Blog Posts

Below are our blog posts about recent developments in the areas of Estate, Family and Personal Injury law as well as comments on some recent important decisions from the BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Everything on the Table – Importance of Clarity when Designating a Beneficiary
March 9, 2022

In estate litigation any information regarding the deceased’s intentions must be disclosed as they cannot speak for themselves. From this, the Judge will infer the deceased’s intentions while sorting through a mess of hearsay statements from witnesses. This was the main issue in Simard v Simard Estate. Verna Simard was a very private and proper […]

Can the Obligation to the Child be Replaced by Benefitting the Grandchildren
February 15, 2022

Can the Obligation to the Child be Replaced by Benefitting the Grandchildren? In an April, 2021 BC Court of Appeal decision, the court considered a variation of a will on the basis that the testator’s moral obligation to his daughter was not discharged as he benefited her sons at her own expense. In Scurek v […]

Does Pre-Judgment Court Order Interest Need to be Pled on Retroactive Periodic Spousal Support?
February 1, 2022

Does pre-judgment court order interest need to be pled on retroactive periodic spousal support? The short answer is no. Court order interest, governed by the Court Order Interest Act [COIA], is mandatory on pecuniary judgments whether it is pled or not.

Reviewing Spousal Support in Separation Agreements: What is “Material Change”?
March 20, 2021

Reviewing Spousal Support in Separation Agreements: What is “Material Change”? Most family claims are resolved by way of settlement agreement rather than trial. The amount and duration of spousal support are commonly set out in an agreement and can sometimes be incorporated in a Consent Order. The wording of those clauses requires careful attention, especially […]

Examinations for Discovery during Covid: Is Zoom the default?
November 5, 2020

Examinations for Discovery during Covid: Is Zoom the default? The Covid pandemic has definitively altered the way litigation is conducted in British Columbia, including conducting examinations for discovery. While the courts struggled initially to adapt to a new way of conducting hearings progress is (slowly) being made. Trials are still being conducted in person, subject […]

Failure to Consummate a Marriage still valid grounds for annulment in BC
September 12, 2020

Failure to Consummate a Marriage still valid grounds for annulment in BC An annulment for failure to consummate a marriage is still alive and well in British Columbia. Annulment vs. Divorce Divorce and annulment have the same result: dissolution of the marriage. However, both have different implications for how the prior marriage is treated. A […]

Settlement Offers and Releases: Pitfalls and Problems
August 21, 2020

Settlement Offers and Releases: Pitfalls and Problems Most litigants are able to resolve their issues without trial by agreement. Releases are a standard part of the process and provide assurance to both sides of the transaction that the issue has been laid to rest and neither side can bring any future claims. Often the releases […]

Yes, your insurer is obligated to deal with your insurance claim in “good faith”. What does that mean?
October 31, 2019

Yes, your insurer is obligated to deal with your insurance claim in “good faith”. What does that mean? When you purchase any insurance policy such as extended medical, travel, auto, or homeowners, your insurance company is required to deal with you fairly when you make an insurance claim for benefits under your policy. An insurer […]

Failure to Comply is Fatal: Recent BC Supreme Court Decision on Document Production
June 23, 2019

Failure to Comply is Fatal: Recent BC Supreme Court Decision on Document Production When it comes to demanding documents in a civil lawsuit, failure to comply with the rules is fatal. Document production in BC Supreme Court is governed by Supreme Court Civil Rule 7-1(10), 7-1(11), and 7-1(12) and by Supreme Court Family Rule 9-1(7), […]

A cautionary tale from the Court of Appeal why court procedure must be followed!
July 5, 2018

Are you a being sued in a civil lawsuit? Are you unsure of how to navigate the legal system?  If you answered ‘yes’ to both of these questions then you need to contact a Civil Litigation Lawyer in Vancouver.  As a word of caution, a recent Court of Appeal decision, Andrews v. Clay, 2018 BCCA […]

Helping your kids buy their first house? Read This Cautionary Tale From the Court of Appeal
January 2, 2018

When you help your child purchase a house, are you entitled to an interest? As house prices continue to increase in the lower mainland, parents are helping finance their children’s house purchase. Few parents and children sign agreements or seek legal advice before they begin the process and one of the consequences is that parents and children […]

Petty Property Dispute Results in $1 Award of Damages at BC Supreme Court
June 2, 2017

Not all disputes deserve to end up in court and a recent property dispute ended up in front of Mr. Justice Wetherill at the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The case of  Greenwood v. Hoffer, 2017 BCSC 884, is a cautionary tale about a bitter property dispute in which neither side was victorious considering the significant legal fees […]

Car Accident | Will a new car help?
February 6, 2017

Watch this video posted on Facebook by the Daily Mail which shows that a new car could save your life in an accident: Crashing cars What a 1997 car crash looks like compared to now! Posted by Daily Mail on Saturday, February 4, 2017 This video posted on Daily Mail’s Facebook page shows how driving […]

What counts as separation in BC?
January 31, 2017

In BC, the Family Law Act and Wills, Estates and Succession Act define the term spouse by reference to the term “separation”. Under WESA, section 2 provides that spouses cease to be spouses as follows: If they are married, on separation as it is considered under the FLA; or If they are living in a common […]

5 Ways to Get Removed as Executor
November 24, 2016

There’s nothing worse than dealing with a bad executor after the death of a loved one. They have all the control and as beneficiary you have all of the rights, or so you’re told. But what if they just won’t be reasonable? They say they’re going to tie up the estate up years. They are […]

What are Court Costs?
September 29, 2016

Court costs are often awarded by a court after a trial or application to whichever party was successful. Their purpose is in part to stop parties from bringing claims that have no chance of success and they may be used to hedge poor behaviour by parties during litigation. Another purpose of court costs is that […]

A Credibility Contest: Are Oral Agreements Enforceable?
March 3, 2016

In a recent BC Supreme Court case Chiu v. Lam, 2016 BCSC 299, Mr. Justice Verhoeven reviewed the law with respect to oral agreements. Before you lend someone money based solely on an oral agreement, you should consider whether you will be able to prove it. Ms. Chiu argued that she had lent money to […]

Discovery of the Reasons in Wills Variation Claims
March 1, 2016

Outside courtroom 40 at the Vancouver law courts, the lawyer who prepared a 2010 will waits with his file and his lawyer. The plaintiff’s lawyer in this wills variation claim had subpoenaed him to give evidence even though he had asserted privilege over the file during discovery. The executrices sitting in court had not waived […]

You’ve Been Served: Social Media Edition
May 7, 2015

CNN reported today that a woman somewhere in New York may serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook. A link to that story may be found here. In Canada, service via social networking sites is not a new concept and has been ordered on a number of occasions. For example, most recently in Eastview Properties […]

Robot Lawyers? The Future of the Legal Profession
June 20, 2014

Last year, the Associated Press released a three-part series on which jobs are being lost to new technology. Their research found that nearly all of the disappearing jobs are not low-paid, low-skilled positions, but rather reasonably-paid, traditionally middle-class professions including lawyers, loan officer and more. While jobless recovery and new technological advancements pose a more immediate […]

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