Weinmann Electric (WE) alleged that it had been corruptly
excluded from contracts put out to tender by the Niagara Falls
Bridge Commission. WE's principal was interviewed by BMCI
Investigations and Security, an outfit that conducts regulatory and
compliance investigations, as part of the Commission's own
review of its practices. WE, having sued the Commission, demanded
production of BMCI's report, which it reckoned would be
relevant to the litigation against the Commission in revealing
whether contractors had been wrongly shut out of the tendering
process. WE was also concerned that the Commission's agents had
passed on allegedly defamatory comments about WE to third parties
in the course of the review process. The Commission had also
retained a firm of auditors to conduct an investigation, and
claimed litigation and solicitor-client privilege over the reports
of the auditors and the investigators.
Ramsay J of the Ontario Superior ordered production of both
reports: Weinmann Electric Ltd v Niagara Falls Bridge
Commission, 2013 ONSC 2805. Litigation privilege did not
apply: neither report was commissioned with the dominant purpose of
litigation, but instead to 'determine the merits of allegations
[against the Commission] and to determine whether any internal
action was required'. the fact the BMCI report was labelled as
being 'for the purpose of litigation' did not alter that
underlying reality. The Commission was clearly concerned about its
reputation, but litigation was not top of mind when the report was
commissioned. Claims of solicitor-client privilege over the BCMI
report also failed: the investigators 'were not channels of
communication between solicitor and client in any sense', nor
did they provide expert interpretation necessary for the
formulation of legal advice. BCMI merely gathered facts and its
retainer, not being essential to the existence of a
solicitor-client relationship, was not shielded by privilege.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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