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Putting Short Sellers on a (Regulatory) Leash

Written by on February 19, 2019.

Traditional investors buy low and sell high, holding the position in the meantime with the hope that the share price will increase.  Short-selling inverts this strategy and involves borrowing a stock that is believed to be overvalued, selling at the high point, and then returning the shares once the price drops.  Basically, borrow high, replace low and pocket the difference.  Typically, the shares are loaned out by large institutional investors such as pension funds, who collect a small fee p...

Affordable Housing and the Planning Act Authority for Parkland Dedication and Cash-in-Lieu

Written by and on February 15, 2019.

“You can neither lie to a neighbourhood park, nor reason with it. ‘Artists conceptions’ and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighbourhood parks or parks malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use.” -Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities There is no question that parks and pub...

Verbal References: The Truth Shall Set You Free

Written by on January 30, 2019.

Some employers are wary about providing references for former employees, fearing a defamation lawsuit. However, a recent decision of the Divisional Court suggests that negative references that are substantially true and provided without malice may not be defamatory. In the trial decision of Papp v Stokes et al, 2017 ONSC 2357, the plaintiff brought a claim for wrongful dismissal and defamation against his former employer. The plaintiff’s employment was terminated on December 19, 2013 and th...

Sidewalks: Do you have to shovel them?

Written by on January 21, 2019.

Most homeowners are aware that they do not own the sidewalk that surrounds their property – the municipality does. But as winter sets in and snow starts to fall, what does this mean for you? Generally speaking, homeowners are not legally responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks surrounding their property. As the owner of the sidewalk, the municipality is ultimately liable under Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act[1] for any injuries that occur as a result of hazards, such as ice and ...

Why Failing to Immediately Disclose a Litigation Agreement in Multi-Party Litigation is Dangerous and Costly

Written by and on January 21, 2019.

Summary Litigation agreements in multi-party litigation are required to be immediately disclosed to the other parties in the litigation (“Other Parties”). A litigation agreement is broadly defined as an agreement that has the effect of changing the adversarial position of the parties set out in their pleadings into a co-operative one.[1] Failure to immediately disclose a litigation agreement introduces risk that the action against some/all of the Other Parties could be permanently stayed...

Employers: Post and Distribute the Updated ESA Poster

Written by on January 18, 2019.

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), employers must post a copy of the most recent employment standards poster (“ESA Poster”) prepared by the Ministry of Labour in a “conspicuous place” in the workplace. The Ministry of Labour has just released a new version of the ESA Poster, which you can view/print at this link.[1] In addition to posting the updated ESA Poster in a conspicuous place, employers must print it, in colour or black and white, on paper that is at least 8...

Year in Review – Umbrella Purchasers

Written by on January 11, 2019.

Overview Over the last several years, the Ontario and British Columbia courts have grappled with significant issues affecting the scope and viability of price-fixing class actions. One of these issues is whether “umbrella purchasers” have a cause of action in a price-fixing conspiracy class action. Umbrella purchasers are people who purchased the relevant product from a company that was not involved in the alleged conspiracy. The theory behind the inclusion of umbrella purchasers is that...

Uber Decision Calls into Question Arbitration Clauses in Commercial Agreements

Written by on January 07, 2019.

The news media has widely reported the Ontario Court of Appeal’s January 3, 2019 decision allowing a class-action by Uber drivers to proceed. The decision does not answer the question of whether Uber (and UberEATS) drivers should be considered employees or independent contractors (a conclusion that could have wide-ranging implications for employers that rely on independent contractor agreements). However, one aspect of the decision may have an immediate impact on employers in Ontario – the C...

Employers: Consider these Sample New Year’s Resolutions

Written by on January 04, 2019.

  With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to reflect on your business’s labour relations and start tackling those items on your “to-do” list. Here are three sample New Year’s resolutions that may benefit your business: 1. Revise your template employment contract, if necessary One of the most important clauses in every employment contract is the termination clause. A well-drafted and enforceable termination clause can be the difference between providing terminated emp...

ONCA holds that umbrella purchasers have a cause of action in a price-fixing class action

Written by on December 20, 2018.

Shah v LG Chem Ltd., 2018 ONCA 819 Background: In this class action, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired to fix the prices of lithium-ion batteries (“LIBs”) in North America and elsewhere between January 2000 and December 2011. As a result, the plaintiffs paid higher prices for LIBs and products containing LIBs than they would have in a competitive market. The plaintiffs raised several causes of action, including unlawful means conspiracy and a statutory cause of actio...