The recent media scandal involving British peer, Lord McAlpine (pictured above) who threatened to sue the BBC, ITV and thousands of Twitter users over false accusations of pedophilia is discussed over at Inforrm’s Blog: (more…)
Archive for the ‘England and Wales’ Category
Lord McAlpine and Twitter Libel: Does failing to sue when a libel is first published raise a defence of waiver, estoppel or acquiescence?November 20, 2012
The Convention between Canada and the United Kingdom For The Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, 1984, [the "Convention"]   applies to judgments rendered by the Federal Court of Canada and all reciprocating common law provinces and territories. In Ontario, the Convention is called the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments (U.K.) Act, RSO 1990, c R.6 ["REJUKA"] which is the only bi-lateral enforcement convention to which Ontario is a party. REJUKA does not apply to the following types of orders or judgments:
(a) orders for the periodic payment of maintenance;
(b) the recovery of taxes, duties or charges of a like nature or the recovery of a fine or penalty;
(c) judgments given on appeal from decisions of tribunals other than courts;
(d) judgments which determine
(i) the status or legal capacity of natural persons;
(ii) custody or guardianship of infants;
(iii) matrimonial matters;
(iv) succession to or the administration of the estates of deceased persons;
(v) bankruptcy, insolvency or the winding up of companies or other legal persons;
(vi) the management of the affairs of a person not capable of managing his own affairs.
REJUKA provides for a “simple and rapid” procedure for registration of the UK judgment, without having to commence a civil action on the original debt. Article IV sets out the various grounds for refusal or setting aside registration of the UK judgment. Article V deals with establishing jurisdiction of the UK court in granting the original UK judgment.
The relative ease of enforcing UK judgments under REJUKA is highlighted in the Court of Appeal for Ontario decision in Tarlo Lyons v. Gauthier, 2012 ONCA 39 (CanLII) (S.C.C. application for leave to appeal denied, (34723) , July 12, 2012). The appeal panel’s brief endorsement reads: (more…)
“Mandatory professional indemnity insurance & a mandatory insurer: A global perspective“, an article by Jennifer Ip (LAWPRO unit director and counsel (Litigation)) and Nora Rock, (LAWPRO corporate/policy writer), in the current issue of LAWPRO Magazine, is required reading for Canadian international law practitioners. The authors provide a comprehensive review of the recent malpractice crisis in the UK and a summary of professional errors & omissions insurance coverage in various jurisdictions.
The LAWPRO magazine also includes a Table summarizing Professional Indemnity Insurance Requirements Around The World. [available here (pdf)]
While many common-law jurisdictions (e.g. United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore) and most continental European civil law jurisdictions have mandatory professional indemnity insurance coverage requirements, some do not.
The most glaring exception is the United States:
Oregon is currently the only state that requires lawyers to carry liability insurance.
Oregon lawyers must purchase their primary insurance through the Oregon bar’s Professional Liability Fund.19 In an article for Law Practice TODAY, the newsletter of the Law Practice Management section of the American Bar Association, law practice management expert, Ed Poll praised the Oregon program for its affordable premiums and universal coverage, noting that the premiums paid by Oregon lawyers “are much less than the nationwide average [voluntary] payment for malpractice insurance,” and that universal coverage in Oregon means that “[t]he playing field between large and small firms is at least manageable. And the public is truly protected.”20 Jeff Crawford of the Oregon bar’s Professional Liability Fund confirmed that the base premium for the current insurance year is $3,500 (for coverage of $300,000 per claim and $300,000 in the aggregate, plus a defence costs allowance of $50,000), a premium amount that, he notes, “if you consider inflation, has remained quite stable over the past several years.”
The upshot is that a “Google search” of a foreign lawyer’s website, law blog or asking for a “Twitter recommendation” is simply not good enough and the shortest path to a “negligent referral” claim. Due diligence requires that you not only evaluate the foreign lawyer’s credentials diligently (including local bar association status, disciplinary records, etc.), you must also request confirmation from the foreign lawyer whether he or she carries voluntary E&O insurance with sufficient minimum limits.
Forewarned is forearmed.
The Quebec court decision in Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé c. JTI-MacDonald Corp., 2011 QCCS 2376 (CanLII), involved an application for letters rogatory in two tobacco industry class actions (recently settled on July 4, 2011, between the Plaintiffs and the Government of Canada. The Defendants had no part in this Agreement.)
The class plaintiffs sought to examine two attorneys: John Meltzer of London, England and David Schechter of Louisville, Kentucky, USA , whom they alleged were involved directly or indirectly with the spoliation of evidence (destruction of documents) by Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltee (“ITL”) during the early 1990′s: Mr. Meltzer, then of the firm Lowell, White, Durrant, acted as outside counsel to British American Tobacco (“BAT“) and Mr. Schechter appears to have been in-house counsel at Brown and Williamson (“B&W“).
The Plaintiffs sought an order compelling each Attorney “to appear (near his place of business) to be examined, by way of a videoconference, by the attorneys for Petitioners on all facts of which he has knowledge with respect to the litigation between the parties and to give communication of any documents that may be in his possession and which are relevant to this litigation”. (more…)