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July 2013


Learn and Earn 2013

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Featured Cases: 3 66 9

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Real Property Law; Resulting Trusts; Constructive Trusts Civil Practice and Procedure; Security for Judgment Real Property Law; Foreclosures; Civil Practice and Procedure; Costs - With Counsel Comments

11 Worker’s Compensation; Crown Liability 14 Employment; Wrongful Dismissal; Constructive Dismissal - With 2 Counsel Comments

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Suen v. Suen, 2013 BCCA 313 Areas of Law: Real Property Law; Resulting Trusts; Constructive Trusts ~Review of principles for creation resulting and constructive trusts over real property in family contexts~


xpress, resulting and constructive trusts over family property are important tools in the division of specific assets, especially in the face of claims of unjust enrichment. In this case, the parties, a father and adult son, jointly owned a home in Richmond, and each alleged that the other held his undivided one-half interest in trust for him. A verbal agreement regarding the ownership of the property played a central role. (See Schulz v. Schulz, 2013 BCCA 309 (“Schulz”), for another case illustrating the application of constructive trusts in the context of a mother and adult son, where the mother had never held legal title.) The Court of Appeal reviewed the legal principles governing the application of these trusts, and contractual agreements about equitable interests in real estate.

pursuant to the Law and Equity Act, Better care for a better life R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 253, s. 59(3).

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Regarding contracts, the Court noted that in the context of family relationships, “communications are often no more than statements of intent or wishes” rather than binding agreements (at paragraph 43). To establish an agreement, there must be certainty and proof of the terms of the bargain. Agreements in respect of land, furthermore, were required to be in writing and signed by the grantor

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Suen v. Suen,


land gave rise to a presumption of indefeasible title as set out in s. 23(2) of the Land Title Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 250. However, this presumption could be rebutted by the operation of a trust, and other equitable considerations such as unjust enrichment, in addition to agreements between the parties: see Bajwa v. Pannu, 2007 BCCA 260, Aujila v. Kaila, 2010 BCSC 1739. The Court held that a resulting trust arises when an owner transfers title to another without compensation. Where the transferee was a fiduciary or gave no value for the transfer, the law presumed that the grantor intended to create a trust rather than make a gift, and the transferee was therefore “under an obligation to return it to the original title owner” (Pecore v. Pecore, 2007 SCC 17, at paragraph 20). The onus was on the transferee to rebut this presumption and demonstrate that the transfer was a gift: Kerr v. Baranow, 2011 SCC 10 (“Kerr”). (Schulz, noted above, confirmed that a transfer of ownership is a necessary factor in the creation of a resulting trust.) The Court held that the creation of an express trust had more strenuous requirements, in particular certainty of intention, subject and the objects of the transfer. 13.JDavisAdvocateTake5Ad1 6/18/13 12:08 PM Page 1

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Suen v. Suen,


Constructive trusts could be created as remedial vehicles to address unjust enrichment, and could be found “whenever the plaintiff can establish three elements: an enrichment of or benefit to the defendant, a corresponding deprivation of the plaintiff and the absence of a juristic reason for the enrichment�: Kerr at paragraph 32; see also Pettkus v. Becker, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 834. Reversing the finding of the trial judge, the Court held that the verbal agreement between the parties was insufficient to establish a trust over the property, as there was no proof of consensus on the specific terms. Furthermore, it was not a written agreement and so did not comply with the Law and Equity Act. As the trial judge had not ruled on unjust enrichment given the finding of a trust based on the agreement, the matter was remitted to the trial judge on that issue.


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First Majestic Silver Corp. v. Davila, 2013 BCCA 312 Areas of Law: Civil Practice and Procedure; Security for Judgment ~Review of when it is appropriate for the Court to require security for a trial judgment as a condition of an appeal~ CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE JUDGMENT


n this case the Court of Appeal reviewed the considerations for granting an order requiring that an appellant post security for a trial judgment as a condition of the appeal. Such an order could be made under s. 10(2)(b) of the Court of Appeal Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 77, which provided:

At trial, the respondents had been awarded a judgment of $93.84 million US dollars, based on a finding that the appellant Davila had misappropriated a corporate opportunity. The appellants filed a notice of appeal, for both the finding of liability and the quantum of damages awarded, but did not apply for a stay of execution on the order of the trial judge.

