensure their rights are not compromised by the slow grind of the litigation process, giving all parties the time and opportunity to flesh out their positions once the immediate risk of harm has been dealt with. This kind of relief is limited only to situations where one can establish that such urgent remedies are truly necessary – that is, … Read More

Court Confirms Inference of Dissipation in Mareva Motions Based on Fraud

Gilbertson Davis LLPCommercial Litigation, Fraud, Injunction & Specific Performance0 Comments

In the recent case of Electromart (Ontario) Inc. v Fabianiak et al., the Ontario Superior Court considered the level of evidence required to prove that there is a real risk of the dissipation of assets, one of the elements necessary to obtain a Mareva injunction freezing a defendant’s assets. Normally, a court will not freeze a defendant’s assets just because the plaintiff is concerned that they will not be able to recover any money on their judgment at the end of litigation. However, where the court is convinced that the defendant is improperly dissipating his or her assets to make recovery more difficult or impossible, the court will freeze a defendant’s assets to prevent that from happening. In addition to proving a strong prima facie case, a moving plaintiff must also show why the freeze is necessary – that is, some reason to believe that assets will be dissipated if the order is not granted. The … Read More

Court Stays Arbitration but Denies Costs to Successful Party for “Blameworthy Conduct”

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

In Gorman v Kosowan, 2016 ONSC 5085, the applicant commenced a proceeding regarding a business dispute. The applicant and individual respondent were joint owners of a transportation and warehouse business.  A dispute arose between them.   The respondents subsequently terminated the applicant’s employment and excluded him from the business.  The applicant sought relief from the allegedly oppressive conduct under the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Ontario Business Corporations Act.  The respondents brought a motion to stay the oppression application based on an arbitration clause in the parties’ Unanimous Shareholders’ Agreement (“USA”). The USA arbitration clause required arbitration for “disputes under” the USA. The Judge found that the applicant’s claims were covered by the arbitration clause and granted the respondents’ motion to stay the application. In the Judge’s subsequent costs decision, here, the Judge denied the respondents’ request for costs of the motion.  While a winning party is typically entitled to its costs … Read More

Enforcement of Ontario Judgment in US (U.S.A and American States)

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Casino Debt Recovery, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Creditors Rights, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Forum Challenges, Jurisdictional Challenges, Loan and Guarantee, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

If you are looking for Enforcement of US Judgment in Ontario, Canada, then click here. ____ Enforcement of Ontario Judgment in US (U.S.A and American States)  We sometimes act for clients in litigation against defendants located in an American state, or having assets located in one or more U.S. states. Other times we are retained simply to assess and / or seek enforcement of an Ontario or other Canadian judgment in an U.S. state. Accordingly, the consideration sometimes arises whether a money judgment obtained in a court of Ontario or Canada is readily enforceable in a particular US state. Neither Ontario nor Canada is a party to any bilateral enforcement of money judgement treaty or convention with the U.S. or any particular state in the U.S..  However many U.S. states have enacted statutes concerning the enforcement of foreign (including Ontario and Canada) money-judgments in that state. Since this is largely … Read More

In Jurisdiction Dispute, Court of Appeal Confirms Contract Made Where Acceptance Received

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appellate Advocacy, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

In Eco-Tec Inc. v. Lu, the Plaintiff Ontario company researched, developed and manufactured proprietary technology and products.  The Defendants were Lu, a Canadian citizen, his BVI company and three Chinese companies owned by him or his parents.  The Defendant companies were the Plaintiff’s consultant, agent or distributor in China.  In the course of their relationship, the Plaintiffs and Defendants signed a number of agreements. The Plaintiff ended its relationship with the Defendants in 2012, alleging that the Defendant’s Chinese companies were selling clones of the Plaintiff’s product in China.  The Plaintiff brought a claim for breach of confidence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, unjust enrichment and/or unlawful interference with its economic interests.  The Defendants brought a motion to dismiss the Ontario action on the basis that the Ontario Court did not have jurisdiction.  The motion judge dismissed the motion, finding, among other reasons, that the dispute was connected … Read More

