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Law related articles writen by lawyers
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2009: an Interesting Year for Ontario Charities

The first interesting change is the abolishment of the PST and the adoption of the HST. While the official government announcement indicated that the rebates available to charities under the HST effectively made charities revenue neutral between it and the PST.

A New Area of Liability for Directors of Charities - Canada

In 1999, Parliament amended the Income Tax Act (the "Act") to create what are commonly called Third Party Civil Penalties. The provisions, which are broadly worded, ostensibly target those individuals who assist others in making what the CRA would believe is a false statement or omission on their tax returns.

Ghost of Disbursement Quotas Past - Canada

For the second time in six years the Federal government is changing the disbursement quota calculation for charities. Originally instituted in 1976 as a way to force charities to spend their funds on their charitable activities, the quota has turned into a cross between a math nightmare and an obstacle for the growth of small charities.

Good News on Land Transfer Tax - Canada

Homeowners in most provinces know that the land transfer tax due on purchase of the home can be the straw that breaks the camel's back as far as affordability goes. Most provinces have a version of the land transfer tax (as called in Ontario, or the Property Transfer Tax or Land Purchase Tax in other provinces). The tax is generally calculated as a percentage of the property being transferred, so the higher the value of the property the greater the tax.

The Taxman Cometh - Canada

The advent of the HST system in Ontario has been treated with a distinct lack of enthusiasm by charities. On the one hand, as the HST system is based on the GST regime some may feel comfortable with HST as simply being an extension of the GST (the only problem is that the GST is an enigma to most). On the other hand, the silence about the HST in the charities community is in some ways surprising given the now enhanced consequences to directors and charities for misunderstanding the law.

Not for Profit Bankruptcy Case Shows the Law in the Area is Clear as Mud - Canada

We are periodically faced with the unfortunate situation when a charity or not for profit is forced into bankruptcy or receivership. Unfortunately, giving clear advice in the area is complicated by the relative lack of applicable law. In one circumstance we were confronted with a situation as to whether a going concern operating as a charitable trust could make a proposal in bankruptcy.

Tax Wars: the Client Strikes Back - Canada

This case serves as a warning to any advisors that receive commissions paid by promoters to avoid potentially conflicting situations regardless of their confidence in the shelter. And perhaps more importantly, advisors should hold themselves to the highest fiduciary standards in all cases, even if their relationship with the donor is more fleeting thatn was the one between the Lembergs and Mr. Perris.

NFP's Can't Even Give It Away - Canada

The first and likely most recurring situation is a return of member's dues. In theory, there is nothing wrong with the organization returning amounts paid by the members to the organization. However, in circumstances where the organization has provided some (non monetary) benefits to its members the organization would have to deduct the value of these benefits from the amounts being returned to the member.

Enforcing Canadian Judgments in Israel

This article addresses the risks to Israelis being sued in Ontario, Canada. Sometimes there is a tendency for Israeli defendants to ignore Ontario lawsuits. Perhaps they feel judgment proof because they have no assets in Canada. That may be unwise. Ontario may assume jurisdiction and grant judgments against Israeli defendants. Such judgments may be enforceable in Israel leaving the defendant's assets in Israel vulnerable to collection.

Being Sued in Ontario – the Necessity to Go to Court in Canada

This article addresses the risks to Americans being sued in Ontario, Canada. Sometimes these defendants ignore Ontario law suits because they have no assets in Canada. That may be unwise. Ontario may assume jurisdiction and grant judgments against American defendants. Such judgments may be enforceable in the US.

Shoplifting Charges in Canada

Quite often, people charged with Theft Under are accused of stealing inexpensive item(s) worth under $100. Though inexpensive, property offences are taken seriously by the Courts. If found guilty, the result could be a criminal record.

Weapon Offenses in Canada

The author reviews the specifics about weapons-related criminal charges that people face in Brampton, Newmarket, Toronto, and other regions in Ontario.

Challenging the Attorney for Property's Accounting - Canada

The author canvasses what questions should be asked when reviewing how an attorney for property has managed accounts. In the context of estate and trust litigation in Ontario Canada the author addresses the most common problems with accounts including whether they are in proper court format, if assets are missing, the location of joint assets, vouchers and the amount of compensation claimed.

Contingency Fees in Ontario - Canada

Clients seek out lawyers who will take on cases on a contingency fee basis. The author discusses the factors that both the client and lawyer should consider before choosing this payment scheme and the legislative and statutory governance of this practice in Ontario, Canada.

Bringing Legal into Strategy Development: A New Blue Ocean? - Canada

Bringing legal expertise into business strategy development is the natural conclusion of the process which the author has advocated of lawyers to becoming more nuanced and practical business advisors.

May an Executor in Toronto, Canada Buy Estate Assets?

