Defamation Lawyers and the Inference of Publication

Josef FinkelAppeals, Business Defamation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Cyber Libel, Defamation, Internet Defamation, Online Defamation0 Comments

In our blog Toronto Defamation Lawyers – Libel and Slander Law in Ontario, we suggest that in order to be successful on a defamation claim, one would have to prove that the allegedly defamatory publication was “published”, among other things. The court of appeal has provided some clarity on what it means to “publish” defamatory content. In Zoutman v. Graham, 2020 ONCA 767 (CanLII), the court contends on an appeal from a summary judgment motion, that a defamation claim requires proof that the “words were communicated to at least one person other than the plaintiff”. On the original summary judgment motion, the motions judge acknowledged that there was no evidence that the allegedly defamatory postings were viewed by anyone other than the parties and their lawyers. However, the motions judge drew an “inference of publication” from the totality of the circumstances. In drawing the inference of publication, the motions judge … Read More

China International Arbitration Award Enforced by Ontario Court

Josef FinkelArbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards0 Comments

Tianjin v. Xu, 2019 ONSC 628 (CanLII) involved an application under the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017, SO 2017, c 2, Sch 5 (the “Act”) for an order recognizing and making enforceable in Ontario an arbitral award of the Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”). Respondent’s Defences The respondent argued that the arbitration award should not be enforced in Ontario because: Service: The respondent did not receive notice of the arbitral proceeding or the appointment of arbitrators; and Jurisdiction: The Ontario Superior Court of Justice did not have jurisdiction to enforce the arbitral award because the arbitration was not an “international commercial arbitration”. Service The court found that there is no requirement that service of notice of the arbitral proceedings or of appointment of arbitrators be effected in accordance with the CIETAC Rules. Rather, the court opined that the respondent was given “proper notice” of the proceedings and … Read More

B.C. Court Claims Jurisdiction over International Online Defamation Case

Josef FinkelArbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Defamation, Forum Challenges, Online Defamation0 Comments

This blog post is further to our blog on the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) decision in Haaretz.com v. Goldhar, 2018 SCC 28 (CanLII) (“Haaretz”) wherein the SCC opined that Israel was a more convenient forum for an online defamation claim brought by the plaintiff in Ontario (even though the SCC recognized that Ontario had jurisdiction over the matter). The SCC considered a number of factors in its decision (all outlined in our blog). In the recent Supreme Court of British Columbia (“BCSC”) decision, Giustra v Twitter, Inc., 2021 BCSC 54 (CanLII) (“Giustra”), the BCSC confirmed that even where jurisdiction is found, a court can decline to exercise its jurisdiction under the principle that its court is not the most convenient forum for the hearing of the dispute (largely following the tenets laid out in Haaretz). The court in Giustra cited Haaretz in pointing out that the applicable law in … Read More

The Ontario Commercial Mediation Act, 2010 (Blog Part I)

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer, Arbitrator and MediatorBusiness Litigation, Business Mediation, Business Mediator, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Mediation, Commercial Mediation Act, Commercial Mediator, Commercial Mediators, Contract Dispute Mediation, Contract Dispute Mediator, Cross-Border Mediation, Cross-Border Mediation, Cross-Border Mediator, Distribution Mediation, Distribution Mediator, Employment Mediation, Employment Mediator, Mediation, Mediators, National Mediation Rules, Technology Mediation, Technology Mediator0 Comments

David Alderson is a Commercial Mediator: Hourly Rates: $375.00 to $475.00 per hour (depending on amount of the claims), plus facilities and applicable taxes. Daily Rates and Half-day Rates available. The Ontario Commercial Mediation Act, 2010 (Blog Part I) This blog post (Part I) considers the provisions of the Ontario Commercial Mediation Act 2010, S.O. 2010, c.16, Sch. 3, concerning the application of that legislation, definitions contained in the Act, its interpretation, commencement and termination of the mediation, and the appointment of the mediator, duty of disclosure, and conduct of the mediation. Further blog posts on the Act: (Part II) – will consider other provisions of the Act, including the mediator’s authority, disclosure between parties, confidentiality, admissibility, and the relationship to arbitration and judicial proceedings. (Part III) – will consider other provisions of the Act concerning settlement agreements, enforcement of settlement, application of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, judgments, orders, … Read More

It’s not all about Intent! – Court of Appeal Confirms Test for Civil Conspiracy

Josef FinkelAppeals, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In the recent decision Mughal v. Bama Inc., 2020 ONCA 704 (CanLII), the Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision in an action alleging civil conspiracy, among other things. The underlying action involved a plaintiff seeking the return of his investment in a corporation. On appeal, it was alleged that the trial judge applied the wrong legal test for and misapprehended the evidence to find commission of the tort of conspiracy to injure. The appellate court concluded that the trial judge applied the correct test for establishing civil conspiracy to injure as follows: Whether the means used by the defendants are lawful or unlawful, the predominant purpose of the defendants’ conduct is to cause injury to the plaintiff; or, Where the conduct of the defendants is unlawful, the conduct is directed towards the plaintiff (alone or together with others), and the defendants should know in the circumstances that injury … Read More

