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Rulings

Class actions Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Retailer ordered to pay $1 million in punitive damages in class action

Canada’s largest discount furniture and appliance retailer was ordered to pay $2.36 million, including $1 million in punitive damages, to thousands of consumers after Quebec Superior Court found that it engaged in deceptive advertising and marketing with its popular “buy now, pay later” promotions.

The ruling, one of a handful of Quebec class actions that was decided on its merits, represents a convincing victory for consumer’s rights and serves as a cautionary tale for business that rely on false and misleading advertising pitches to lure customers, according to legal experts.…

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Legal business Quebec Quebec Superior Court Rulings

Quebec notaries and lawyers lose legal battle against title insurers

The governing bodies of the Quebec legal and notary professions lost a suit against American-based insurers after Quebec Superior Court held that they did not overstep their bounds in preparing, registering and discharging mortgages on real estate.

In an eagerly-awaited decision that highlights the growing impact of technology on the legal profession, Justice Chantal Chatelaine held that insurers that offer title insurance do not practice law, do not provide legal opinions, and do not prepare or draw up mortgages.

“The importance of the case has to do with the obstacles which can be put in the way of modernization and efficiency,” remarked Simon Potter, Ad. E., a Montreal lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault LLP who successfully plead the case on behalf of FCT Insurance and First Canadian Ltd, part of the global company FAF International.…

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Family law Quebec Rulings Weekend reads

Ex-wife of wealthy businessman author of her own misfortune

In the end she was done in by spite, and greed.

She is the ex-wife of a wealthy Quebec businessman who had sought to maintain an exceptionally privileged and luxurious lifestyle, and fought tooth and nail. She hired and fired more than half a dozen lawyers all the while waging a relentless, and ultimately, vain legal battle to find hidden assets ostensibly stashed away by her husband. She frittered away about $4 million in legal and expert expenses, only for the case to be heard ex parte. She did not show up at trial nor was she was she represented by a lawyer.…

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Business Internet Quebec Rulings

New virtual currency targeted by Quebec financial watchdog

The Quebec Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal issued a series of expansive ex parte orders prohibiting Dominic Lacroix and several of his companies from promoting and soliciting investors for a new virtual currency set to be launched.

The Tribunal, at the request of Quebec’s financial watchdog, issued a broad order barring Lacroix, DL Innov inc., Gestio inc., PlexCorps, and PlexCoin from engaging in activities for the purpose of directly or indirectly trading in any form of investment covered by the section 1 of the Quebec Securities Act, either in Quebec or from Quebec to outside of the province. Section 1 describes a wide range of forms of investment, including securities, instruments, deposits of money, shares in an investment club, and options or non-traded derivatives.

The Tribunal also ordered them to pull out advertisements or solicitations on the internet over any securities or investment vehicles, and to shut down the site plexcorps.com and plexcoin.com – or at the very least make them inaccessible to Quebec consumers.

The Tribunal also ordered Facebook Canada Ltd. to shut down the Facebook pages of PlexCorps and PlexCoin. Facebook declined to comment. "We can’t share details about cases," said a spokesperson.…

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Class actions Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Telecom giants must pay millions following SCC’s refusal to hear appeals

Telecommunication giants Bell Mobility and Rogers Communications must pay millions of dollars to clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear their appeals.

More than 166,000 Rogers’ clients who were charged early cancellation fees between 2007 and 2010 stand to share $26.7 million while 76,000 Bell Mobility clients are expected to divvy up $1.6 million – minus legal fees.

In a case dealing with contract for services, early cancellation fee clauses, abusive clauses and the right of unilateral resiliation under the Quebec Civil Code, the Quebec Court of Appeal held in two separate decisions that the two telecom companies overcharged clients who were billed early cancellation fees.…

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Aboriginal law Quebec Quebec Superior Court Rulings

New Indian status registrations in jeopardy

A suspension on new Indian status registrations could begin new week unless the Quebec Court of Appeal issues a safeguard order that would temporarily suspend a ruling that ordered the federal government to correct discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act that infringe the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Masse dismissed a motion earlier this week to extend Parliament’s deadline for eliminating sex discrimination from the registration provisions in the Indian Act. Ottawa had already received a couple of extensions.…

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Barreau du Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms Legal business Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings Supreme Court of Canada

Ruling could lead lawyers to think hard before voicing concerns about legal system

In a controversial decision, the Quebec Court of Appeal recently held that Quebec lawyers can criticize the legal system as long as it is done with dignified restraint, constructively and meets the public’s reasonable expectations of a lawyer’s professionalism.

But the appeal court decision has stoked fears that the ruling will engender a chilling effect, and prompt lawyers to think twice before voicing their concerns about the legal system in public for fear of being reprimanded by their law society.…

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Class actions Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Quebec telecom company ordered to pay more than $3 million in punitive damages

A Quebec telecommunications firm, Vidéotron Inc., has been ordered to pay more than $3 million in punitive damages to consumers who were charged extra when the Internet service provider unilaterally modified the terms of their so-called “Extreme High Speed” service, held the Quebec Court of Appeal.

In a decision that examines the scope of contractual obligations, the appeal court held that a unilateral modification clause contained in the contract did not authorize Vidéotron to impose fees that “had not been agreed to in the initial contract or to modify goods and services described” in the contract. The unilateral clause in this case would have meant that consumers waived their rights conferred by sections 12 and 40 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act (Act) – and that is prohibited by sections 261 and 262 of the Act.…

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Federal Court of Canada Legal business Quebec Rulings

Former Montreal Crown prosecutor who filed a reprisal complaint wins partial victory

A former Crown prosecutor who filed a reprisal complaint against the Public Prosecution Service of Canada before the federal Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner partially won his case before the Federal Court of Canada.

In a ruling that brings clarity to the role of the whistleblowing commissioner, the Federal Court held that the Integrity Commissioner does not have the charge to decide people’s credibility nor should he address thorny legal questions.

Instead the commissioner’s role lies with determining on an objective basis whether reprisal complaints should be forwarded to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.…

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