A look back at some of our notable 2019 cases
Before we move on to the next case, we thought we’d take a look back at 2019
In 2019, our lawyers argued dozens of important cases in the courts on behalf of labour unions, student associations, First Nations, public interest organizations and individuals. In many of these cases, we achieved landmark victories and helped set important new precedents in Canadian law.
The following is a selection of our significant court judgments over the past year:
- Ramkey v LIUNA: On behalf of the Labourers’ International Union of North America, Lorne Richmond, Charlene Wiseman and Ben Katz were successful in overturning a Divisional Court decision on a question of federalism in construction labour law. Lorne Richmond and Joshua Mandryk were similarly successful before the Divisional Court in Amec Foster Wheeler Americas Limited v LIUNA. More about the case here.
- R v Capay: Adriel Weaver obtained a stay of murder charges for her client, Adam Capay, on the basis of violations of sections 7, 9, 12 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms arising from prolonged solitary confinement. More about the Capay case here.
- Canadian Federation of Students v Ontario: On behalf of the Canadian Federation of Students and the York Federation of Students, Mark Wright, Louis Century, Geetha Philipupillai and Ella Bedard persuaded the Divisional Court to quash Ontario’s Student Choice Initiative, which forced colleges and universities to allow students to opt out of democratic student union fees. More on the Divisional Court’s decision here.
- Frank v Canada: In establishing a constitutional right to vote for Canadians overseas, the Supreme Court relied on, and quoted from, the factum of the Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, represented by Louis Century. More on the Supreme Court decision here.
- Canada v Vavilov: Steven Barrett represented the Canadian Labour Congress in Vavilov, a landmark decision which modified the law of standard of review in administrative law. In its decision, the Supreme Court cited the Honourable John Evans, counsel at Goldblatt Partners, six times.
- Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario: In affirming the constitutionality of “effective referral” policies for doctors , the Court of Appeal found “much assistance” in the submissions of Dying with Dignity Canada, represented by Kelly Doctor and Mary-Elizabeth Dill. More on the Court of Appeal’s decision here.
- Bernstein v Peoples Trust: Plaintiff co-counsel Nadine Blum and Charles Sinclair obtained summary judgment for $15.3 million, plus punitive damages of $1.5 million, in a consumer class action.
- Bozsik v Livingston: The Superior Court of Justice approved a settlement of $19 million in an unpaid wages class action against Livingston International, a customs brokerage company, in which Goldblatt Partners was co-counsel for the class of employees.
- Fresco v CIBC: Goldblatt Partners represents a class of CIBC employees in a national class action for unpaid overtime. In May 2019, Justice Belobaba issued an important decision dismissing CIBC’s claim of privilege over certain bank documents. In December 2019, we argued for summary judgment. To our knowledge this will be the first unpaid overtime class action in Ontario to be decided by the courts on the merits.
- In an ongoing case about the “right to be forgotten”, Peter Engelmann and Colleen Bauman successfully argued, on behalf of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, that the Federal Court should answer Privacy Commissioner’s reference questions regarding whether federal privacy legislation applies to Google’s operation of its search engine.
- Strateco c. Québec: In a case argued in June 2019, and decided by the Quebec Court of Appeal in the second week of January 2020, Jessica Orkin and Natai Shelsen obtained a landmark victory on behalf of the Grand Council of the Crees, with the Quebec Court of Appeal affirming Quebec’s refusal to grant a uranium exploration permit on Cree territory.
Steven Barrett, Colleen Bauman, Ella Bedard, Nadine Blum, Louis Century, Mary-Elizabeth Dill, Kelly Doctor, Peter Engelmann, John Evans, Ben Katz, Joshua Mandryk, Jessica Orkin, Geetha Philipupillai, Lorne Richmond, Natai Shelsen, Charles Sinclair, Adriel Weaver, Char Wiseman, Mark Wright
Aboriginal Law, Administrative Law, Appeals & Judicial Review, Civil Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Constitutional Law, Construction Labour Relations, Consumer Protection, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Labour Law, Privacy & Access to Information, Public Interest Litigation