Category Archives: Blog

Corporate Damages for Defamation

A corporation can be defamed just like a person, however, there are unique challenges and considerations where the defamed party is a corporation that are important to be aware of.  The main difference is with respect to how the Court will approach damages vis-à-vis a corporate plaintiff.

The Defence of “Fair Comment”

The threshold in Canada for a finding of defamation is not particularly stringent.  In order to prove defamation (libel or slander) against a particular defendant, a plaintiff must show on the balance of probabilities that: the statements were made to a third party, the words lowered the plaintiff’s reputation, and the words must be reasonably understood by others in a defamatory sense.

Construction Liens 101

You will often hear aggrieved parties in various commercial / civil disputes assert, forcefully, that they want to place a lien upon the property of the party that harmed them.  As if liens are available at large and applicable to any legal dispute.  Not so fast!!

Making a Claim for Extras? Follow the Contract!

Ross-Clair v. Canada (Attorney General) (“Ross-Clair”)[1] is a March 2016 Court of Appeal decision that reaffirmed the Court’s willingness to enforce specific contract requirements in order for contractors and subcontractors to secure payments for extra work. Specifically, the contractor’s correspondence to the owner regarding extra work completed was deemed to include insufficient particulars, contrary to the contract, thus disqualifying the contractor for any claim for compensation. The contractor also delivered a fulsome report detailing its claim for extras, but the report was provided well past the deadline set forth in the contract and, therefore, was given no weight by either the application judge or the Court of Appeal.

Pay When Paid Clauses

Pay when paid clauses are highly contentious provisions in the construction industry that all sub-contractors need to be aware of.  In the normal course, a contractor must continue to pay a sub-contractor whether or not the contractor has been paid.  A pay when paid clause (PWP clause) will alter the normal course and permit the contractor to withhold paying a sub-contractor until the contractor is paid by the party above it in the construction pyramid.