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Personal Lawyers

The Importance of Good Lawyer Advice in Family Law

Written by on March 21, 2017.

“Common sense seems to have gone out the window”  Lately there seems to be a trend in which judges have been rendering decisions where they are censoring litigants, counsel and government bodies such as Legal Aid of Ontario. In a recent decision the court found fault with the parties and Legal Aid of Ontario. In Abdulaali and Salihi, 2017 ONSC 1609, both parties were being assisted by Legal Aid.  The wife by Duty Counsel on her day at Court and the husband had a lawyer funded by a...

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Written by on March 07, 2017.

In the context of a personal injury claim, alternative dispute resolution (also referred to as “ADR”), is a means for the parties to discuss a settlement of the claim without the need for a trial.  The term ADR can refer to mediation, arbitration or even formal settlement discussions.  ADR is becoming an increasingly popular approach to resolving personal injury cases in Ontario. In most cases, the parties’ participation in ADR is voluntary.  A common form of ADR is mediation.  Medi...

How To Legally Change Your Child’s Name In Ontario

Written by on February 07, 2017.

Periodically a client will ask if it is possible to change their child’s last name, from their former spouses’ name to their own, for example changing the child’s last name to their maiden name so the child and parent have the same last name. Firstly to apply to change a child’s name you must have legal custody the child. Further there cannot be a Court Order or Agreement that prohibits the change of the child’s name. So carefully review your Court Order or Agreement to see if this ...

Where Can I Bring My Family Law Application?

Written by on December 21, 2016.

Before you issue an Application for relief in family law, you first need to determine the appropriate municipality in which to bring your Application. This article deals with choosing the appropriate municipality within Ontario.  For a determination of whether or not Ontario should assume jurisdiction over a case (i.e. where there is a competition over jurisdiction between Ontario and another province, or country), you would need to refer to section 22 of the Children’s Law Reform Act or s...

What Is A Custody And Access Assessment?

Written by on December 20, 2016.

In a custody and access dispute, the judge is given the important task of deciding what is in the best interests of a child, including who should have decision-making authority and how much time the child should spend in the care of each parent.  A judge, however, is limited by the evidence presented to him or her in court.  He or she does not get the opportunity to meet with the parties in a natural setting, conduct interviews with them, interview the child, and observe how the child interact...

What happens if a deceased’s will is lost? What if it has been destroyed?

Written by on August 12, 2016.

Estate trustees - an individual (or individuals) appointed to administer a deceased's estate - may find themselves unable to locate the original copy of the deceased's Will. Perhaps the Will has been misplaced, or destroyed. What is to be done in these situations? Luckily, the Rules of Civil Procedure provide a way forward. In this situation your lawyer can make an application to the court. Following Rule 75.02 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, the reviewing judge may issue a Certificate of Ap...

OSC Whistleblower Program Set To Launch This Summer

Written by on April 13, 2016.

A recent report in the Globe and Mail indicates that the Ontario Securities Commission is close to finalizing a whistleblower program, which is expected to launch early this summer. The program will encourage whistleblowers with knowledge of securities law violations to bring them to the attention of the OSC.  It is expected to provide payments to whistleblowers of 5 to 15 per cent of the total penalties imposed in a case, as long as there is a successful prosecution that leads to penalties of ...

Whittling Down Our Testamentary Freedom

Written by on January 21, 2016.

Testamentary freedom – the principle that a person of sound mind is free to leave his or her estate to whomever they like, for whatever reason, and without explanation– is a deeply entrenched notion in Canadian common law and society. However, as those of us in the estates and trust field know quite well, testamentary freedom is not absolute; it is subject to numerous constraints and limitations. One such limitation arises from the doctrine of public policy which can void bequests that a...

Removing a Court-Appointed Guardian in Ontario

Written by on December 16, 2015.

Previous articles have discussed powers of attorney and guardianships and the duties and obligations of attorneys and guardians. But what can be done when a family member of the incapable person feels that the guardian or attorney is not acting appropriately? Occasionally, supportive friends or family members may have concerns about the actions taken by an attorney or guardian and may seek to have that person removed or replaced by the court. While the standard required to remove an attorney ...

How to Change Your Last Name After Marriage

Written by on November 06, 2015.

Introduction Name changes in Ontario are governed by the Change of Name Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 7.  As a newly-married spouse, there are two different options if you wish to change your last name:  (1) You can simply “assume” your spouse’s last name, or a hyphenated combination of the two, which does not involve changing the name on your birth certificate; or (2) You can apply for a legal name change, which involves changing your birth certificate as well as all of your other identificatio...