10(2) In an appeal or other matter before the court, a justice may do one or more of the following: ... (b) make an interim order to prevent prejudice to any person...

The Court confirmed its previous statements in Creative Salmon Company Ltd. v. Staniford, 2007 BCCA 285, (“Creative Salmon”) at paragraph 11, that: “1. The onus is on the applicant to show that it is in the

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First Majestic Silver Corp. v. Davila,

232 at paragraph 23, Cadinha v. Chemar Corp. (1995), 17 B.C.L.R. (3d) 347. In such a case, the order for security could be seen as placing the parties in the same position as they would have been had the appellant held local assets and been required to post security for a stay of execution pending the appeal.

interest of justice to order posting for security of a trial judgment and/or of trial costs. 2.

The applicant must show prejudice if the order is not made.


In determining the interests of justice the chambers judge should consider the merits of the appeal and the effect of such an order on the ability of the appellant to continue the appeal.”

Prejudice could be found on largely the same grounds: in Creative Salmon, “the respondent was prejudiced by its inability to take any form of execution proceedings in this jurisdiction in the absence of the appellant having any attachable assets in this jurisdiction” (at paragraph 18).

The Court would consider the residence of the appellant outside the Court’s geographical jurisdiction in determining whether an order for security was in the interests of justice, as it could affect the ability to enforce a judgment in the foreign jurisdiction, and in British Columbia due to lack of local assets: Paz v. Hardouin (1995), 10 B.C.L.R. (3d)

July 2013


The merit of an appeal was also to be considered in balancing the interests of justice between the parties. The ability to post security was not to be made a condition on access to justice: “[a]n appellant which is without the financial ability to post security will not for that


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First Majestic Silver Corp. v. Davila,


reason alone be precluded from pursuing a meritorious appeal” (Creative Salmon at paragraph 19). In this case, the respondents held a valid and enforceable order, which the appellants’ assets in British Columbia were about $79 million short of covering. The Court found that these circumstances, together with the appellants’ refusal to make any payment on the judgment, were ‘extremely prejudicial’ to the respondents. The Court found it particularly significant that the appellants had filed no evidence to show any lack of ability to comply with an order for security, or that such an order would create any hardship for their ability to pursue the appeal. Furthermore, the appeal, although not devoid of merit, raised largely questions of fact or mixed fact and law, for which the trial judge’s decision would be given deference on appeal. On balance, the Court held that the interests of justice weighed heavily toward granting the order for security, as a condition of pursuing the appeal.

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Bulkley Credit Union v. Jellett, 2013 BCCA 298

Areas of Law: Real Property Law; Foreclosures; Civil Practice and Procedure; Costs ~Rule 21-7(10) did not require a party wishing to redeem mortgaged property to file a Form 49 appointment in addition to a Form 62 bill of costs~



The base actions in this case were seven foreclosure proceedings in respect of land owned by the respondents, subject to registered mortgages in favour of the appellant Credit Union. The Credit Union had obtained an order nisi of foreclosure, for the amount required to redeem, plus the assessed costs of the appellant. The respondents provided the Credit Union with notice to assess their costs under Rule 21-7(10), and thereafter the Credit Union filed a bill of costs in the Supreme Court registry. The respondent took the position that filing the bill of costs did not comply with Rule 21-7(10), and that service of a Form 49 appointment to settle the bill of costs was required.

his decision considered the requirement for filing a bill of costs for assessment under Rule 21-7(10) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009: (10) A respondent wishing to redeem may, on paying to the petitioner the amount due under the mortgage, serve notice on the petitioner to assess costs, and if, within 14 days after service of the notice, the petitioner has not filed a bill of costs for assessment, the petitioner is not entitled to costs.

