Canada’s Marbury v. Madison? Not quite.

As reported in the Globe and Mail, Justice Colin Westman has joined a chorus of Canadian judges refusing to apply the law, as a protest against the federal government’s criminal sentencing legislation.  Whatever the merits of their political views on the subject, the rebellious judges threaten a constitutional showdown which they will not, and should not win.  As lawyers and law students, it is important for us to understand why judicial rebellion is not judicial independence.  Judicial rebellion harms judicial independence.  To see this, one has to understand the source of judicial power.

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CGL Policies – the Russian Doll of Business Insurance

Few subjects beguile new lawyers more than the interpretation of commercial general liability insurance policies (CGL).

This includes many corporate-commercial lawyers contributing to complex agreements running into hundreds of pages.  Show them a CGL form, and their eyes glaze over. But most CGL policies are only a few pages long, and the longest run a few dozen pages.  Once you “get” the basic structure of the agreement, as described by Justice Rothstein at paragraphs 26-28 of the 2010 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Progressive Homes v. Lombard, you’ll wonder why you ever thought the subject so daunting: Continue reading

Court of Appeal’s ‘new departure and fresh approach’ to Ontario’s summary judgment rule

(Click here for full text.)

Nostalgic followers of Ontario’s summary judgment jurisprudence will be pleasantly surprised to see a reference to Henry J.’s 1990 decision in Pizza Pizza Ltd. v. Gillespie, but those anticipating a broad expansion of the summary procedure will be disappointed.  That decision had been the high point of summary judgment in Ontario.  Since then, it has been hard to bring the motion because of the restricted view of its application, and because of the onerous costs consequences for bringing a failed motion for summary judgment.  New lawyers will only have known the more restrictive regime, but today’s ruling provides a necessary historical overview.

Most interestingly for the author of this site, the reasoning tracks very closely the comments on summary judgment by Henderson and Akazaki, at page 6 of the OBA Submission to the Civil Justice Reform Project, available in this site’s November 8 post or on the OBA site.  In that monograph, the authors had commented:

‘Relaxation of the threshold test to the point where it permits judgment to be granted in cases where there are genuine (not spurious) issues of credibility undermines the primacy of the trial system and brings in the administration of justice into disrepute.’

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Case Law

The reward for approaching every case with an open mind …

Is the chance to see your name in print as counsel.

Lee Akazaki has appeared as counsel in over 79 judicial decisions reported in Quicklaw, as well as 24 decisions in print reports such as the Ontario Reports (O.R.), Dominion Law Reports (D.L.R.), Ontario Appeal Cases (O.A.C.), Canadian Patent Reports (C.P.R.), Canadian Bankruptcy Reports (C.B.R.), Real Property Reports (R.P.R.), Canadian Cases in the Law of Insurance (C.C.L.I.), Canadian Insurance Law Reporter (I.L.R.), Carswell’s Practice Cases (C.P.C.), Ontario Trial Cases (O.T.C.) and All Canada Weekly Summaries (A.C.W.S.) Continue reading

Uniform Law Conference of Canada

In August, 2008 and 2009, I was the Ontario Bar Association delegate to the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.  The photo is from 2009 in Ottawa, in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.  Click here for my report to the OBA Civil Litigation Section: CIV_Sept08


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