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May 11, 2018

CBABC Position on Proposed Automobile Insurance Reforms

Jennifer Brun

As the CBABC Executive Liaison to the Automobile Insurance Committee, I am writing to highlight the issues arising from our provincial government’s introduction of Bills 20 and 22. By way of background, on April 23, 2018, the government introduced Bill 20 and Bill 22 to amend the Insurance (Vehicle) Act and the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act.  Together these Bills aim to impose a cap on the pain and suffering head of damages in motor vehicle accident claims, as well as to significantly expand the monetary jurisdiction and scope of the current Civil Resolution Tribunal. Following that announcement, the CBABC began…

April 10, 2018

Three things about the discovery process you probably didn’t know

Lyle Harris

  If your partner or confidant meets your lawyer along with you, you have waived privilege. Suppose you have started a lawsuit because someone has caused you harm or owes you money. You hire a lawyer who issues a Notice of Civil Claim on your behalf. The day approaches for your examination for discovery and your lawyer calls you in for an appointment to prepare you for your examination. Like most clients, you are a little bit nervous talking to your lawyer and you decide you want to bring your partner or best friend with you to sit in on…

February 28, 2018

Loose Lips Sink Cases: Confidentiality, Privilege, and the Implied Undertaking

Rebecca Buchanan

A lawyer has many duties to her client, one of which is to “…scrupulously guard, and not divulge or use for personal benefit, a client’s secrets or confidences” (Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia).  A lawyer does not talk about her client or his case outside the courtroom or her office.  If she does, the consequences to the lawyer can be serious.  Likewise, if a client discusses the facts of his case with someone other than his lawyer, even with his own family members, the consequences for the client can be serious.  This blog post discusses the rules that…

February 13, 2018

Correspondence from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Jennifer Brun

Ms. Brun’s letter of October 30, 2017, addressed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and respecting the present judicial shortage in British Columbia, gained substantial traction.  Ms. Brun was interviewed by Mr. Keith Fraser, reporter for the Vancouver Sun, and quoted in an article published online on December 22, 2017, and in print on December 23, 2017, which can be read here: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-s-supreme-shortage-of-judges-courts-public-concern.  More recently, Ms. Brun received the following personal response from The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P., on February 9, 2018, which is very much appreciated:   Dear Ms. Brun: Thank you for…

November 1, 2017

Restore Timely Access to Justice: A plea to fill judicial vacancies

Jennifer Brun

October 30, 2017   Department of Justice 284 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario    K1A 0H8 Attention:   The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada   Dear Minister Wilson-Raybould:   Re: Appointment of Supreme Court Justices in British Columbia I am a barrister carrying on business at Harris & Brun Law Corporation on West Georgia Street in the City of Vancouver.  Our firm is a well-established civil litigation boutique of a modest 12 lawyers.  Over the past several weeks I have spent numerous hours preparing for a trial that was scheduled to commence today in the Supreme…

October 11, 2017

What the Heck is a “Parental Responsibility”?

Heather Mathison

In 2013, the new Family Law Act, S.B.C. 2011, c. 25 came into force. This Act sought to take away the sting of words like “custody” and “access” and instead be child-focused. The act re-framed matters so that we do not talk about a parent’s “right” to their child anymore. We now speak of a parent’s “obligations and responsibilities” towards their child and their child’s best interests. In the generic case where two parents have a child or children together and later separate, the Family Law Act says that each parent is automatically a guardian of the child or children. …

September 6, 2017

What Every Injured Worker Should Know

Rebecca Buchanan

If you have been injured while working, either because of a coworker’s actions or your own, you are entitled to receive benefits from WorkSafeBC.  To ensure you receive all healthcare, wage loss, pension and vocational retraining benefits, it is important you do the following: Immediately report your injury to your employer’s First-Aid person. If there is no First-Aid person, report to your immediate supervisor.  Write down what happened, where, when, how and who saw it (the witnesses) along with witness contact information.   Immediately see your doctor, go to a walk-in clinic or the hospital and report that you were…

July 14, 2017

Insurer-Defended Tort Claims: Know Your Rights and Obligations as an Insured Defendant

Narvinder Gill

A contract of insurance that protects a client from personal liability provides two important benefits. First, the insurance company will indemnify (cover) the client for damages that the client’s negligence may have caused to a third party. Second, and equally important, the insurance company has a duty to defend the client against the claim brought by the third party (or plaintiff). The following summary highlights important aspects of the insurer’s duty to defend. This is general information that we hope will assist insurance consumers understand what happens when they are sued for a type of claim or injury that is…

June 27, 2017

Separation Agreements: Why do I Need a Lawyer if we Agree?

Heather Mathison

When we talk about divorce and divorce lawyers, we usually think of hostile attitudes and battle-royales in the courtroom. However, I’ve had many clients come to me where the relationship breakdown is amicable and, to their credit, they have reached agreement. Many people might question why they should go to a lawyer if they agree on everything already. Other people question the expense of a lawyer to draft a separation agreement. Instead they may turn to a self-help book to draft the agreement themselves or not bother to write down anything at all. For some people, they will be right…

April 19, 2017

Appeal Win Protects Experts and Defendants Alike

Michael Wilhelmson

On January 27, 2017, Mr. Justice Funt of the Supreme Court of British Columbia overturned a master’s decision, which had incorrectly held that the court has no power to order a Plaintiff to sign a reasonable consent to treatment form. I acted as counsel representing the Defendants. His Lordship ruled that the courts of British Columbia most certainly CAN make such an order to give effect to the Supreme Court Civil Rules, including the right of a Defendant in a personal injury action to compel the Plaintiff to attend a medical assessment with the expert of his or her choice…

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