A 'very valuable painting' by Gerhard Richter hung in
the Toronto home of Nahum Gelber (who spends most of his time in
Monaco). Gelber had agreed to sell the picture to Alexandre Van
Damme, a Belgian national, under a contract governed by New York
law (this is beginning to sound like a law-school exam). Van Damme
obtained judgment in New York requiring delivery of the painting,
and then sought to enforce the New York court's order for
specific performance in Ontario. The motion judge was prepared to
do so, and has been upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal in
Van Damme v Gelber, 2013 ONCA 388.
Doherty JA held that Gelber had, by going beyond a
challenge to the jurisdiction of the New York court and actually
litigating the merits of Van Damme's claim in that state,
attorned to the jurisdiction of the New York courts. This provided
a basis on which an Ontario court could properly recognise the New
York judgment -- even though it was not a money judgment but an
order for specific performance. (The principles for the enforcement
of non-monetary judgments set out in Pro Swing Inc v Elta Golf
Inc, 2006 SCC 52 not being, shall we say, the clearest.) The
argument that the motion judge should have exercised his discretion
and refused to enforce the New York order also failed. The motion
judge was, in fact, not asked to exercise that discretion on the
basis that specific performance would not have been an appropriate
remedy had the claim been brought in Ontario, so 'failure to
consider a factor not put forward by either party' did not
'constitute an error in the exercise of that discretion'.
In any event, specific performance would have been an appropriate
remedy had the claim been brought in Ontario, in light of the
nature of the property, Gelber's contractual obligations and
the 'ready availability' of the painting in
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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