The Critical Importance Of Face-to-Face Law: Reflections From A Defence Lawyer

“I miss the whispered conversations in overcrowded hallways, the atmosphere, as thrilling here, as always…..”

A quote from “Sunset Boulevard” by Don Black, Christopher Hampton and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The last time I was in Court was March 15, 2020. Looking back on it, it seems like another lifetime, and of course, it was. For me, it was the last normal day before the full impact of COVID-19 hit home. It was the last time I saw my colleagues and friends; advocated in front of a judge for a client; went into battle. It was the last time I was a courtroom warrior. I miss it quite desperately.

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Collateral Damage In The Wake of Covid-19: Were The Precautions Worth The Risk

We are all going through a difficult time, none more so than our healthcare professionals. They are on the front line, putting themselves at risk to help others and our communities. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, doctors and hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and discharged patients to make room for the anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients. An influx that never materialized. While it is very good news that we were not inundated with COVID-19 patients, hospital operating rooms are 30 to 50 percent empty.

The reality is that there are many more victims of COVID-19 than those who are infected. The collateral damage may turn out to be worse than the direct impact of the virus itself.

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Hot Coffee Spills and Other Motor Vehicle Mishaps: What are Your Options?

Tim Horton’s recent coffee cup lid redesign has resulted in people finding their take-out coffee lids unexpectedly coming off their cups and causing spills. A number of people have called us in the past 12 months with reports of significant burns caused by the lids popping off. In many cases, the victims are in their cars when the lids come off causing serious burns and injuries.

Several websites have reported on coffee spill issues, including which has a petition signed by over 1,800 people asking Tim Horton’s to bring back their old lids because the new lids spill more often. CBC and The Globe and Mail have both released articles in the past 16 months reporting on issues of Tim Horton’s coffee being too hot and of complaints of the lids leaking or spilling on customers.

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In Defence of Tradition: Modernizing The Ontario Legal System In The Face Of Covid-19

COVID-19 has necessarily caused the Ontario court system to frantically scramble to modernize how matters are heard and resolved. The law is based on tradition. Sometimes the desire to preserve tradition causes those involved to fear change.

Before Covid-19, almost everyone involved in the civil justice system in Ontario recognized that the system was slow and antiquated but there was no real incentive to change. We lumbered along with cases moving at a snail’s pace. The cost to pursue a civil case was too expensive for most people to even consider. In my field of medical malpractice and personal injury, we don’t charge our clients for the ongoing litigation and are only paid if there is a successful outcome. This is the only way for those injured or who suffer loss at the hands of another person or corporation to obtain any access to the courtroom and seek justice.

However, with the courts essentially shut down and prohibitions on in-person meetings, the civil justice system has been forced to adapt.

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Ontario drivers may see reduction in insurance premiums because of Covid 19

Are You Entitled To A Refund of Your Auto Insurance Premiums?

Auto insurers in Ontario and across Canada have announced that in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic they will be offering significant reductions of drivers’ monthly premiums.  Some insurers are cutting the premiums of all drivers by a fixed percentage while others are requiring insureds to update their current driving habits and reducing premiums on that basis. 

The premise is simple and fundamentally a good news story.  While self-isolating and working from home a huge percentage of drivers are staying off the roads.  With fewer drivers on the roads, there are fewer collisions.  Fewer collisions mean fewer people are injured or killed and fewer vehicles are damaged or written off.  This translates to a significant reduction in claims made to auto insurers. 

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woman accessing employment benefits online in Ontario

Support for Employers and Employees in the Wake of COVID-19

It is trite to say, but we are in an unprecedented time for everyone right now in Canada. For everyone’s safety, businesses are closed and we have been instructed to stay inside and not come within 6 feet of our neighbours. We are seeing big changes in our everyday lives.  Both the federal and provincial governments are being required to respond very quickly to rapidly changing circumstances. One such response that affects a vast number of Canadians is the changes to the laws that govern employers and employees.

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Employment law in Ontario outlines employee rights

What Can You Do After Being Fired Without Cause In Ontario? Your Head Might Be Spinning, But Understanding Your Rights And Your Employer's Obligations Is The First Step Forward.

You arrive at work just like you have every other day for the last ten years. You sit down at your desk and fire up your computer, ready for another super-productive day. Before you get yourself logged in, the boss calls and asks you to come over to her office. You arrive, and seated beside her is the Human Resources director.

They have that certain look on their faces that leads you to think, “Well, this isn’t good.”

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