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Litigation

Litigation can be a stressful experience for any business or individual. The best possible outcome is for a case to be satisfactorily resolved as quickly as possible, so that the parties can continue their lives and their businesses. Lawrences’ litigation lawyers have established a strong reputation for vigorous and strategic representation.

We are committed to representing our clients’ interests at every stage of a dispute, from fact-finding and risk assessment to final disposition and enforcement. We work to understand our clients’ issues and advance their interests, while keeping in mind that litigation can be lengthy and costly. We assess each client’s case to provide the most efficient, cost-effective method of dispute resolution. Where appropriate, we explore the possibility of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. We assist clients in identifying risks that could lead to legal exposure. We help our clients resolve such issues at an early stage to avoid lengthy, expensive litigation.

Lawrences’ Litigation Group has extensive experience in all areas of litigation and at all levels of court, including the Ontario Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice, and various tribunals and commissions throughout Brampton, Peel Region, and southern Ontario. Our litigation lawyers are actively involved in various professional associations, are frequent speakers on the litigation process and strategy, and have written a wide range of publications.

What is unjust dismissal? What is wrongful dismissal? What is a construction lien? What is the oppression remedy? What is constructive dismissal? How do I “perfect” my preserved lien? Who is entitled to a construction lien? Are there time periods for lien claims? What does it mean to “preserve” a lien? When do my rights to preserve a lien expire? What types of work do not qualify for a lien? All my lien rights have expired. What do I do? What is the best way to avoid a business dispute? Can I register a construction lien on the last day? What are the usual steps in a collection proceeding? Can my preserved lien expire? How do I prevent this? How can our firm prevent future assessments of costs? Are the costs of enforcement recoverable from the debtor? What are the advantages to registering a construction lien? Is it possible for the client to appeal to the Court of Appeal? I do not really want to go to trial. How can I settle this case? What happens if I provide the wrong information in my lien claim? In a shareholder’s dispute, are legal fees payable from company funds? As an employer, how should I respond to a work refusal by an employee? We have received an application for union certification. What should we do? How much will the Will challenge cost me and will I be able to recover my costs? Does work completed on a home renovation qualify under the Construction Lien Act? How can I secure my interest in a property that is or may be involved in litigation? How much notice of termination, or pay in lieu of notice, is an employee entitled to? What is the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”), and how does it affect employers? How do I know whether our workplace is governed by provincial or federal jurisdiction? There is a lien on my property. I need it removed to complete the project. What do I do? I am purchasing/selling a business. What employment law issues should I be concerned about? I am a contractor who worked on a renovation. Can I claim a lien on the work that I completed? My company has been unionized. Can I wind up my business and start up again under another name? What options are available to a landlord when a commercial tenant defaults in the payment of rent? My neighbour wants to remove a healthy tree between our properties. Do I have any right to stop him? Can an employer terminate the employment of an employee by simply meeting the statutory minimum requirements? I have been charged with what my friends tell me is a very minor criminal offence. Do I really need a lawyer? I wish to challenge the last will and testament put forward by my Mother’s caregiver. How long will this take? We have been served with notice of application from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”). What should we do? Are employees restrained by and limited to those obligations and entitlements provided under the employment agreement? There is a construction lien registered against my property from work that was done a long time ago. Can I get it removed? We obtained judgment against a debtor, but the debt has yet to be paid. How do we go about collecting the money owed to us? Are terminated employees required to sign a release in favour of their employer as a condition of receiving a termination package? The collective agreement is set to expire and we anticipate a lockout or strike action. What should we be doing to prepare our business? Our home renovation contractor has left the project unfinished and with many deficiencies. Can we hire someone else to complete the work? I have been served by the municipality with a Notice of Expropriation for a road widening off the front of my property. What are my rights? I am applying for a licence in