Do it, Don’t Just Say it! Court of Appeal refuses to Rule on Arbitration Clause

Josef FinkelArbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Moving Litigation to Arbitration0 Comments

On a recent motion before the Court of Appeal in Paulpillai Estate v. Yusuf, 2020 ONCA 655 (CanLII), Jamal J.A. clarifies that a party needs to bring a motion if it wants the proceeding to be referred to arbitration. In the underlying decision, Paulpillai v. Yusuf, 2020 ONSC 851 (CanLII), the motion judge noted that the responding parties “have maintained in their affidavit evidence that the matter should have proceeded by way of arbitration, but at no time did they bring a motion seeking to stay these proceedings or to compel the Applicants to proceed by way of arbitration”. Accordingly, the motion judge found that the responding parties have waived their right to seek to have the issues in the action determined by way of arbitration. In agreement with the motion judge, Jamal J.A., writing for the Court of Appeal, clarifies that, even though (a) there was an arbitration clause … Read More

Nick Poon Comments on Anti-Black Racism in Commercial Lease Dispute for The Lawyer’s Daily

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Injunction & Specific Performance, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

Nick Poon was recently asked by The Lawyer’s Daily to comment on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Elias Restaurant v. Keele Sheppard Plaza Inc., 2020 ONSC 5457. The Lawyer’s Daily article is found here: Court cites ‘prejudices’ to Black tenants in overturning landlord’s eviction bid. In this case, the tenant was a husband and wife team that operated a successful restaurant/bar offering African and Caribbean cultural foods primarily to the black community.  The tenant had spent $150,000 in leasehold improvements when it took over the lease in 2013.  The lease included two further 5-year renewal options, upon delivery of written notice at least six months before the lease expired. Although the tenant attempted to contact the landlord, both before and after the deadline, to start the renewal process, the landlord appeared to have avoided its telephone calls.  The tenant brought an application for relief from forfeiture after … Read More

Toronto Defamation Lawyers – Libel and Slander Law in Ontario

Josef FinkelArbitration, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Online Defamation0 Comments

Defamation is the tort of false publication (whether written or oral). Typically, a publication which tends to lower a person’s reputation in the opinion of reasonable members of society, or to expose a person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, is defamatory and will attract liability. The major piece of legislation governing the law of defamation in Ontario is the Libel and Slander Act. According to the Act, you can be defamed in two ways: via either (1) Libel and/or (2) Slander. What is Libel? Defamatory communications may be by words, pictures, sounds, or other forms of communication.  They may be published on the internet, in social media postings, on websites, online reviews, chat rooms, or in other forms of broadcast. The dissemination of such defamatory comments or communications to the public is libelous. What is Slander? Slander is the public utterance of words that are meant to disparage a person … Read More

Construction Law Lawyers – An Overview of Construction Law

Josef FinkelCivil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Liens, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

Construction law and practice, largely governed by the Construction Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.30 (the “Act”), is a specialized field of law which has unique attributes, processes and deadlines. One cannot contract out of the application of the Act and must abide by its provisions. Without going into the various intricacies, the following is a brief primer on some (not all) key parts of the Act for those that may need legal assistance with a construction related dispute. The Initial Contract A construction project will typically start with a contract between a property owner and a general contractor. For a fee, the contractor takes on the responsibility of overseeing the project and supplying services and/or materials to the construction project. The Subcontracts The contractor often needs help from tradespeople (“subcontractors” or “subtrades”) with various aspects of the project like plumbing, painting, etc. For such assistance, the contractor tends to enlist … Read More

Is it a Gift or a Loan?

Josef FinkelCivil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Gift Law0 Comments

Have you loaned money to a friend or relative who now refuses to repay you and alleges that the loan was actually a gift? Or are you on the other side of this problem wherein your friend or relative gifted you a sum of money a while ago but is now demanding repayment? These issues come up most often in the private sphere where parties to a transaction do not habitually document all of their ventures. Nevertheless, verbal loan or gift agreements of this sort are still enforceable. Litigation involving a disagreement about whether a transaction was a loan or a gift is typically commenced by the transferor (i.e. the person who has transferred the funds) who claims that the transfer was a loan and not a gift. If you require assistance in either commencing such a claim in the Superior Court of Justice or defending against same, we have … Read More

Ontario Bans Commercial Evictions During COVID-19: Seven Things You Need to Know

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

As predicted in our previous blog, B.C. Bans Evictions if Commercial Landlords Fail to Apply to CECRA: A Similar Ban Coming to Ontario?, the Ontario Government announced yesterday that it had passed legislation to protect commercial tenants from evictions and having their assets seized by their landlord during COVID-19. After British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan took steps in the last two weeks to protect small business tenants from landlords that choose not to apply for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, Ontario Premier Doug Ford finally followed through on his promise to protect small business tenants during COVID-19. On June 18, 2020, Bill 192,  Protecting Small Business Act, 2020 (the “Act”) received Royal Assent, and officially amended the Commercial Tenancies Act to prohibit landlords, that are or would be eligible to receive assistance under the CECRA program, from evicting tenants or exercising distress remedies in the period from … Read More