Executors in Toronto often want to buy assets belonging to an estate. Beneficiaries often suspect the executors of wrong doing. The short answer is maybe, possibly, but not usually.

Business Opportunities in Legal Services - Canada

Looking for innovation in the delivery of legal services leads naturally to an examination of business of lawyering, as opposed to the practice of law, and there is a large range of potential new business models to be considered.

It’s the Business, Stupid: Bringing Strategy Tools into the Practice of Law

Law schools do not generally teach anything about business, as opposed to business law. As a result, lawyers learn about business legal forms and contracts, but nothing about the non-legal imperatives of running a business like corporate finance, marketing, or corporate strategy.

Legal Recourses for Collecting Condominium Fees

This article refers to the several recourses available to enable a syndicate of co-ownership to collect the contributions for common expenses (condo fees) from co-owners who are negligent in remitting these expenses.

Employment Law in British Columbia - What's New? - Canada

The current economic climate, continued employment and employment relationships are more critical than ever. Loyal and productive employees afford and employer its best chance to emerge unscathed at the end of this lengthy recession. However, economic pressures may require an employer to reorganize or restructure its workforce. Doing so properly, and in accordance with the law, will ensure continued survival of your business, your profitability and your reputation.

BC's Real Estate Development Marketing Act - What's New? - Canada

A brief explanation of British Columbia's consumer protection legislation for pre-sale purchasers of condominiums, and comment on how the courts have recently enforced the legislation in disputes between developers and purchasers.

Buying a Commercial Property for Your Practice? HST vs. Creditor Proofing

Your practice is doing well. Interest rates are low. Your lease is about to expire, and you are tired of paying rent. You want to buy a commercial property (the “Building”) that will be owner-occupied. You may also have additional space available for rent. After some time, you may want to sell the Building or rent it out in its entirety. So what do you do?

How Will Canada's New Mortgage Rules Affect Condo Pre-sales?

On February 16, 2010, Canada’s Finance Minister announced changes to federal mortgage rules that will take effect on April 19, 2010. The new rules will likely affect all residential real estate purchasers in Canada. This article discusses the serious financial impact of the new rules on condominium pre-sales.

When is Probate Not Needed in Toronto - Canada

It is important for people who wish to stop estate assets from being distributed to know that a certificate of appointment (“Probate") is not always necessary to effect the transfer of assets.

Stopping Probate in Toronto - Canada

Probate in Ontario is called "a certificate of appointment of estate trustee with a will". This article addresses what steps have to be taken in Ontario to stop the process of getting a Will probated.

Due Diligence! Buyer Beware!

This article will briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two common structures – share purchase or asset purchase arrangements.

Drug Offenses - Canada

The late William F. Buckley Jr. was a renowned political commentator and writer whose conservative views were much admired by right wing proponents of “law and order”, a term referring to harsh criminal law policies including “zero tolerance” in the so-called “war on drugs”.

Care Givers Marrying the Elderly - Elder Abuse?

Elderly people who are lonley, depressed, ill and cognitively impaired are especially vulnerable to financial predators who marry them as part of a plan to obtain control and ownership of their assets. This article is a review of an Ontario case called Banton v. Banton in which Justice Cullity of the Superior Court of Ontario, Canada dealt with such a situation, set aside the Will and addressed the differing capacities for making a Will and getting married.

Elder Abuse -Legal Options- Canada

There may be as many as 150,000 seniors being victimized in Ontario Canada.(FN1) The abuse can take many forms. One common form of abuse is financial. The purpose behind this article is to provide some information to people on the first steps they might consider when discovering the problem. Let’s first talk about signs of financial elder abuse.

First Step in Will Challenge - Canada

Why is filing a Notice of Objection so important? Once filed, the court registrar will not issue a certificate of appointment (Probate) without notice to the Objector. Probate tells the world that the Will is valid & the executor is in charge of the assets. There is a risk that when granted Probate, the executor can sell the assets or remove out of the jurisdiction and thereby make collection difficult.

The Contingency Fund Demystified - Canada

This text reports some myths relating to the contingency fund that we identified through the exercise of our specialty. Following is the list of the syndicate's obligations relating to the contingency fund.

Renting your Condo under Quebec's Law - Canada

The rental of dwellings in an immovable in divided co-ownership is common in Quebec. Nevertheless, this is a delicate operation, requiring several measures of precaution and should never be done blindly.

Shareholders' Remedies in Canada in 2010

When advising business clients about doing business in Canada, lawyers must turn their minds not only to the kinds of corporate vehicles which Canadian law permits but also the vailable remedies if disputes arise. This paper highlights the remedies available in common law jurisdictions of Canada to protect shareholders and others from abusive corporate action, including oppression remedy, derivative actions, court-ordered meeting, investigations and winding up.