a regulated industry, but the regulator wants to issue me a licence subject to various terms and conditions. Should I agree? A lawyer’s client acted on his own on an assessment of costs and lost, and has now appealed to a judge. What are the client’s chances of success on the appeal? The client owes $3,000.00 but insists on his entire file being delivered to him so that he can prepare a motion being heard next week. Can I refuse to produce the file? A new survey of my property indicates that my rear yard fence is not located along my lot limit and encroaches six feet into the adjoining property. What are my rights? We are an automobile-leasing company. One of our lessees has defaulted on payment under the lease and has refused to return the vehicle. What options are available to us? My parents are deceased. I have asked my brother, who seems to have taken control of things, for a copy of my parents’ wills, but he refuses. Can I get copies of the wills? We loaned money to a company that offered certain pieces of equipment as security. The debtor company has defaulted on the loans. Can we simply seize and sell the equipment? My second husband died recently and I was surprised to find out that he left most of his estate to the children of his first marriage. Can I make a claim against his estate? A lawyer is coming up to an assessment of costs and would like some advice, but questions if he needs legal representation for the entire assessment of costs. What should he do? I have three siblings. Our mother just passed away and under her will we each get an equal share of her estate, which I feel is unfair. How can I set aside the will to get my fair share? I am one of the beneficiaries of the residue of my father’s estate. My brother is the executor and will not give me any information about what he is doing. Can he withhold information from me? The purchaser of my property failed to complete the transaction and defaulted under the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and did not close on the deal. Am I entitled to keep the deposit paid? On the seventh day of a month, a lawyer’s client made a request to assess a series of her accounts, the last of which was dated the first day of the previous month. Can an order be obtained on requisition? I have been charged with selling vehicles without a licence under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act. I have been told that I can pay a small fine and then apply for a licence under the applicable legislation. Is that correct? I went to see my lawyer to pick up my last account and receive settlement proceeds. To my surprise, the lawyer deducted an extra $25,000.00 for a “premium” without discussing this with me and without my agreement. Is this allowed? What if the last account is just a disbursement account for less than $100.00 and all of the other accounts are spread over four years, total over $100,0000.00, and are all paid? Can an order be obtained to assess all of the accounts? I am a minority shareholder. What steps can I take against the majority shareholder, who I suspect of misappropriating company funds, and refuses to provide me with the company records that a minority shareholder is entitled to at law? My mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease when she died. My sister tells me that Mother executed a new will two weeks before she died and appointed my sister as the estate trustee and sole beneficiary. How can that will be valid? My parents lived in the same house for 30 years, and used the same law firm since this purchase. Father died in 2011. Mother’s health/mental state are deteriorating and I have asked the lawyer for a copy of Mother’s last will, yet he refuses. I purchased my house for 30 years and recently learned that there was a mortgage registered on title 25 years ago which, my lawyer did not discover. The lender under that mortgage has never demanded payment/taken steps to enforce the mortgage. I loaned some money to an individual and received a mortgage on that person’s home as security for the loan. The borrower has stopped making payments and has not responded to my letters or emails. What can I do to collect the money owing to me? I have a licence application pending in a regulated industry, but cannot get the regulator to make a decision one way or the other. It has been months and my business plans are on hold, at considerable expense to me. Is any way to expedite the process? My lawyer took my case on a contingency basis where he is to receive 25% of the settlement. When I picked up my settlement proceeds, he has kept 25% of the entire settlement and in addition, has claimed all of the disbursements plus HST Is this proper?
I have been in the car business since 1989.  I was wrongfully sued last year for the first time in the Superior Court of Justice.  I was referred to Lawrences by the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario and retained Sahar Cadili to help me.  She is efficient, honest, professional and hard-working, and got my case dismissed outright.  She was very patient with me since I was not familiar with legal terminology and made me comfortable that I was in good hands.  If you find yourself faced with a lawsuit, I highly recommend Sahar to help you.

