There has been some confusion in recent case law as to the
proper test to be applied on a change of venue motion. It is
clear that the starting point for where an action can be commenced
is straightforward: the plaintiff can commence their action in any
county they wish. However, a defendant can bring a motion
seeking to change the venue and Rule 13.1.02 provides a list of
factors to be considered on such motions. Two different
approaches have emerged in the case law:
The Siemens approach which is named for the Superior Court of
Justice decision in Siemens Canada Ltd. v. Ottawa (City) 
O.J. No. 3740 (S.C.J.). This approach provides a two-step
process in which the court will first ask a threshold question,
namely whether the place selected by the plaintiff has a rational
connection to the parties or the action. If so, the Court
will then proceed to analyze the factors set out in Rule
The Hallman approach which is named after the decision in
Hallman v. Pure Spousal Trust (Trustee of) 2009 80 CPC (6th) 139
(S.C.J.). This approach requires the court to engage in a
"holistic" exercise of considering the factors in Rule
13.1.02 in order to determine whether a transfer is desirable in
the interests of justice.
These decisions were made by the courts of concurrent
jurisdiction and have resulted in leave to appeal being recently
granted to the Divisional Court. While a decision is expected
shortly, counsel should not be hesitant to bring a motion in the
meantime. An analysis of these different approaches reveals
that any difference between them may be just a matter of
semantics. If the venue has no rational connection to the
cause of action or the parties and is based on, for example, the
location of plaintiff counsel, it is highly unlikely that the
plaintiff would be able to successfully argue that the other venue
is not more desirable. Further, counsel can make strong
public policy arguments, with the support of case law, that the
plaintiff should not be able to manufacture a rational connection
through his or her choice to counsel or experts in certain
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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