The chambers judge held that Rule 217(10)’s reference to “[filing] a bill of costs for assessment” required filing a Form

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Bulkley Credit Union v. Jellett, 49 appointment, and that failure to do so meant that the Credit Union had not complied with the requirements for obtaining costs. The chambers judge ordered the Credit Union to release the mortgages.

(cont.) the drafters intended that that party file both a bill of costs, and an appointment for the assessment of their costs, they would, in my opinion, have said so” (at paragraph 15). The requirements of the Rule were as follows:

The Court of Appeal disagreed with the chambers judge’s interpretation of Rule 21-7(10). Statutes, including the Rules, was to be interpreted “in their entire context and in their grammatical and ordinary sense harmoniously with the scheme of the Act, the object of the Act, and the intention of Parliament” (Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Re.), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 27, at paragraph 21). The Court held that the purpose of the Rule was to provide notice of claimed costs. These costs would not always need to be assessed, for example if they were uncontested. There was no need to require an assessment appointment to accompany every bill of costs. Nor did the language of Rule 21-7(10) impose a requirement to do anything beyond filing a bill of costs: “had VBA & CBABC 1


“a foreclosing party who is served with a notice to assess costs, must file a bill of costs for assessment, within 14 days after service of the notice, or lose its entitlement to costs. Thereafter, either party may take out the appointment for the assessment of the bill of costs... “If the party whose property is subject to foreclosure does not agree with the bill of costs presented, it may be in the interests of the foreclosing party to have the bill assessed so that it can pursue the recovery of its costs. If it does not do so, it will be unable to collect the costs to which it is may be entitled.” (At paragraphs 24­–25.)


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COUNSEL COMMENTS Bulkley Credit Union v. Jellett

Comments provided by Donald A. Giddings, Counsel for the Appellant, Bulkley Valley Credit Union


a pragmatic point of view that had to be wrong.

he Chambers Judge determined that filing a bill of costs for assessment meant not only filing a Form 62, not coincidently named a “Bill of Costs” but also meant filing a Form 49 “Notice of Assessment” and taking out an assessment for costs. This also would have presumably meant serving the Notice of Assessment on all the related parties. Ultimately the question the Court of Appeal had to answer was should an innocent party that is seeking to enforce its legal obligations be forced to incur additional legal expenses at the mere whim of the Respondent? I say the mere whim of the Respondent because Rule 21-7(10) likely comes into effect during the redemption period and before the Respondent has even seen a Bill of Costs. Yet if the Chambers Judge’s decision remained, then a Petitioner would have been compelled to take the additional steps of filing and serving all parties with a notice of assessment to have its costs assessed even before the Respondent had seen the Petitioner’s bill of costs. If the Petitioner failed to do all of these things, then Rule 21-7(10) states it would receive no costs. Simply from

July 2013


This also seemed contrary to the general object Donald A. Giddings of the rules of resolving matters as inexpensively as possible, which implicitly means minimizing court applications that may be unnecessary. Adding to this is the fact that there can be strategic reasons for defaulting on a mortgage, namely to avoid pre-payment charges and solicitor/ client fees because once an order nisi is pronounced, the petitioner is only entitled to assessed costs and is not entitled to its prepayment charges. Probably the most interesting aspect of this case is that the there was no case authority on this point that dealt with Rule 21-7(10) or its predecessor Rule 50(10). There were cases where a Petitioner never filed anything, but no case like this, where the Petitioner filed a Form 62 “Bill of Costs” to satisfy the requirements of Rule 21-7(10). Previous case authority had determined the

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COUNSEL COMMENTS purpose of the Rule is to give the redeeming respondent costs certainty as to its costs for redeeming the mortgage. We did not argue that point, but we took the position that a redeeming respondent has no greater rights than any other litigant, and has the right to have the other party’s costs assessed, pursuant to Rule 14-1. The Chambers Judge’s decision created an end run around Rule 14-1. Ultimately the Court of Appeal understood the pragmatic problems of the Chambers Judge’s decision. With the Court of Appeal decision, Rule 21-7(10) still gives cost certainty to a redeeming respondent, such that a petitioner must provide the respondent with a bill of costs, namely a Form 62. If the redeeming respondent is not happy with the petitioner’s bill of costs it has the right to have the costs assessed under Rule 141. This is the same right, no greater no lesser, than any other litigant. Which, in my humble opinion, is the way it should be.”


