Tag Archives: Lawyers Weekly

By using technology, laptops can replace briefcases

As seen on AdvocateDaily.com

Making use of technology ensures efficiency and productivity remain at peak levels, even during time periods that may otherwise be wasted, Toronto critical injury lawyer John McLeish says in Lawyers Weekly.

In an article discussing working on the go, McLeish says if he’s travelling, he always has a laptop in tow.

If stuck on a plane for three hours without the ability to connect remotely, because the firm has a paperless office, files can easily be downloaded, says McLeish.

“Instead of having two briefcases in the overhead luggage compartment above me, I have a 2.8-pound computer. I can download five, 10 or 25 files so I have them on the plane,” McLeish, a partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, says in the article.

The firm makes use of today’s latest technology, including Primafact, a paperless office system that enables lawyers to instantly access any document in a client’s file, the article says.

“There’s no running around saying, ‘Get me this document.’ We can access everything so quickly,” says McLeish.

When on a trip, McLeish says he’ll often get work done in the lobby of his hotel in the early morning hours.


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Lawyers could learn from juror process

As seen on AdvocateDaily.com

A controlled glimpse into the juror process would be beneficial to counsel handling civil cases, Toronto critical injury lawyer John McLeish tells Lawyers Weekly.

In the social media age, Canadian jurors and the legal community at large are divided on whether they can legally discuss the process, their deliberations, and their verdict in civil trials, the article says.

The Criminal Code makes it clear that jurors cannot discuss cases during the trial or after a verdict has been rendered, but when it comes to civil cases, Lawyers Weekly reports, several provinces are mute on the issue. Continue reading

Benefits deduction requires strict burden of proof

As seen on AdvocateDaily.com

DVOOnly in the rarest of cases will a defendant in a personal injury action be permitted to deduct the value of a future stream of accident benefits from a tort award for future pecuniary loss, Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando writes in Lawyers Weekly.

Referring to the decision of Madam Justice Darla Wilson, in Hoang v. Vincentini [2013] O.J. No. 321, Orlando says the jury assessed the damages of the injured plaintiff at just over $684,000 for future medical treatment, rehabilitation, attendant care, housekeeping and home maintenance.

“In Hoang, the defendant’s counsel sought an order reducing the award by the amount available to the injured plaintiff pursuant to the statutory accident benefits schedule,” he writes.

“As the plaintiff had been designated catastrophically impaired, had the defendant’s argument been accepted, the amounts remaining available pursuant to the schedule would have effectively reduced the defendant’s obligation to pay the jury’s award for future cost of care to zero.”

In dismissing the defendant’s motion to reduce the damages for future health care expenses, Wilson makes it clear that a defendant seeking such a deduction faces a very strict burden of proof and that a deduction will only be made if the defendant places “persuasive evidence” before the court to demonstrate that it is “patently clear” the plaintiff qualifies for the future benefits, the article says.

“In my experience, the type of proof required simply does not exist unless the plaintiff has entered into a full and final settlement of entitlement to future benefits under the schedule,” writes Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP. “This is a sensible approach when one considers who is in a better position to bear the risk of non-payment of a future benefit: a plaintiff, who has established need before a jury, or a defendant who has caused the harm.”

Decision could lead to increase in unnecessary claims

As seen on AdvocateDaily.com – April 5, 2013

Ontario’s personal injury bar is concerned that a recent Court of Appeal decision could lead to an increase in unnecessary claims against underinsured insurers, Toronto critical injury lawyers Rikin Morzaria and John McLeish write in Lawyers Weekly. Read Lawyers Weekly

In Roque v. Pilot Insurance Co. [2012], the court held that a plaintiff ’s limitation period against an underinsured insurer begins to run when the plaintiff has enough evidence to give him a “reasonable chance” of persuading a judge that his claims would exceed the minimum limits of $200,000, the article says.

“This is a departure from some previous cases — Hampton v. Traders General Insurance Co. [1996] O.J. No. 41, most notably — that held that the limitation period only begins to run from the time when the plaintiff knows that the available insurance coverage under a defendant’s policy is less than that available under his or her own coverage. While the language of OPCF 44 endorsement in question — the “family protection” endorsement that extends to the policyholder the same rights provided to third parties —  arguably left the appeal court little choice, the resulting situation cries out for legislative intervention,” explain Morzaria and McLeish, partners with McLeish Orlando LLP.

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