Rules of Civil Procedure in Ontario Changes as of January 1, 2010 - Canada

Ontario revised its Rules of Civil Procedure to make the civil justice system more accessible and affordable for Ontarians. The changes touched on: * Discovery * Pre-Trials * Simplified Procedure * Experts *Service Filing Deadlines * Case Management * Summary Judgment * Dismissal & Status Hearings. This article does not cover every change to the Rules of Civil Procedure. It covers two aspects of the changes which are of heightened interest to the public at large.

Litigating in the Enlightened Age of Mediation in Ontario, Canada: Drafting Pleadings

In the enlightened age of mediation, more than of 90% of all lawsuits eventually settle. Good counsel must now see the pleadings in a different light. The Statement of Claim or Complaint is a very useful marketing tool. If drafted with its audiences in mind, it can go a long way to help achieve a good settlement. The authors are experience business litigation lawyers in Toronto, Canada.

The Standard of Appellate Review in Ontario Canada: High Hurdles to Right Wrongs

Assessing the prospects of success on appeal and winning on appeal are among the most difficult aspects of an advocate’s role. Losing party’s counsel is confronted with human and analytical challenges which can be more complicated than the events which led to the unsatisfactory trial judgment, jury verdict, arbitral award or tribunal decision. Winning counsel has to deal with the possibility of reversal.

The Five Most Significant Decisions of the Canadian Courts in 2008-2009

What the Courts decide affect the lives of many citizens. In this interesting article, the authors review the most important decisions decided by Canadian courts between September 2008 and August 2009.

Developments in the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Canada

Courts in Ontario, Canada, where more than one-third of Canada’s population resides, are very receptive to the enforcement of final and conclusive foreign money judgments is subject to certain statutory exceptions and procedural requirements. The authors detail the law and procedure relating to the enforcement of foreign jdgments in Ontario, Canada.

What Happens if You Want to Back out of an Offer or Purchase Agreement? - Canada

In this article, the author will be discussing what happens if you change your mind after signing an offer or purchase agreement.

What Happens to Deposits on Termination of Agreement of Purchase and Sale? - Canada

Generally, the deposit a buyer puts down in respect of an agreement of purchase and sale is only released by the listing brokerage in very limited circumstances.

Standard Terms in an Agreement of Purchase and Sale - Part 22 - Canada

This article covers various standard terms in the agreement of purchase and sale of property relating to parties, property, purchase price, deposit, schedules, fixtures and chattels, rental items, dates/searches & requisition date, conditions, agreement in writing, and execution and acknowledgment.

How Do Ontario Realtors Get Paid? - Part 21 - Canada

This article discusses some scenarios applicable to compensation for the services of Realtors.

Buyer Representation Agreements - Part 20 - Canada

At any time before a buyer can make an offer to purchaser property, they must sign a “Buyer Representation Agreement” with the brokerage. This article discusses the implications of the agreement and obligations.

What Are the Legal Obligations of Ontario Realtors? - Part 19 - Canada

So what are the legal obligations of Realtors? In a nutshell, they include professional, ethical, fiduciary and contractual obligations, each of which will be briefly discussed in turn.

Landmark Decision may Ease Social Assistance Burden on Sponsors - Canada

As in all sponsorship situations, our government did not concern itself with the financial resources of the relatives abroad. Instead, it concerned itself with the income of the Canadian sponsors.

The Hazards of Relying on Regular Mail for Your Immigration Application - Canada

Those who are filling out their immigration applications on their own should be aware of an important decision recently released by the Federal Court.

Longer Lines and Surprises in the Canada Immigration Plan for 2010

Although the overall target will remain the same as in 2009 — 240,000-265,000 new immigrants — there will definitely be some big winners and losers in the year to come.

What Does an Ontario Realtor Do for a Seller? - Part 18 - Canada

As an Ontario homeowner wishing to sell your property, you will likely ask your Realtor to list it (among other things). Much of the discussion of listing the property revolves around the appropriate listing price. Here, the Realtor will generally conduct a comparative market analysis. He or she will look up comparable homes in the nearby neighborhood that sold recently. The article discusses some of the listing agreements and processes involved with selling a property.

What Does an Ontario Realtor do for a Buyer? - Part 17 - Canada

A Realtor is initially engaged by a buyer to help find the right type of home at the right price. The Realtor will advise on the comparative market value of the home and discuss negotiation strategy, the responsibilities of the buyer, and various standard and non-standard terms and conditions in the agreement.

Legal Options Available to Victims of Real Estate Fraud in Ontario - Part 15 - Canada

As a homeowner, the thought of being a victim of real estate fraud is scary. While uncommon, identity fraud exists and should be guarded against. A fraudster, for example, can impersonate the registered owner of real property and transfer the property to him, herself or a third party. Moreover, a fraudster could acquire a mortgage fraudulently through false information or identification and then run away with the money. This could happen repeatedly with the same property before being discovered.

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