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Aitken v. Minister of Public Safety, 2013 BCCA 291 Areas of Law: Worker’s Compensation; Crown Liability ~ The bar to employer liability in the Workers Compensation Act could not be avoided in cases involving government employees by suing a non-employer Minister rather than the Crown employer~



hile on a break from work, the plaintiff was struck and injured by a car involved in a high-speed police chase of a fugitive. The plaintiff sued the Province of British Columbia and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General (the “Minister”). The claim against the Minister was based on section 11 of the Police Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 367, which made the Minister vicariously liable for torts committed by police officers in the performance of their duties.

The Minister argued that the suit was barred by section 10(1) of the Workers Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 492 (the “Act”), which prohibited actions by workers against employers. Sections 254 and 255 of the Act set out that the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (the “WCAT”) had exclusive jurisdiction to determine who was a worker or employer within the meaning of the Act. The WCAT had determined that the Province of British Columbia was an employer, but the

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July 2013

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Aitken v. Minister of Public Safety, Minister was not an employer within the meaning of the Act. At trial, the judge held that the privative provisions of the Act prevented the Court from revising the WCAT’s findings, and that accordingly an action against the Minister was not barred by the Act. The Court of Appeal distinguished the question decided by the WCAT from the issue before it: “while the WCAT had determined that the Minister was not per se an employer under the Act, it had not gone so far as to determine that the statutory bar was inapplicable. It rightly left that determination to the courts” (at paragraph 19). The Court approved of the discussion of this question in Hunt v. T&N, plc (1994), 96 B.C.L.R. (2) 300 (B.C.S.C.), at paragraphs 11–17:


The Court held that the Minister was a ‘mere nominal defendant’ named on behalf of the government. The true characterisation of the relationship was that the Crown was vicariously liable for the actions of the police officers, and the WCAT had confirmed that the Crown was an employer under the Act. Accordingly, section 10(1) of the Act barred the claim against the Minister. The Court also noted that, although it had not been raised by the parties, section 11 of the Crown Proceeding Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 89, also appeared to bar the claim, by preventing an order against officers of the government that had the effect of granting relief that would not be available against the Crown itself.

“The foundation upon which the statutory bar determination rests is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board... it is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board to determine whether persons are workers or employers within Pt. 1 of the Act. ... There may be cases where the court’s function of answering the ultimate issue of a statute bar will require findings beyond those matters over which the Board has exclusive jurisdiction.”


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Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., 2013 BCCA 271 Areas of Law: Employment; Wrongful Dismissal; Constructive Dismissal ~Employers as well as employees could take the benefit of the doctrine of constructive dismissal. Whether the departure of an employee was properly a termination or a repudiation of employment was a finding of fact for the trial judge~ CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE JUDGMENT


his wrongful dismissal case was unusual in that the employer, rather than the employee, attempted to benefit by establishing that a constructive dismissal had taken place. The plaintiff employee, Allen, had a contract which provided for “15 months notice or pay in lieu” on termination. Ainsworth, the employer, terminated Allen by letter which stated: “you are entitled to 15 months notice of the termination of your employment and therefore, your last day with Ainsworth will be January 13, 2011. There will, however, be no need for you to come to work beyond today.” Allen found new employment eight months later. Ainsworth stopped its payments at that time, on the

basis that the letter had not terminated Allen’s employment, but rather had created a change in working conditions which constituted repudiation of the employment or constructive dismissal, and Allen had a duty to mitigate his damages. In setting out how the letter should be treated, Ainsworth relied on the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Wronko v. Western Inventory Service Ltd., 2008 ONCA 327, at paragraphs 34-36: “First, the employee may accept the change in the terms of employment, either expressly or implicitly through apparent acquiescence, in which case the employment will continue under