Shane Baghaee
Summit Auto Brokers Inc.

“Lawrences has been around for over 90 years and there is good reason why. I have used the firm for a number of corporate issues, real estate matters, estate planning, employment law, and dispute resolution over the past five years. If there is a deadline, they meet it; if it's returning a phone call, it gets done, and if it's an email to discuss or send, you can rest assured it's being looked after.

Lawrences is not one person trying to tackle every task, but a very experienced team of professionals with expertise in every field—by far the best law firm my company has been exposed to over the last ten years. The lawyers will always give you an honest opinion and always make sure you’re getting the best possible guidance—not just one person in your corner but a whole support team.

Michael Luchenski makes sure to communicate so everyone can understand. Lawrences adds a personal touch to make sure their clients are not only satisfied with the work Lawrences provides to the client, but also—most important—how the clients feel when they leave the office.”

Paul Azzopardi
Kenco Machinery Movers & Millwrights Ltd.
President

“As I came to require the services of lawyers regularly over the past two decades, during which I am sorry to say the number of lawyers I required reached double figures, I soon understood how important trust and integrity are within the lawyer-client relationship—as important as or more important than in almost any other.

Following a first matter in which I sought advice from Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP, and during which I was treated with respect, provided with wise advice, as well as achieving success, I sought their counsel on several subsequent matters. The lawyer with whom I worked, Ed Upenieks, was expertly competent and realistic, but equally responsive and sympathetic—a combination of qualities to be appreciated by anyone who has needed legal counsel with all the anxiety and uncertainty with which that need is usually associated. It was a unique experience working with Ed, whose support, knowledge, preparation, and integrity were critical to our success.

I cannot more highly recommend Ed, as well as the unparalleled expertise of the legal team of Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP.”

Dr. Nancy Olivieri, MD, FRCP(C)

Professor, Pediatrics, Medicine and Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada; Senior Scientist, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada; Executive Director, Hemoglobal

Headwaters Health Care Foundation has worked with Ed Upenieks and his team at Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP on several occasions. The estate advice and assistance he provides our Foundation has resulted in a number of very positive outcomes. Our interactions with Ed and his colleagues are always extremely professional, precise, and timely. I personally enjoy the warm and collaborative approach Ed uses in his daily practice. I would recommend this legal firm without hesitation.

Joan Burdette
Headwaters Health Care Foundation
CFRE, Executive Director

“Lawrences’ employment lawyers were instrumental in assisting me to deal with a difficult and confusing time, and untimely litigation. At all times, I felt comfortable with a practice leader who was attentive, supportive and able to effectively communicate legal strategy and processes with me. I received exceptional value for the services provided and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”

Audra Wosik
Major Franchisor
Senior Director

“We have had our share of unusual and deeply concerning employment law matters. Lawrences has always acted in a prompt and attentive manner, providing good solid legal advice as well as options on how to deal with our problems, letting us, the employer, make an informed decision that works for our company.”

Margot Wax
Canadian Measurement–Metrology Inc.
President

“SPS Inc. has been with Lawrences since our inception 15 years ago. We started with one business and now, four ongoing businesses later, our relationship with them is still going strong. We have always received timely and relevant legal advice. Bill Sirdevan is very knowledgeable in all aspects of business and employment law and we are very pleased to have him assist us.” 

A. J. Bajwa
SPS Inc.
President

“We have relied on Lawrences to provide professional legal services for over 30 years. Their lawyers, and in particular their Employment and Labour lawyers, are knowledgeable and provide superior service and advice.”

John Kalverda
Holland Christian Homes Inc.

“Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP provided me with excellent legal services in my estate planning, real estate and litigation dealings. Their legal team provided me with integrated, seamless support in my real estate transactions and associated litigation when I needed it. It was a true team effort.”

Dr. Loris Gregoris

Professional Engineer

“As one of the larger non-profit organizations in Peel and an employer of over 300 staff, Brampton Caledon Community Living requires sound legal counsel on a range of issues. From real estate to employment law, Lawrences has provided us with professional and reliable service for over 15 years.”

Jim Triantafilou
Brampton Caledon Community Living
Executive Director

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

An Expropriation Case

The Problem Our clients ran a small trucking company. Their office and yard where they kept their trucks and equipment were conveniently located be...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Acting for the Client

The Problem In a bitter and acrimonious litigation dispute, the client had already paid his solicitor over $100,000.00 when the solicitor demanded ...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Acting for the Solicitor

The Problem The solicitors had rendered dozens of accounts over the past few years to a corporate client, all of which had been paid in full. Havin...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Greedy Estate Trustee

The Problem A friend was appointed as executor of an estate where the deceased had directed in his will that the residue of the estate be divided e...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Improper Bedside Will

The Problem A couple prepared wills, leaving their estates to each other and on the death of the last spouse, to their two children, a son and daug...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Getting a Lien Removed

The Problem A general contractor entered into an agreement with a fencing company to build an industrial grade fence around the premises belonging ...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Registering a Lien

The Problem A construction company supplied equipment and services to homeowners as they prepared to sell their property. The construction company ...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Order for Payment

The Problem Our client, a landlord, had not received payment for rent by its tenant, a corporation. Our Approach At law, a corporation is consider...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Motion for Summary Judgment

The Problem Our client loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars to another company. The debtor had signed a promissory note promising repayment. Ou...

Mar 20, 2015 | Case Study

Prompt Application for an Injunction

The Problem Our client, a car dealer, purchased a series of vehicles for which payment was tendered. Our client did not receive all of the vehicles...

