Person holding camera

Should We Turn On The Camera?

In September 2016, I wrote a blog for the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association in the wake of Edmonton judge, Justice Denny Thomson’s decision to allow television cameras inside the courtroom to broadcast his decision in the Travis Vader murder trial. 

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The High Stakes Cost of Litigation

$30,000 in damages and $151,045 in costs. $20,414.813 in damages and $237,017.50 in costs.

Litigation is expensive. We all know this to be a fact, but a couple of recent Ontario Superior Court decisions drive home the point. While at first blush one might think that awarding costs worth five and ten times the damages is outrageous, in both cases, the costs awards were fair and reasonable in the circumstances of each case. Had the trial judge awarded anything less, injustice would surely be the result.

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Medical Malpractice: Who Caused What?

As a lawyer helping people with medical malpractice cases, one of the most difficult tasks for me is to explain to an injured client and/or their family members the reality that in some cases, while the medical professional may be found negligent, the negligence did not cause the injury. The result: even though the medical professional was negligent, the injured client receives no compensation.

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When Medicine Harms: Preventable Errors in Canadian Hospitals

In Canada, we’re blessed with a universal health care system led by extremely well educated, qualified and caring doctors, nurses and other professionals. We trust these professionals with our lives, and in most cases, we’re treated well and we recover.

Unfortunately, preventable errors happen.

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The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy

The dangers of driving while drowsy — how is that for alliteration?

To be serious, when you’re tired, you’re risking your own safety and the safety of everyone else on the road. According to a study released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in December 2016, drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double the risk for a crash.

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Distracted Driving: Ontario Introducing Tougher Penalties

It won’t be long before picking up your phone while driving, even if stopped at a red light, will cost you even more money.

On September 20, 2017, Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced that the Liberal government will introduce legislation to increase the fines for distracted driving from a maximum of $1,000 to up to $2,000 on second conviction, and up to $3,000 for a third or subsequent conviction as well as six demerit points for multiple offences.

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Pondering the End of the ‘Hired Gun’ Expert Witness

Note: This article originally appeared in The Lawyer’s Daily.

The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Bruff-Murphy v. Gunawardena 2017 ONCA 502, is a must-read for all personal injury lawyers. On the one hand, the court sent a clear direction to trial judges that they must take a more robust role as the gatekeeper of expert evidence, which should mark the end of either side using "hired guns."

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When Accident Benefits Covers a Hot Coffee Spill

Hot coffee from McDonald’s is again the subject matter of a legal case.

I’m sure everyone has heard of the case in the United States where McDonald’s served scalding hot coffee to an elderly lady. The coffee spilled on the lady’s legs, causing severe third-degree burns. Unfortunately, that case made headlines for the wrong reasons and was wrongly ridiculed as being frivolous. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

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Acknowledging the Faces Behind Criminal Law

This is a blog about blogs, specifically my blog and why I choose the things I write about. I think it’s important to explain why; even though I write blogs as a criminal defence lawyer, law is rarely one of my topics.

Criminal law is evolving almost daily. Judges make decisions about interpretations of the law, parliamentarians bring in new legislation, and sometimes situations get ahead of the law, and all the players in the justice system have to scramble to adjust to new dynamics. It's fascinating, and challenging – and frequently reported in the news.

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