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Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., the altered terms. “Second, the employee may reject the change and sue for damages if the employer persists in treating the relationship as subject to the varied term. This course of action would now be termed a “constructive dismissal”, as discussed in Farber, although this term was not in use when Hill was decided. “Third, the employee may make it clear to the employer that he or she is rejecting the new term. The employer may respond to this rejection by terminating the employee with proper notice and offering re-employment on the new


terms. If the employer does not take this course and permits the employee to continue to fulfill his or her job requirements, then the employee is entitled to insist on adherence to the terms of the original contract.” Ainsworth argued that it was permitted to structure Allen’s employment as best served its purposes, and that it could decide to do so as a constructive dismissal: Park v. Parsons Brown & Co. (1989), 39 B.C.L.R. (2d) 107 (C.A.). The Court of Appeal found that Ainsworth’s position accurately characterised the law, but that the trial judge’s decision that Ainsworth’s conduct

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Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.,


constituted termination was a finding of fact: “Ainsworth seeks to cast this finding as an error in law, but a finding of dismissal is a finding of fact. The test is objective: was notice of termination specifically and unequivocally communicated to the employee in such a manner that a reasonable person would clearly understand the employment contract was at an end? Dismissal is a matter of substance over form. Termination of employment may arise from express notice, or be implied from conduct of the employer that amounts to repudiation of its essential obligations in the employment relationship.” (At paragraph 27.) The Court of Appeal also commented on the trial judge’s statement that the purpose of the doctrine of constructive dismissal was to protect employees, and that an employer could not properly take advantage of it. While constructive dismissal normally appeared as a remedy for employees, that was not to suggest that employers could not also take advantage of it when it favoured them. In these circumstances, the trial judge had a basis to find Ainsworth’s actions in publicly identifying Allen as an ex-employee amounted unmistakeably to immediate termination.


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Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. Comments provided by Richard Press, Counsel for the Appellant, Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd


he Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. 2013 BCCA 271 is instructive for counsel advising clients on structuring terminations, and in particular on how far an employer can go in unilaterally changing terms and conditions of employment during a working notice period. The decision is important to those employers who provide working notice of termination without requiring the employee to attend at work.

Mr. Allen during the notice period mitigated his loss.

In Allen v. Ainsworth the pertinent facts were that Ainsworth had an employment agreement with Mr. Allen that allowed for termination on 15 months’ notice or pay in lieu. There was no dispute that if Ainsworth elected to terminate, it would be held to the “pay in lieu” requirement and would have to pay a lump sum equal to 15 months compensation, without consideration of mitigation. Ainsworth’s argument was that it did not terminate the employment relationship, but rather gave working notice as it was entitled to under the employment agreement. Ainsworth said as it had provided notice, the duty to mitigate was preserved and income received by

July 2013


On the facts, Ainsworth had provided Richard Press a letter expressly stating it was giving 15 months’ notice. However, the court found that Ainsworth’s subsequent conduct of taking away Mr. Allen’s duties and publicly announcing it had terminated him and was replacing him effective immediately amounted to a termination. Ainsworth acknowledged its conduct amounted to a repudiation of the employment agreement. But Ainsworth denied that repudiation and termination were synonymous. Ainsworth reasoned that taking away all an employee’s duties may be a constructive dismissal, but only if the employee refuses to accept that unilateral change. Ainsworth suggested that in Canada there are many employees who would jump at the opportunity to accept employment terms that allowed them to receive their regular compensation while

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COUNSEL COMMENTS not having to perform their duties. In other words, Ainsworth said it should be allowed to provide working notice without requiring Mr. Allen to actually work. As long as Mr. Allen accepted that state of affairs, there was no breach of the employment relationship. Ainsworth suggested in argument that the difference between a repudiation which is open for acceptance and a termination is that the former occurs when the employer unilaterally alters a fundamental term or terms of the employment relationship, but in the context the employment relationship could continue if the employee so chose. The latter occurs when the employer through clear and unequivocal notice brings the entire agreement to an end and there is no option for the employee to continue in the employment relationship in any capacity.

