Lex Loci

Lex Loci (leks loh-si). [Latin] 1. The law of the place; local law.

Lex Loci is an advocacy forum including commentary on recent jurisprudence, legislative developments and other information affecting the Alberta bar, the legal community at large, and the clients and businesses we represent in the course of our practice.  Topics are published and updated from time to time for informational purposes only, and are not intended as legal advice.  Kindly contact our Lawyers with legal inquiries or for additional information.


Proving Mental Injury

June 20th, 2017

In its recent decision of Saadati v. Moorhead, 2017 SCC 28, the Supreme Court of Canada held that courts may award damages for mental injury based on the testimony of lay witnesses and without expert evidence establishing an identifiable medical diagnosis or condition.

A good question: the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench clarifies Questioning on Affidavit

June 20th, 2017

In Alberta (AG) v Alberta Power (2000) Ltd (“Alberta Power”),[1] the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench helpfully explains how Questioning on Affidavit differs from Questioning on Discovery, including by offering several practical examples. The case also summarizes key principles that govern the scope of Questioning on Affidavit. Moving forward, Alberta Power will likely be a […]

Transport Canada’s Interim Order Formalizes Restrictions on Recreational Drone Operators

March 21st, 2017

Transport Canada released an Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft on March 13, 2017: Click Here to Access the Order This new Order is aimed at addressing public safety and aviation safety concerns centred on the recent explosion in use of recreational drones. A more comprehensive set of updated regulations are due later […]

Breaking News: Employment Contracts Continue to be Important

February 20th, 2017

A couple employment law truisms: An employer has the right to dismiss an employee without cause, so long as notice or compensation in lieu of notice is provided to the employee. An employee is entitled to all compensation due to her during the notice period unless the employment contract stipulates otherwise. These employment law fundamentals […]

Contractual Interpretation Attracts Deference: Heritage Capital Corp v Equitable Trust Co, 2016 SCC 19

May 24th, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada recently confirmed that considerable deference is due to trial judges in the context of contractual interpretation. This case centres on the Lougheed Building, a downtown landmark familiar to many Calgarians. In 2004, it was designated a “Municipal Historic Resource” under the Historical Resources Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. H-9 (“HRA”). The owner at the time agreed to refurbish the building in exchange for 15 annual incentive payments from the City of Calgary. The agreement was registered by caveat on title to the land pursuant to the HRA. The building was subsequently sold in a judicial sale.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward in Summary Judgment Applications

May 22nd, 2016

In P. Burns Resources Limited v. Honourable Patrick Burns Memorial Trust, 2015 ABCA 390, the Court of Appeal of Alberta confirmed that there is no “default position” that document production and questioning procedures should be put on hold pending an application for summary judgment or summary dismissal. The Respondent trustee brought an action for oppression […]

Feuding Neighbours: Facebook Defamation

May 22nd, 2016

A defendant’s liability for posting defamatory content on social media forms the subject of a number of recent court decisions, and encompasses potential vicarious liability for responding comments or replies posted by others. In the recent case of Pritchard v. Van Nes, 2016 BCSC 686, the Supreme Court of British Columbia awarded the Plaintiff, a […]

Pedestrian Liability

May 22nd, 2016

If a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle, one would assume that the driver will be held liable, right? In fact, depending on the circumstances, a pedestrian may be found partially or even completely responsible for the accident. The Alberta Traffic Safety Act sets out the legal standard in this respect. Pursuant to section […]

Contesting a Will: Grounds & Onus of Proof

September 16th, 2015

Testamentary incapacity and undue influence are common grounds to contest the will of a deceased testator. The former refers to the testator’s lack of the necessary mental ability to execute the will, while the latter describes the influence of another person in making the will such that it does not genuinely reflect the testator’s own wishes.

Being Paid to Stay Home: Constructive Dismissal or a Dream Come True?

May 14th, 2015

Although many employees may not always appreciate the drudgery of their daily grind, work is more than merely getting paid. Canadian courts have long recognized that work is “an essential component of [an employee’s] sense of identity, self-worth and emotional well-being”. So, while an administrative suspension with pay may seem like a dream come true to many people, in some circumstances it may lead to termination of the employment relationship whether intended or not.

A Duty to Defend: Interpreting ambiguous insurance policies

March 24th, 2015

If the language of an insurance policy is ambiguous, and general rules of contract construction do not aid in its interpretation, the Court must interpret the policy against the insurer.

Batter Up: Judicial Replacement of a Labour Arbitrator’s Award

February 11th, 2015

Telus Communications Inc. v. Telecommunications Workers Union, 2014 ABCA 199, is a recent Alberta Court of Appeal decision addressing the just cause termination of an employee, the amount of deference that a reviewing court must give to a labour arbitration decision, and the issue of when a reviewing court may replace a labour arbitrator’s award.

Look who’s talking: Collaboration in the authorship of expert reports

February 11th, 2015

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the propriety of effective consultation between counsel and expert witnesses.

“Like or Unlike” – Facebook, better than a police line-up?

January 8th, 2015

The Alberta Court of Appeal endorsed the use of identification evidence obtained from Facebook in R v Mohamed, 2014 ABCA 398.

Honesty the Best Policy

November 26th, 2014

It may have been news to some people that parties to a contract could cheat and mislead with impunity so long as they performed their contractual obligations. The Supreme Court of Canada now says otherwise in Bhasin v Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 – importing minimum standards of honesty and good faith to the common law of contract.

Fairness Over Form In Billing For Legal Services

November 26th, 2014

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently emphasized the public importance of judicial oversight in billing for legal services – in essence, a form of consumer protection regulation—in Stubbard v Hajduk Gibbs LLP, 2014 ABQB 632.

Heed The Colon

October 7th, 2014

In Canadian Natural Resources Limited v. ShawCor Ltd., 2014 ABCA 289, the Alberta Court of Appeal has again revisited a party’s obligation to sufficiently describe privileged documents in its affidavit of records in civil litigation proceedings.

You Think You Have Issues…

September 23rd, 2014

Appellate courts often raise issues and pose questions to parties before or during oral argument. While these interjections can rattle seasoned litigators and may pose strategic problems, the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Mian, 2014 SCC 54 affirmed that an appellate court has jurisdiction to raise any issue that does not suggest bias.

Search and Seizure

September 10th, 2014

A regulator’s right to search your property and to seize items without a warrant arises from the dozens of provincial and federal statutes as well as municipal bylaws that regulate everything from environmental protection to real estate.

Sattva Capital Corp v. Creston Moly Corp 2014 SCC 53

September 10th, 2014

In this case the Supreme Court of Canada decides that contractual interpretation is a question of mixed fact and law – not simply a question of law.