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Rulings

Business Quebec Superior Court Rulings Tax

Decision may grant tax authorities with much leeway

Quebec Superior Court overturned a ruling that held that the investigative methods used by federal and provincial tax authorities to investigate corruption in the Quebec construction industry were “highly reprehensible,” paving the way for Canada Revenue Agency and Revenue Quebec to once again pursue tax evasion inquiries that were put on hold for the past two years.

In a series of concurrent decisions, Quebec Superior court Justice Daniel Payette held that the investigation conducted by tax authorities did not contravene the leading Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Jarvis, [2002] 3 SCR 757, which draws a distinctions between civil tax audits and criminal tax investigations.…

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Crime Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

New murder trial ordered following judge’s inadequate instructions

The Quebec Court of Appeal ordered a new trial of a man convicted of killing three people because the trial judge provided inadequate instructions to the jury over the weight that should be given to post-offence conduct and because he failed to warn the jury that the testimony of the prosecution’s expert went beyond the bounds of his expertise.

The ruling, the second time in six years that the Quebec appeal court set aside a murder conviction and ordered a new trial because of testimony provided by psychiatrist Sylvain Faucher, highlights pervasive concerns about expert bias and examines the credence that should be given to post-offence conduct, according to criminal lawyers.…

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Legal business Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Total amount of legal fees not necessarily covered by solicitor-client privilege rules Quebec appeal court

The total amount of professional billings paid to lawyers working on a mandate for public bodies is not necessarily automatically protected by solicitor-client privilege ruled the Quebec Court of Appeal.

In what is described as a precedent-setting ruling, the Quebec appeal court decision provides much-needed guidance and strikes a delicate balance between professional secrecy and public access to documents, according to legal experts.

“The importance of this lies with the distinction the Quebec appeal court makes between professional secrecy and public access to documents regarding legal fees paid by public bodies to lawyers,” said Pierre Trudel, a former director of Université de Montréal’s Public Law Research Centre. “The decision provides helpful guidance over what should remain protected by professional secrecy and what should be accessible to ensure public access to documents.”…

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Aboriginal law Charter of Rights and Freedoms Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Ottawa given until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act

The federal government dodged a potential crisis that would have halted Indian status registrations after the Quebec Court of Appeal begrudgingly gave Ottawa until Christmas to address sex-based discriminatory provisions in the Indian Act and complete a bill that has been held up by the Senate.

In a ruling that marks the first time a Canadian appellate court has been called upon to decide whether or not to extend yet again the suspension of a judicial declaration of constitutional invalidity of a legislative provision, the Quebec appeal court scolded the federal government for the “unacceptable delays” and the absence of administrative measures that would have mitigated the discrimination.

“There are limits as to how long suspensions of declarations of constitutional invalidity may last,” said Justice Robert Mainville in a 20-page ruling in AG Canada c. Descheneaux, 2017 QCCA 1238. Justices Marie-Josée Hogue and Patrick Healy concurred with the August 18th decision.…

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Public law Quebec Quebec Court of Appeal Rulings

Two Montreal protesters awarded $2,000 each in damages by Quebec appeal court

Two protesters that occupied a public square in downtown Montreal won a partial victory after the Quebec Court of Appeal awarded them $2,000 each for moral and material loss because the police no longer had reason to keep them handcuffed and detained in the back of a police car to drive them to another part of the city.

The ruling, which partially overturned a lower court ruling, provides guidance over the use of handcuffs while in custody, the duration of detention as well as the marking of hands and taking of pictures for identification purposes following arrest.

“This is very good news for all people who participate in peaceful protests because the question is not simply whether the protest was legal or not or did it become illegal at any time but also whether the police operation was legal throughout,” said Julius Grey, a Montreal human rights lawyer who successfully plead the case before the appellate court.…

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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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