relationship” will result in an actual termination, and need not be accepted by the employee as a pre-requisite to ending the employment relationship. The Court’s decision does not establish a bright line between repudiation and termination. For example, if Ainsworth had taken away all Mr. Allen’s duties, but not announced to the world it had terminated him, would that still have been a termination? Or would it only have been a repudiation that Mr. Allen would have had to accept to end the employment relationship? What if Ainsworth had required Mr. Allen to continue to attend at work once per month? In the author’s view, the Court’s decision does clarify that if it looks like a duck, walks like duck and sounds like a duck, the courts will find it is a duck, and so too with termination. An employer who on paper provides working notice, but in fact creates an objective impression of termination, will have been found to have terminated.

The Court of Appeal did not accept Ainsworth’s argument on that issue. Further, while the Court of Appeal agreed with Ainsworth’s overall analysis on repudiation, it held that it was not germane as Ainsworth did not just repudiate the employment agreement, it terminated it.

Overall, an employer who wishes to rely on working notice, but who also wishes to not have the employee attend at work during that working notice period, will be well-served by either obtaining the employee’s express agreement to the change, or maintaining some continuing objectively factual link to the employment relationship.”

The pith of the Court’s analysis is that termination is a question of fact and the test, objective. The Court clarified that “a repudiation of [an employer’s] essential obligations in the employment


OnPoint Legal Research | Take Five

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Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. Comments provided by Katherine Wellburn, Counsel for the Respondent, Robert Allen


Katherine Wellburn

The employer was required to pay the 15 months’ salary and benefits owing pursuant to the employment contract with no deduction for the remuneration the employee received from a new job, because his employment contract did not impose a duty to mitigate. On this issue, the Court of Appeal relied on the B.C. case, Philp v. Expo 86 Corp. (1987), 45 D.L.R. (4th) 449 (B.C.C.A.) and the recent case from the Ontario Court of Appeal, Bowes v. Goss Power Products Ltd., 2012 ONCA 425, 351 D.L.R. (4th) 219.”

his appeal was a victory for an employee whose employer had tried to avoid its obligation pursuant to a negotiated employment agreement to give the employee fifteen months’ notice or pay in lieu of notice, if the employer severed the employment relationship. The employer took away all of the employee’s duties and responsibilities, denied him access to its corporate premises, email and voicemail and hired a replacement, but wrote him a letter purporting to put him on working notice. The Court of Appeal upheld the summary trial judge’s finding that the employer’s attempt to characterize the situation as working notice was a “masquerade” and that the circumstances “amounted unmistakeably to immediate termination.”

July 2013


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Job Opportunity: Corporate Business Specialist

The Corporate Business Specialist is responsible for the review, assessment, and development of business processes as they relate to the ongoing maintenance and development of the ECorp™ application (web-based corporate records management system). The Specialist acts as a liaison between the product management team and the software development team to ensure the business requirements are effectively translated into the application’s design and function. As a corporate records subject matter expert, it is an expectation that the incumbent will conduct research and stay abreast of legislative and procedural changes relating to corporate records management in BC and other relevant jurisdictions. Click here for the full description of the position.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Senior corporate paralegal experience, preferably gained in a law firm environment Paralegal diploma, or a combination of related experience and education Superior communication skills, both verbal and written Technical writing skills are an asset Strong analytical skills with a demonstrated ability to think critically Demonstrated project management skills Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and direction Superior time management skills Ability to persuade and influence others Demonstrated leadership skills Ability to interact effectively with others in a team-based environment Advanced proficiency with MS Office products; particularly Excel and Word Proficiency with project management software

Are you interested in joining our team? If you possess the qualifications that we are seeking, and feel that you would be a good fit for our team, we would like to hear from you. Please forward your resume and cover letter to the attention of human resources at We would appreciate it if you would note your salary expectations in your cover letter. While all applications are appreciated, we will only be able to contact those candidates who are being considered for these positions. No phone calls please.

