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Monday, 11 August 2014 08:00 Written by Margaret L. Waddell
The standard of appellate review for contract interpretation has been redefined by the Supreme Court of Canada. Buried in the depths of summer and delivered in the context of an appeal from an arbitral award, Justice Marshall Rothstein’s decision in Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp. may have gone unnoticed by many, so I am taking this opportunity to focus the spotlight on it. The decision is of seminal importance, not just for appeals in the arbitration context, but also for all common law proceedings where the interpretation of a contract is under appeal.
The headline is tongue-in-cheek because really, the first step towards “fixing” immigration is to realize the immigration program as a whole, and even our temporary foreign worker program, in part, are not necessarily broken. Yes, there are people who misuse, misunderstand, or downright abuse the system, but a watch isn’t broken because someone forgets to wind it.
The plaintiff’s securities class action bar takes on substantial risk when they bring a claim seeking leave under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act. Often, all counsel knows is there has been some wrongdoing at a company that has led to a dramatic decline in the price of a share. The diligent counsel reviews the company’s historic public disclosure, wherein the company’s health has been, without fail, viewed through rose-coloured glasses. Once the corrective disclosure occurs, the security’s value tumbles down to earth and investors are left holding the bag.
On May 27, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released its study of data broker practices entitled “Big Data: A Call for Transparency and Accountability.” Based on its 18-month review of the data collection and use practices of nine significant data brokers (Acxiom, CoreLogic, Datalogix, eBureau, ID Analytics, Intelius, PeekYou, Rapleaf, and Recorded Future), the FTC obtained detailed information regarding the data brokers’ practices, including the nature and sources of consumer data they collect; how they use, maintain, and disseminate the data; and the extent to which data brokers currently allow U.S. consumers to access and correct data about them or to opt out of having their personal information sold or shared.
For my July column I was initially thinking about a slightly different approach. The idea was to raise with law firms the concept that perhaps law departments have key performance indicators too and they may want to think about how their law firm services law departments in light of them. Obviously it is a starting point of asking law firms: “Do you really talk to your clients and understand their needs and pressures and if you don’t then maybe you should, especially in the flat market we all live in today?”
Something really terrible happened in the life of one of my clients a few months ago. I was totally shaken by it and lost several nights’ sleep. As time has passed, I have gained more perspective but wanted to write about what I’m discovering is one of the toughest parts about this job: coping when something difficult happens to a client.