Archive for the ‘English law’ Category

McAlpine v. Bercow and a New Era of ‘Twitter Chill’

May 24, 2013

The decision of Mr Justice Tugendhat in McAlpine v Bercow [2013] EWHC 1342 (QB) (24 May 2013) [“McAlpine”]  is a stern admonition to Twitter users about the perils of practising comedy without a license.

Seriously, in my view, the UK court’s  judgment will have a chilling effect on free speech on Twitter and will likely devolve into an era of social media self-censorship for Twitter users, particularly in the UK. A form of libel chill, or, perhaps “Twitter Chill”.

It also highlights the legal chasm that exists between the American and UK judicial approaches to balancing freedom of expression and protecting reputation. The decision also raises the spectre of a “popularity metric” to determine whether the alleged maker or republisher of the defamatory tweet has gazillions of followers or is just some shlub with 4 followers, three of which are porn bots. (more…)

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 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…)

Free Legal Advice on Twitter?: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

September 26, 2012

In his post over at Legal Cheek, “Twitter Set To Drive ‘Free-Of-Charge Ferrari Through The Horse And Cart World Of Law’, i@n davison (trendily pronounced iatn”) forecasts a “Twitter legal advice experiment taking place today could prove a turning point for the way legal services are delivered”. Davison writes, (more…)

Enforcing UK Judgments in Ontario

July 12, 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”] [1] [2]   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…)

Quebec judge issues Letters Rogatory on alleged spoliation of evidence by US and UK lawyers

August 10, 2011
shred

Image by jon.hayes via Flickr

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…)


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