1. The applicant was a 14-year old girl who claimed that the respondent was her biological father. She claimed child support. She indicted that her birth parents signed an agreement by which the respondent paid a lump sum to her mother in full satisfaction of child support obligations. The applicant wanted to attend a private school and asked for financial assistance from the respondent. The respondent was married to someone other than the applicant’s birth mother and they had three young children who did not know about the applicant. The respondent asked the Court to seal the file and order that the names of the parties be initialized to protect these three children from psychological harm. (M.v.C.,2014 ONSC 567(CanLII))
The court acknowledged that the value of the principles of openness and transparency must be weighed against the goal of protecting children who may be adversely affected by litigation. Should the court extend this concern to children who are not parties to the litigation, as was the case here? What evidence is relevant to determining if children will suffer harm from the litigation or if it is made public? Discuss the arguments for giving public access to personal and private matters such as those in this case. What did the Court decide?
2. Duke, a pharmacist, operated a successful pharmacy in Saskatchewan for 20 years. Dr. Puts developed a suspicion about Duke’s association with a physician in another town; Puts accused Duked of conspiring with that physician to cheat the health-care system by claiming for false prescriptions and double billing. In a letter of complaint sent to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, Puts alleged professional misconduct against Duke. He told other people that Duke was a crook. These accusations greatly harmed the pharmacist’s reputation and business and caused him to sell his business at a reduced price.
Assuming all the allegations were false what tort actions could Duke bring against Dr. Puts? What defenses, if any, could the defendant assert?
3. Wembley claimed it did not receive goods and services from ITEX for which it had paid. ITEX argued that the action should not proceed because the relevant contract said that any actions must be brought in California. Wembley had completed an application, providing relevant information, two different times. The application included the word AGREEMENT in bold letters. The section below that required a separate signature and referred to “the most recent Membership Agreement and Operating Rules.” The rules required that any action arising under the agreement “shall lie only in the courts of Sacramento, California.” A copy of the agreement and rules had been provided to Wembley; they were also available on ITEX’s website. The person who signed the application on behalf of Wembley testified that he would not have signed it had he read the agreement and rules. He admitted that he “did not bother to read the small print on the Application.”
Was there a contract between Wembley and ITEX? Does it matter if the person who signed the contract did not read all of it? Would the clause giving jurisdiction to California courts be enforced?
4. The plaintiff sued Tazmania for the amount of five cheques that were dishonored upon presentation. It also sued Bannerman, a minor, for the amount of two of these cheques. Bannerman had endorsed these cheques and received their face value, less a fee charge. He immediately gave the funds to his mother and stepfather.
Assuming that the law relating to the capacity to incur liability as an endorser of a cheques is the same as the law relating to the capacity to contract, will the plaintiff succeed in its claim against Bannerman?
5. Mundy sued Safeway for payment of unpaid invoices. Mundy was dissolved when the statement of claim was filed because it had failed to file its annual returns. Mundy was revived as a corporation after the limitation period had expired and after the statement of claim was filed. (Mundy (E.C.) Ltd.v. Canada Safeway Ltd., 2004 MBCA 143 (CanLII))
Did the Court allow Mundy’s claim? Explain your reasoning.
During the legal proceedings, the court should extend the protection of children even to children who are not parties to the current litigation. Some of the evidence that could help in determining whether children might suffer harm from litigation or the proceedings becoming public includes observing the behavior change such as isolation from other children, evaluation of their academic performance, and attitude changes. Such evidence will be used in determining the impact of the litigation proceedings on the children.
The court decided that the documents and proceedings should be sealed to protect the children from potential psychological harm. Children might not have the capacity to withstand public scrutiny (CanLII – 2014 ONSC 567 (CanLII), 2014). The decision sought to ensure there is a balance between the principles of openness and transparency and the interests of the children that might be affected by litigation.
Duke could bring an intentional tort of defamation against Dr. Puts. Considering the accusations made by Dr. Puts against Duke were false, a defamation lawsuit is appropriate as Dr. Puts caused Duke his reputation and business. Defamation is an intentional tort, in which one persons decides to ruin the name and business reputation of another person or organization. Duke has strong defamation claim against Dr. Puts who did not spread truths on the actual professionalism of Duke and his business.
Some of the defenses against defamation Dr. Puts could assert includes that the accusations were only statement of opinion or subjective views. Statement of opinion might be legally held as defamation as they are not valid or significant (Burnham, 2016). He could provide evidence to justify his claims to be truths. Defamation cannot occur when claims made against him are true.
Yes. There was a contract between Wembley and ITEX because an agent of Wembley, an official had signed the contract agreeing to take all actions arising from the contract to the courts in California. It does not matter whether the person who signed the contract did not real all of it. It does not the responsibility of ITEX to ensure that the official of Wembley reads the agreement before signing it. The person who signed it acted in negligence and failed in his duty of care. After the signing of the contract, ITEX assumes that all clauses of the contract have been read and agreed upon by the other party (Burnham, 2016). The clause giving jurisdiction to California courts can be enforced legally because it forms part of a valid contractual agreement between the parties. The clause is important and considering the valid signature appended on the contract, the clause must be enforced.
The plaintiff will not be able to obtain success in their legal claim against Bannerman. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to ensure that they are entering into any contract with an adult who has the capacity to enforce the contractual obligation. Bannerman who is a minor does not have the capacity to endorse cheques (Allen, & Kraakman, 2016). Even though Bannerman had endorsed the cheques and obtained their face value, he does not have the legal capacity to be held responsible and liable for the honoring of the cheque.
The court allowed Mundy’s claim. Safeway had acknowledged the debt of Mundy from the unpaid invoices and thus, the expiry of the limitation period did not limit the rights of Mundy to claim for the unpaid invoices. The acceptance of the debt by the corporation means that even after the limitation period, the debt was still valid and it must be paid to Mundy. The corporation cannot claim the expiry of the debt just because of the limitation period of six years. The court relied on the reasoning to allow for the debt payment to Mundy by the corporation.
Allen, W. T., & Kraakman, R. (2016). Commentaries and cases on the law of business organization. New York, NY: Wolters Kluwer law & business.
Burnham, W. (2016). Introduction to the law and legal system of the United States. Eagen, MN: West Academic Publishing.
CanLII – 2014 ONSC 567 (CanLII). (2014, January 24). Retrieved from https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2014/2014onsc567/2014onsc567.html.