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Apr 12, 2023 | Article

Terminations in Ontario – What are my Rights and Obligations?

As an employer, the decision to terminate an employee may come with many different considerations, such as whether to terminate with or without cause and providing a reasonable and fair termination package.

Author: Julia Chumak

Mar 15, 2023 | Article

The Balancing Act for Canadian Litigators: Encouraging Settlement Between Parties and the Procedural Risks of Entering into Settlement Agreements in Multi-Party Litigation

An Overview – Settlement Agreements in Canada - Canadian court systems encourage and facilitate settlement. For example, there is an entire regime encapsulated by Rule 49 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the importance of early and reasonable offers to settle, as well as an emphasis on proportionality in litigation as set out in Rule 1.04 of the Ontario Rules.

Authors: Edwin Upenieks and Julia Chumak

Oct 26, 2020 | Article

Employment Contracts: Review or Regret

Many employers rely upon standard form employment contracts, believing that they are sufficient to meet their specific hiring needs. However, employers should have experienced employment law lawyers regularly review their employment contracts, to ensure that the terms are valid and enforceable. The recent Court of Appeal for Ontario decision, Waksdale 2020 ONCA 391, is an example of how employers would be wise to revisit their standard form employment contracts.

Mar 7, 2019 | Article

'One Judge' case management promises big efficiency gains

Lawrences' head of litigation Edwin Upenieks is part of a working group testing a case-management project that has the potential to boost the efficiency of the civil justice system significantly. 

Author: Edwin Upenieks

Feb 2, 2019 | Article

Upenieks’ Dispositions Without Trial explores benefits of summary judgments

New book shows how summary judgments can resolve cases before trial, freeing up court time

Author: Edwin Upenieks

Jan 23, 2019 | Article

Truth-telling critical when meeting with lawyer

Clients may be tempted to hold back embarrassing details about their case, but it’s important to tell lawyers the whole truth, says Brampton civil litigator Edwin Upenieks.

Author: Edwin Upenieks

Jan 23, 2019 | Article

Lawyers' lawyer Upenieks serves local and legal communities

During more than three decades at the bar, Upenieks, partner with Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP, has become particularly well known in the province’s legal community for his niche practice in solicitors’ assessments and costs. Over the years, he has acted with more than 60 law firms involved in legal fee disputes with clients as well as on behalf of individual clients.

Author: Edwin Upenieks

Jul 31, 2017 | Newsletter

Lawrences Letter Summer 2017

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.

Author: Edwin Upenieks

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.

Author: Edwin Upenieks

Sep 15, 2015 | Article

Selling Your Business: 12 Mistakes to Avoid

Business owners who run their own companies make huge investments of time, money and expertise to make their businesses successful and should be ab...

Author: William Sirdevan

Sep 15, 2015 | Article

Commercial Leases: Getting Rid of the Nightmare Tenant

A landlord's commercial tenant is habitually late with rent, makes partial payments, fails to make required repairs, and causes disruption to other...

Author: Heather Picken

Jun 3, 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.

Author: Edwin Upenieks

Jun 1, 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.

May 13, 2015 | Presentation

Record Keeping and Accounting by Estate Trustees, Attorneys and Guardians of Property

Estate Trustees are fiduciaries and must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the estate. Estate Trustees have a common law duty to maintain accounts of what they have done with the trust property. 

The Trustee is obliged to provide a complete set of accounts, a true and perfect accounting at all times. 

While the formal rule is that Estate Trustees have a duty to constantly be ready to account, in practice, it is not always practical to produce accounts on the spot. Timing of the delivery will depend on the circumstances and should be governed by common sense. Although Estate Trustees are usually given one year to administer an estate of average complexity, an Estate Trustee would be wise to be ready to account before the “executor year” expires. 

Strictly speaking, an Estate Trustee does not have to account without being asked to do so or being ordered to do so by the court. In the vast majority of cases, the Estate Trustee will voluntarily account to the beneficiaries as part of the process to complete the administration of the estate. An estate is said not to be complete until the beneficiaries or the courts have approved the administration of the estate. Beneficiaries will not approve the administration without first reviewing the accounting. An Estate Trustee should not distribute the estate without getting some assurance that the beneficiaries are satisfied with the administration and will not be making claims against the Estate Trustee in the future.


Author: Michael Prsa

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...

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© 2015 Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson LLP

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