Partnership and Contractual Disputes between Professionals (Dentists, Doctors, Accountants, Lawyers, Architects, Engineers)

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Injunction & Specific Performance, Joint Venture Disputes, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Professions0 Comments

Partnerships Professionals often carry on their professional practice as partners in a partnership or limited liability partnership. Partnerships can be created simply by conduct and the application of the Partnership Act or by a simple or complex partnership agreement. Joint Venture Contract – Fiduciary Duties? In other cases professionals associate in practice by participation in a contractual joint venture which, depending on the agreement and the circumstances, may or may not at law also be a partnership but, in any event, may attract the duties and obligations of partners, including fiduciary duties. Sharing Space Lastly, some professionals may consider that they are only sharing space with other professional and may be very surprised to find that the arrangement gave rise at law to unexpected obligations. Duty of Honest Performance The recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew, though not a case about partnerships, nonetheless has a wide-ranging impact … Read More

Oppression Actions vs. Derivative Actions under the OBCA

Gilbertson Davis LLPCommercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

The Ontario Business Corporations Act (OBCA) provides broad remedial options for directors, officers, shareholders, and other “complainants” to correct oppressive or prejudicial actions by or against a corporation. Most commonly, these take the form of either an oppression action or a derivative action. Oppression actions are where a complainant commences an action where that individuals interests have been oppressed or unfairly prejudiced. Derivative actions, on the other hand, are where a complainant starts litigation in the name of the corporation where the corporation has been wronged and the corporation (by its board of directors) chooses not to commence litigation itself. Because derivative actions bring the corporation into litigation without its consent, and often require the corporation to pay the legal costs of that action, leave of the court is required to commence a derivative action. Tersigni v. Georgevitch OBCA actions, and in particular oppression actions, can sometimes blur the legal distinction between … Read More

Gilbertson Davis LLP News – OsgoodePD Program on Shareholder Litigation and the Closely-Held Company

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorBusiness Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business Disputes, Gilbertson Davis LLP News, Injunction & Specific Performance, International Joint Venture, Oppression Remedies, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

David Alderson, of Gilbertson Davis LLP attended as a faculty member of the OsgoodePD professional development program on April 7, 2015 concerning Shareholder Litigation and the Closely-Held Company. He was on the panel addressing Ethical and Professional Issues in Shareholder Disputes and Litigation. Osgoode Hall Law School said of this professional development program, “This OsgoodePD program brings together some of the country’s top commercial litigators and other experts to provide insight into key aspects of litigating these cases.”  Shareholders disputes are one of the most common and most complex disputes handled by commercial litigators and in-house counsel. The panel on Ethical and Professional Issues in Shareholder Disputes and Litigation included Paul N. Feldman of Feldman Lawyers, Tom Curry of Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP and David Alderson of Gilbertson Davis LLP, with Lisa C. Munro of Lerners LLP moderating. The program is being re-broadcast on May 22, 2015 as described here. David Alderson has experience in shareholder and partnership disputes, both in arbitration … Read More

Does adverse possession apply to exclusive-use condominium common elements in Ontario?

R. Lee Akazaki, C.S., B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation0 Comments

The marketing message behind the Condominium boom in Canada’s urban jungles is all about newness.  The smell of new carpets and freshly cut flowers in the lobby appeals to the allure of modernity.  The reality of the condominium as a form of residential property has been with us for decades, and condominium law has been overlaid on top of conventional property law. Buried within the registered title documents are discrepancies waiting for parties to turn them into legal disputes. With so many deals taking place, and lawyers not being trained in ‘parochial’ property law, condominium title disputes will only increase with time and the volume of transactions. One problem area, hitherto unknown in the legal community, is the effect of adverse possession on exclusive use common elements.  The physical integration of a common element into a unit owner’s unit is not uncommon.  For example, balconies, parking spaces, and storage areas … Read More