July 2013



Legal Research: From Issues to Solutions 2013 Earn 6 CPD Credits INCLUDES 2 HOURS ETHICS/PRACTICE MGMT COMPONENT

November 28, 2013 The Four Seasons Hotel 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Comments from past attendees: “For a lawyer in private practice who wants to research the law

Includes Full Afternoon High Tea Service

with confidence, it was well worth the price of admission.”

“Excellent speakers – I only dream of being as well educated and well spoken.”

“I really enjoyed the course. I found the information

“A practical and comprehensive

very practical and

summary of legal research tools and

pertinent to my work.”

techniques. The presenters really knew their craft.”

November 28, 2013 The Four Seasons Hotel 9:00 am - 4:15 pm

Includes Full Afternoon High Tea Service

Legal Research: From Issues to Solutions 2013


nPoint Legal Research L.C. has been researching and preparing memoranda and facta for other lawyers for over 14 years. In the fourth annual presentation of this course, OnPoint research lawyers and guest research specialists from Davis LLP, Borden Ladner Gervais, and Dentons Canada LLP will draw from their experience to demonstrate how to map out research strategies, examine which resources to use to tackle various problems, and navigate through electronic sources. We will provide countless “insider� tips, discuss legislative research techniques, and lead an interactive session on how to approach a sample legal issue.

Who should attend?


We have created this course for all levels. It is appropriate for senior lawyers wanting a refresher course or needing to be updated on the lastest techniques, junior lawyers wishing to become better researchers, and students wanting to start off their careers with valuable tips from research specialists. Paralegals will also benefit from this course.

Legal Research: From Issues to Solutions 2013 Our Panel Knows Research Chair: Sarah Picciotto, Founder of OnPoint Legal Research- As a clerk to the B.C.S.C. in 1998, Sarah learned the importance of sound legal research. She gained practical experience as a litigator with Edwards Kenny & Bray before leaving practice to establish OnPoint in 2000. Sarah is committed to providing OnPoint’s clients with a competitive edge. She is dedicated to ensuring that OnPoint produces nothing less than exceptional work and offers outstanding service. Ellen Vandergrift, OnPoint Legal Research- Ellen clerked at the Court of Appeal of Alberta before articling and practicing at Fraser Milner Casgrain. She subsequently spent several years as legal counsel to the Queen’s Bench and has now been with OnPoint for over eight years. She is well-suited to appellate work and particularly enjoys researching and analyzing complex legal issues and preparing facta.

Do-Ellen Hansen, Borden Ladner Gervais- As a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais, Do-Ellen provides complex research analysis and advice on diverse legal issues to private and Crown corporations, banks, and insurers. In the course of her practice, she regularly prepares legal opinions and analyses, litigation briefs, and legal arguments for trials, appeals, and arbitrations.

Monika Gehlen, Davis LLP- Monika is a partner with Davis LLP, where she specializes in written advocacy, appellate practice, legal opinions, and strategic advice. As a member of the firm's Legal Research and Litigation Practice Groups, Monika has extensive experience in the research and analysis of complex legal issues.

Legal Research: From Issues to Solutions 2013 Eric Sherbine, Dentons Canada LLP- Eric Sherbine is a Research Specialist with Dentons Canada LLP, where he provides legal and business research services.   He has substantial legal research experience in both Canada and the United States.  Prior to immigrating to Canada, he practiced as an employment and labour lawyer in the US.

Michelle Maniago, Borden Ladner Gervais-Michelle Maniago practises in the area of civil litigation and arbitration at Borden Ladner Gervais, with an emphasis on commercial and corporate disputes. She also practises as a legal research lawyer and works with both solicitors and litigators to prepare legal opinions. Prior to joining the firm, Michelle had the opportunity to hone her legal research skills as a clerk with the B.C.C.A.

Meghan Maddigan, Legal Community Liason, Courthouse Libraries BCMeghan is the point person for training at the library and is committed to helping lawyers succeed in their practice through outreach. Prior to joining Courthouse Libraries BC in 2010, Meghan practiced law for five years with a small firm where she gained first-hand experience learning what is required to conduct successful legal research in private practice.