Jul 26, 2017 | Article

Costs in Personal Injury Actions

The cost of bringing legal action is a major issue in access to justice, especially in personal injury cases. This article outlines the approaches the Court can take in assessing the amount of costs to be paid by the unsuccessful party in a personal injury case.

Jul 26, 2017 | Article

Costs in Class Actions

Class actions were intended to provide access to justice for those unable to bring individual legal actions. However, if the class action fails, the plaintiffs may end up bearing the burden of costs. This article outlines the ways in which the courts can deal with an unfair cost burden.

Jun 03, 2015 | Presentation

Tips and Traps when Preparing Estate Accounts; How to Avoid Estate Litigation

Estate litigation often means thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and a significant delay in the administration of an estate. In addition to possibly depleting the assets of an estate, estate litigation often destroys families and relationships. At times, the total monies spent in legal fees is not much less than the value of the entire estate.

While estate litigation involving will challenges is fairly common, a significant amount of estate litigation involves estate accounting and the propriety of the conduct of executors and trustees in the management and administration of an estate. Some litigation is unavoidable, particularly where there has been mismanagement or a breach of trust by the executor or trustee. However, a significant amount of litigation can be avoided by maintaining proper estate accounting and understanding the role of an executor or trustee of an estate.

Jun 01, 2015 | Presentation

Motions for Security for Costs

A security for costs motion is a powerful tool that lawyers often overlook. Since such motions are not available in every case, lawyers are accustomed to dealing with the issue of recovery of costs closer to the conclusion of the litigation. Most clients do not know they even the option exists. The result is that either no motion for security is brought or there is significant delay in bringing the motion that it results in the motion being unsuccessful.

Simply put, a motion for security for costs is a means to ensure that there are funds in place to pay for the defendant’s costs should the defendant succeed in the litigation. In addition, it is an effective method of deterring frivolous or vexatious claims from proceeding further. Since the order prevents the plaintiff from taking further steps in the litigation until the security is posted, it forces the plaintiff to take a closer look at its claim and to seriously consider its chances of success.

An order for security for costs is a discretionary remedy and the court has the power to deny it where granting the order would impede the plaintiff’s access to justice and a determination of the plaintiff’s case on the merits.

Dec 01, 2014 | Article

Disputes Over Boundary Trees: Who Owns That Tree?

The saying that “good fences make good neighbours” may not extend to trees after a recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice d...

Dec 01, 2014 | Article

Enforcing Judgments: What Happens After You Win a Court Case?

Tasty Co., a catering company, sued a client for payment of unpaid bills for its services. The court decided in Tasty’s favour, stating that the client must pay Tasty the full amount owing, plus court costs. Three months after the judgment, Tasty has yet to see a penny of the money. What can it do?

Dec 01, 2014 | Article

Company Holiday Parties: Festivity or Liability?

Happy Co. hosts its company holiday party for 200 staff and management at its head office, during work hours. Alcohol is served, but no one monitors consumption. Ted Garland consumes eight alcoholic beverages at the event and stops at the local pub on his way home for a few more drinks. While driving home from the pub, Ted loses control of his car, rolls into a ditch, and sustains catastrophic injuries that leave him a quadriplegic.

Oct 01, 2014 | Article

Legal Implications of Using Social Media: Do You Know Who You’re Sharing With?

Amanda has arthritic pain in her knees and is claiming short-term disability from her employer. The insurance company denies her claim because pictures on Amanda’s Facebook profile show her jumping on a trampoline. She then deletes many pictures from her profile.

Dec 01, 2013 | Article

Terminating Employees: The Termination Meeting

Terminating an employee is one of the most difficult decisions employers face. Once the decision to terminate has been made, employers mu...

Nov 11, 2013 | Presentation

Estate Litigation and Costs: Protecting Your Client (and Yourself)

At the outset of litigation, costs can sometimes be a distant thought, as the reality of being saddled with the fees of one’s opponent have not yet become tangible. However, judges are lending more consideration to costs, and counsel should be increasingly mindful of that. Years ago costs were not really an area that justified acute attention. Nevertheless, with the development of this area in the estates context, it becomes clear that this last-leg of combat requires strategic thinking from the inception of litigation. The conduct during the proceedings can have a large determination as to how costs are finally apportioned.

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43 Queen Street West, Brampton, ON, Canada L6Y 1L9
Telephone: 905.451.3040 Fax: 905.451.5058 Email: lls@lawrences.com

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