Quebec Quebec Superior Court

Jordan timelines apply to civil matters

The timelines set by the landmark Jordan decision applies to civil cases as well.

The Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Jordan 2016 SCC 27 criticized the country’s legal system for its “culture of complacency” and sets out new rules for an accused’s right to be tried within a reasonable time frame. It laid down a ceiling of 30 months for matters before Superior Court cases to be completed. Provincial court trials should be completed within 18 months of charges being laid, but can be extended to 30 months if there is a preliminary inquiry.

Up until recently it was widely considered that the Jordan framework applied to only criminal cases.

Not so, according to two separate rulings by Quebec Superior Court.…

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Sanctions

Regulator sanctions five financial advisors

The disciplinary committee of the Chambre de la sécurité financière has had a busy month, sanctioning at least four members in the past month.

The CSF is a unique body in Canada. It maintains and oversees the discipline, training, and ethics of 32,000 professionals practicing in group savings plan brokerage, financial planning, insurance of persons, group insurance of persons, and scholarship plan brokerage. In all Canadian provinces except Quebec, mutual fund dealers and representatives are subject solely to securities regulatory organizations like the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

Sylvain Letang, a financial security advisor from the Gatineau region, was immediately but provisionally stricken off the roll after he allegedly placed himself in a conflict of interest by borrowing $92,3000 from clients. It is alleged that he also misappropriated $5,000 from a client.…

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Judiciary News

Allegations of conflict of interest against three judges dismissed

The Canadian Judicial Council has dismissed allegations of conflicts by three judges who attended privately sponsored receptions or conferences.

The three judges, all of whom hear tax cases, landed in hot water after the CBC and Radio-Canada reported that they had attended social events at an International Fiscal Association Conference in Madrid in September 2016. The conference was approved by the CJC as a continuing education opportunity for judges involved in tax law matters.…

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Employment & Labour Law Quebec Spotlight

Quebec government expected to impose labour agreement on its lawyers and notaries

The Quebec government is expected to impose a labour agreement on government lawyers and notaries that will give them the lowest salary hike of all Quebec public civil servants after months of negotiations with a mediator failed to find common ground.

Without a collective agreement since March 2015, Quebec ‘s 1,100 government lawyers and notaries held the longest Canadian strike by public civil servants, from October 2016 to March 1, 2017, before it was forced to back to work after the government passed an unusual back-to-work decree.…

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Criminal justice Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Spotlight Supreme Court of Canada

Quebec appeal court to hear appeals in two Jordan cases

Nearly a year to the day when the Supreme Court of Canada issued its landmark Jordan ruling, the Quebec Court of Appeal announced that a five-judge panel will hear an appeal late this summer of a decision to stay a murder charge against a Sri Lankan refugee even though the accused has been deported back to his homeland.…

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Barreau du Quebec In the know Quebec

More than half of Quebec Bar members are women

The number of lawyers in Quebec has grown by 17 per cent over the past decade, with women leading the charge and now representing more than half of the Quebec Bar, according to a survey by the Quebec legal society.

There are 26,512 lawyers enrolled in the Quebec Bar, as of March 31, 2017, compared to 22,575 in 2008, according to a French-language report entitled “Sous la loupe de la diversité 2017” that was published by the Barreau du Québec.

It’s no wonder why young Quebec lawyers face bleak prospects. Even the new president of the Quebec Bar, Paul-Matthieu Grondin, remarked recently that it boiled down to a matter of supply and demand. A troubling report by the Young Bar of Montreal revealed last year that Quebec law students are having a harder time finding articling positions, getting paid less for them, and receiving fewer job offers after articling, and it urges the provincial law society to establish “reasonable” and variable quotas to curb the “uncontrolled” rising number of lawyers in the province.…

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Class actions Quebec Spotlight

Bell Canada facing yet another class action

Barely a week after Bell Canada’s wireless provider was compelled to pay $1.6 million to some 76,000 clients who paid excessive cancellation fees after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear its appeal, the telecommunication giant now faces another potentially costly legal battle after Quebec Superior Court authorized a class action over fee increases on internet, mobile, telephone, television services.

Joseph Frainetti, the class action’s representative plaintiff, alleges that Bell made unilateral changes to contracts without providing clear notifications beginning in April 2012. Frainetti maintains Bell infringed article 11.2 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act by unilaterally increasing service charges and advising him of the changes in his monthly bill while his contract was in effect. Frainetti argues that under article 11.2 written notification of all fee increases during a contract must be provided at least 30 days before the changes go into effect.…

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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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Criminal justice Quebec

Delays in criminal trials cut by nearly half in Quebec

A 20-year old man from Western Quebec who was accused of assault causing bodily harm while he was a teenager is the latest to have benefitted from a stay of proceedings due to unreasonable delays.

More recently still, a week after Khalid Gakmakge was refused a stay for a 2011 murder he is accused of committing, a Sri Lankan man charged with killing his wife in Quebec five years ago has been deported after the charge against him was stayed because his constitutional right to a timely trial was delayed.

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark R. v. Jordan decision a year ago, approximately 1,766 motions to stay because of unreasonable delays have been filed across the country, with 204 having been granted and 333 dismissed, according to figures obtained by Canadian Press. The remainder are either before the courts, forsaken by defence, or resolved on other grounds.

While the figures may appear to be disturbing, a Dalhousie University law professor who conducted a review of stay applications in the six months following the Jordan, found that there has only been a slight increase in the number of applications filed, most of whom have taken place in Ontario.…

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Canada Quebec Supreme Court of Canada

Bars lobbying prime minister over appointment of next chief justice

The tussle over the appointment of the new Chief Justice of the nation’s highest court has begun, with both the Bar of Montreal and the Canadian Bar Association penning letters in a bid to sway Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Not surprisingly the new head of the Montreal Bar is calling on Trudeau to respect “tradition” and appoint a Supreme Court judge from Quebec as the top court’s next chief justice.

In a brief letter sent to Trudeau, the president of the Bar of Montreal, Brian Mitchell, underscored the importance of rotating the appointment of chief justice between judges trained in common law and those from Quebec with a background in civil law. Mitchell also said that it is important to alternate between a French-speaking and English-speaking chief justice.…

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