Agenda- Legal Research: From Issues to Solutions 2013 8:30- 9:00

Registration and Pastries and Coffee

9:00- 9:15

Welcome from Sarah Picciotto, Founder of OnPoint

9:15- 10:00 Ellen Vandergrift- “Starting Out on the Expedition and Staying on the Right Course”

- The importance of paper and online secondary materials in legal research (texts, digests, encyclopedias and course materials) - Tips on the best secondary sources to use and how to make the most of them - Making good research choices- when to stop, when to take a different path, when to check back with the client or supervising lawyer

10:00-10:45 Do-Ellen Hansen, Michelle Maniago and Ellen Vandergrift- "Navigating the Electronic Terrain, Part One: The General"

- Insider tips from research lawyers who perform computer research every day - Tips on how to construct effective searches and manage search results - Noting up as an essential research tool

10:30- 10:45 Coffee break 10:45- 12:00 Do-Ellen Hansen, Michelle Maniago and Ellen Vandergrift- "Navigating the Electronic Terrain, Part Two: The Specific"

- Pointers on when to use which resource for what task - Cost-efficient uses of electronic resources - Important resources for keeping current

12:00- 1:00 Lunch (on your own, but save room for Full Afternoon Tea Service at 2:30) 1:00- 2:00

Meghan Maddigan- "Tackling Legislative Research Like a Pro” - Making it modern: How to ensure you are looking at the most current, in-force laws - So many sources, so little time: Where to start and finish when looking at legislation - Working backwards: How to trace specific provisions through time - Who said what: Finding judicial consideration of legislation

Agenda (cont.) 2:00- 2:30

Eric Sherbine, "Handling American Research Sources" - Available resources for specific tasks - Free vs. paid sources - What can you reasonably expect to research without U.S. training - Answers to lawyers' commonly asked questions about conducting U.S. research

2:30- 2:45

Break- Prepare for Full Afternoon High Tea Service during next presentation

2:45-3:15 Monika Gehlen , "Presenting Your Work- Writing to Win" - Tips for better written advocacy - Factum writing 3:15- 4:15 Group Panel- “Time to Take the Plunge: A Sample Research Issue, Step By Step�

Research to a


We are pleased to be serving Four Seasons' full afternoon tea during our afternoon presentation. Enjoy an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream, opera cake, French macarons, lemon tartlets, and other assorted petit fours, along with a selection of teas or coffee.

Course Registration Form Date: November 28, 2013- 9:00 to 4:15 (registration and light continental breakfast starts at 8:30) Format: Live Program with Materials Feature: Four Seasons' Full Afternoon High Tea Service at 2:30 Location: The Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver Price: Really Early Bird (before July 30) Regular: $450; Paralegal: $350; Student: $200 Early Bird (before Oct.31) Regular: $475; Paralegal: $375; Student: $225 Starting Nov.1: Regular: $525; Paralegal: $425; Student: $265





OTHER __________




Year of Call ______

REALLY EARLY BIRD (Register by July 30, 2013) Regular -------$450+ $22.50 GST = $472.50 Student ------ $200 + $10.00 GST = $210.00 Paralegal ----- $350+ $17.50 GST = $367.50 EARLY BIRD (Register by October 31, 2013)

REGULAR PRICING (Starting Nov.1, 2013)

Regular -------$475 + $23.75 GST = $498.75 Student ------ $225 + $11.25 GST = $236.25 Paralegal ----- $375 + $18.75 GST = $393.75

Regular -------$525 + $26.25 GST = $551.25 Student ------ $265 + $13.25 GST = $278.25 Paralegal ----- $425 + $21.25 GST = $446.25

I’m paying by:


Credit Card (MC or VISA)





By Fax:


By Phone: 604.879.4280

By Mail: OnPoint Law Corporation, 178-2498 W.41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M2A7 Email:

BC Take Five July 2013  
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