The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a Quebec company that sued the lawyers involved in a tax dispute over gaming machines.
From 1985-1992, Revenu Québec imposed sales tax on the use of gaming machines, such as ones used to play poker.
In 1989, 2731-9359 Québec Inc. was established to receive mandates from the companies distributing these gaming machines. It argued it should be reimbursed for the taxes paid, claiming about $15-20 million, at which time it retained the services of the defendants.
Michael Bruni says he wishes more lawyers would get involved with Hockey Canada at the higher levels of the organization.
The new chairman of Hockey Canada, which represents minor hockey programs and Canada’s national hockey teams, says the largely volunteer organization faces significant issues in the future and could benefit from those who better understand governance and the importance of following through on due diligence.
“We don’t want a lot of lawyers, but we need more lawyers,” says Bruni. “In my history I’ve run mini law firms, done the in-house role, and know that lawyers can provide a real value-add.”
An Ontario Superior Court judge made some interesting remarks on the proportionality rule, lawyers’ fees, and the courts’ stone-age approach to technology last week.
Ruling in Harris v. Leikin Group, Justice David Brown considered the cost motion of one of the defendants, First Capital Realty Inc., following its successful bid for summary judgment. The case centred on a bid process for College Square in Ottawa. The plaintiffs alleged the bid process was a sham and took several parties, including First Capital, to court.
Brown ruled there was no basis for the claim against First Capital, which sought $437,000 in costs, including $333,000 in fees and $62,000 in disbursements. The plaintiffs responded with several criticisms:
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal from the Crown questioning a judge’s decision not to impose a fine on a fraudster who bilked Canada Customs of more than $4.7 million because she believed he wouldn’t pay it.
In R. v. Topp, customs broker John Topp recovered over $4.7 million in taxes and duties from clients owing to Canada Customs and then kept the money instead of submitting it to customs. He was convicted of 16 counts of fraud and attempted fraud under the Customs Act in Ontario Superior Court.
The Crown sought a $4.7-million fine and jail sentence. However, Topp’s defence counsel claimed he was unable to pay the fine and produced a letter from Topp’s wife, which stated the family’s financial situation was moderate.
With an eye to cutting the cost and time of complex arbitration matters, the International Chamber of Commerce has released a revised version of its rules of to better serve businesses and governments engaged in international commerce and investment.
Jason Fry, secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, was in Toronto yesterday to provide the legal community with an overview of the changes to the rules of ICC arbitration, which come into force Jan. 1, 2012, and outline the reasons for some of the changes.
“The objective was to design a modern set of arbitration rules to meet the needs of the business community and states engaged in international commerce that would serve those needs for the next 10 years,” said Fry, who spoke at a luncheon hosted by Neeson Arbitration Chambers, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and William Horton Dispute Resolution. “There is a strong emphasis on time and cost management and so we have introduced case management procedures to help address those concerns.”
LawPRO will freeze its base rate for 2012, meaning Ontario lawyers will pay $3,350 for professional indemnity insurance.
Delivering LawPRO's report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada Bencher Vern Krishna, also a member of the insurer’s board of directors, said the rate looks good when seen in the longer-term context.
"It's very important to understand that $3,350 is the average level of premiums for the last 15 years. In other words, although we have seen some spikes in those 15 years, this is the average," he said.
Yesterday’s release of the Conservative government’s proposed omnibus crime bill, relatively benignly named the safe streets & communities act, wasn’t exactly met with resounding approval by either the legal profession or the Canadian public in general.
Shortly after the bill’s multipronged release in Toronto and Montreal, the Canadian Bar Association came out swinging, saying “the bill’s approach is contrary to what is known to lead to a safer society.”
The CBA takes issue with several aspects of the proposed bill, including mandatory minimum sentences and overreliance on incarceration, constraints on judges’ discretion to ensure a fair result in each case, and the bill’s impact on specific, already disadvantaged groups.