B.C. Bans Evictions if Commercial Landlords Fail to Apply to CECRA: A Similar Ban Coming to Ontario?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Real Estate Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Although the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) opened for applications last week, complaints about the program have continued from both small business tenants and commercial landlords. Small business tenants have complained that landlords continue to refuse to apply to CECRA, the eligibility requirement for a revenue loss of at least 70 percent was too high and the number of months of relief should be expanded.  Today, Ontario extended the state of emergency until June 30, 2020 although Premier Doug Ford stressed that the gradual and safe re-opening of the economy would continue.  It is unlikely most eligible tenants will be able to make their full rent payment on July 1, 2020, even if they receive rent relief for the months of April, May and June, 2020 under CECRA.  Landlords have complained that the application process is too confusing, costly, time-consuming and risky.  Under CECRA, landlords are required complete … Read More

Commercial Leases and Relief From Forfeiture: A Second Chance For Tenants During COVID-19?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Today is the first day landlords can apply for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) as reported in our blog last week entitled COVID-19 | Ontario-Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program – Part 2. Although commercial rent relief is now finally available for the months of April, May and June 2020, it has been over two months since non-essential businesses in Ontario were required to close.  The gradual re-opening of some non-essential businesses, under strict guidelines, was only announced over the last few weeks.  According to a recent survey by CFIB, 48% of Ontario small businesses suffered a drop in revenue of 70% or more, and 77% of Ontario small businesses suffered a drop in revenue of 30% or more.  It is highly unlikely that these small businesses will survive the COVID-19 pandemic without further assistance. In addition, it has been widely reported that some commercial landlords will not … Read More

COVID-19 | Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program – Part 2

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Further to our blog entitled COVID-19 | Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program, CMHC has finally released further details about the OCECRA program including the opening date of the applications portal on May 25, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EST. Amidst reports that many landlords were refusing to apply for the OCECRA program, Premier Doug Ford pleaded with landlords to participate in the OCECRA program, stating: “It is not going to be forever.  It is going to be for a few months.  Help people out.  You have an obligation to do that as a landlord”.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a more business-oriented argument for landlords to participate in the OCECRA program, stating: “With many people discovering that we can work from home … there may be a lot of vacancies in commercial buildings over the coming months and years.  Who knows exactly what the post-pandemic world will look like exactly?”. … Read More

Confidentiality, Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Clauses In Contracts

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Breach of Confidentiality Clause, Breach of Non-Competition Agreement, Breach of Non-Competition Clause, Breach of Non-Solicitation Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Clause, Business Disputes, Business Law, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial Contracts, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Confidentiality Agreement, Confidentiality Clause, Corporate Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Injunction & Specific Performance, Joint Venture Disputes, Management Contracts, Mareva Injunction, Non-Compete, Non-Competition Agreement, Non-Competition Clause, Non-Solicitation Agreement, Non-Solicitation Clause, Norwich Order, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Sale of Business Disputes, Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

Confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation clauses often show up in a variety of business contracts including employment and executive contracts, shareholder, and director agreements, as well as, independent contractor agreements, joint venture agreements and mergers, to name a few. A question that must be considered by contracting parties to such agreements is: What is the enforceability of these types of restrictive covenants? This question particularly becomes important when parties may part ways and a breach of the clauses is suspected or confirmed. These clauses are premised on the assumption that the relationship between the parties will result in the sharing of proprietary and sensitive business knowledge, contacts and relationships related to the operations of a business, which the company seeks to protect, particularly once the relationship between the parties ends. Non-competition clauses usually restrict one’s ability to engage in a competing business. Non-solicitation clauses prohibit one from soliciting stakeholders and contacts … Read More

COVID-19 | Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

On April 16, 2020, the Federal government announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) but could not provide further details because discussions with the provinces and territories were required for the administration and implementation of the program. Today, the Ontario government announced the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA) and provided further details on the eligibility requirements and the terms of the forgiveable loan.  The OCECRA is expected to be operational in mid-May 2020, and will provide commercial rent relief for the months of April and May (retroactively) and June 2020. We summarize the OCECRA as follows: Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program – Updated May 7, 2020 What is the purpose of OCECRA?  To provide relief to landlords and small business tenants affected by COVID-19 by providing forgivable loans to landlords to cover 50% of the gross monthly rent for April, May and June 2020. Who … Read More

Ontario Extends Mandatory Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Dispute Arbitrator, Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Creditors Rights, Employment, Franchise Law0 Comments

On April 23, 2020, the Ontario government announced that all emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, including the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses, have been extended until May 19, 2020 (Updated: May 7, 2020). A list of the extended orders and the current revocation dates are found here. Although the closure of non-essential businesses is necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses have been closed for over a month and will be closed for at least another two week period with no or very minimal revenue coming in.  A survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicated that 40% of Canadian small businesses were worried the pandemic would force them to permanently close.  These small businesses, which form the backbone of the economy, are unlikely to survive without further assistance from the federal, provincial and municipal governments and/or cooperation from landlords, … Read More