March 9, 2022
Court of Appeal for Ontario allows appeal from rejection of jury verdict
MacKenzie Barristers had the opportunity to represent the successful Appellants in Cheung v. Samra, 2022 ONCA 195, a decision released by the Court of Appeal.
The decision allowing the Appellants' appeal reaffirms settled principles concerning the roles of trial judges and juries. The Court of Appeal rejected the trial judge's decision to order a new trial on the ground that the jury's answers to questions posed were insufficient.
The Court of Appeal reaffirmed the principle that trial judges have a duty to grant judgment in accordance with a jury's verdict where the verdict provides a legal foundation for judgment. Trial judges must not usurp the role of juries as fact finders.
You can read the decision here.
May 20, 2021
Law Society Tribunal dismisses appeal in lawyer marketing case
The Law Society Tribunal (Appeal Division) has dismissed an appeal from the Tribunal's earlier decision to dismiss a discipline proceeding against a lawyer, in which the Law Society of Ontario had alleged that the lawyer breached the Rules of Professional Conduct relating to advertising. The Appeal Panel also affirmed the Tribunal's decision to award costs against the Law Society of Ontario on the basis that allegations of professional misconduct against the lawyer were unwarranted and brought without reasonable justification.
In its decision, the Law Society Tribunal at long last clarified the meaning of Rule 4.3-1, which prohibits advertising that a lawyer is a "specialist" when the lawyer is has not been so certified by LSO. The Appeal Panel resolved an earlier conflict in the jurisprudence and confirmed that the rule does not prohibit lawyers from advertising that they "specialize" in a particular area of law, using the common understanding of the word to inform potential clients that their practice focuses in that area.
MacKenzie Barristers was pleased to act for the Respondent lawyer on this appeal and throughout the proceeding.
You can read the Appeal Panel's decision here.
May 17, 2021
MacKenzie Barristers appears for OTLA in the Supreme Court of Canada
Today we were pleased to make our firm's third appearance before the Supreme Court of Canada as counsel to the intervener Ontario Trial Lawyers Association in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. The decision was taken under reserve.
As it was a virtual hearing in light of the pandemic, we appeared virtually from our offices at 120 Adelaide St. W. in Toronto. Although it was a little different from our previous appearances in Ottawa, it was an honour to represent our clients in our nation's highest court.
May 3, 2021
"Regulatory Innovation with a Legal Tech Sandbox": A new Slaw column by Brooke MacKenzie
Brooke's latest legal ethics and professional regulation column for Slaw.ca was published today. She discusses the Law Society of Ontario's recent decision to approve a “Regulatory Sandbox for Innovative Technological Legal Services”, a five-year pilot project through which non-licensee providers will be given the LSO’s blessing to provide “innovative technological legal services” directly to consumers, under the LSO’s supervision, reviewing what the "sandbox" looks like, why it’s a promising step, a few concerns law societies should consider going forward, and what the future may hold.
Your can read the article here.
April 26, 2021
Appeal allowed because expert witness opined on key issues of credibility
MacKenzie Barristers acted for the successful appellants in Parliament v Conley, 2021 ONCA 261. In this medical malpractice case, the Court of Appeal allowed the Plaintiffs' appeal and ordered a new trial because the defendant physicians' sole standard of care expert exceeded his proper role by purporting to make findings of fact and opining on central issues of credibility, and there was "a very real possibility that [the expert's] evidence on credibility and reliability played a significant role in the jury's decision to find that the standard of care was met by both doctors". The Court held this tainted the jury's verdict such that it must be set aside.
Your can read the decision here.
March 18, 2021
Brooke MacKenzie publishes article, "Ensuring professional competence?" on Slaw.ca
Slaw.ca, Canada's online legal magazine, has published Brooke's latest legal ethics column, in which she reviews the measures law societies use to regulate lawyer competence, and explores what else might be done to ensure lawyers provide competent service to their clients.
You can read the article here.
February 16, 2021
MacKenzie Barristers' client OTLA granted leave to intervene in the Supreme Court of Canada
Today, the Ontario Trial Lawyers' Association (OTLA), represented by MacKenzie Barristers P.C. along with Oatley Vigmond, was granted leave to intervene before the Supreme Court of Canada in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. Royal Sun Alliance Assurance Company, SCC Case No. 38949. The case concerns whether and when an insurer who opts to defend a claim may be estopped from taking the position that it has no obligation to indemnify an insured.
Update, February 19, 2021: the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case (virtually) on May 17, 2021.
January 14, 2021
Brooke MacKenzie publishes article, "Why do we regulate lawyers?" on Slaw.ca
Brooke has recently joined the team at Slaw.ca, Canada's online legal magazine, as a regular legal ethics columnist.
Her first article, "Why do we regulate lawyers?", can be read here.
January 1, 2021
Gavin MacKenzie joins Arbitration Place
As of January 1, 2021, Gavin has joined Arbitration Place as a Member Arbitrator. In recent years, Gavin has repeatedly been approached to serve as an arbitrator of commercial and partnership disputes, and has served as both a sole arbitrator and as a member of a three-arbitrator panel.
Gavin looks forward to continuing his counsel practice while working with Arbitration Place to serve as an arbitrator and mediator in Canada and internationally.
Read Arbitration Place's announcement here.
December 1, 2020
Brooke MacKenzie featured in Precedent Magazine
Precedent Magazine has profiled Brooke in its "Secret Life" feature, discussing her experience becoming a Jeopardy! champion.
You can read the article here.