Making Complaints to Regulatory Bodies within the Protection of Absolute Privilege

When someone makes a complaint about a professional to a professional regulatory body, he or she can do so within the protection of absolute privilege, provided that certain safeguards are taken.  The protection of absolute privilege provides a complete defence …

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Journalistic Source Privilege Applies to Content

In Kwok v. Canada (NSERC), 2013 ABQB 395, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held  that journalistic source privilege applies to some of the contents of the information given to a journalist, even though the sources of the …

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Internet Defamation: Notice of Claim Served via Message Board

Earlier this year, the British Columbia Supreme Court allowed a plaintiff, Brian Burke, to serve his defamation claim via the message board on which the defamatory publications were posted. Service was thereafter effective on the defendants in the names of …

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Defamation Awards attract Court Ordered Interest

In the recent case of Dhillon v. Jaffer, 2013 BCSC 1860, the Honourable Mr. Justice Melnick had an opportunity to review the case law on whether interest is recoverable on an award for damages in a defamation action. Justice Melnick …

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Libel Tourism: Courting Foreign Litigants

The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision of Breeden v. Black, 2012 SCC 19, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 666 has reaffirmed that the tort of defamation occurs where the defamatory comment is published (i.e. read by a third party), even when …

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Mainstream Canada v. Staniford, 2012 BCSC 1433

On September 28, 2012, Madam Justice Adair dismissed an action in defamation by Mainstream Canada against the defendant Don Staniford carrying on business as The Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture.

The plaintiff, Mainstream, is the second largest producer of farmed …

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William v. Kelowna (City), 2012 BCSC 421

In the recent judgment of William v. Kelowna (City) et al, 2012 BCSC 421, Mr. Justice Rogers dismissed an action in defamation and negligence against the City of Kelowna. The plaintiff, Ms. William, alleged that an employee of the …

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The Writing on the Wall: Social Media, Defamation and Employment

Traditionally, the personal life of an employee has been just that: personal. Employers are generally not entitled to pry or take issue with the manner in which employees conduct themselves outside of working hours. That said, the private life of …

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An insurer’s duty to defend in defamation cases

British Columbia Medical Association v. Aviva, 2011 BCSC 1399, decision rendered October 19, 2011 

A plaintiff cannot circumvent a defendant’s insurance coverage for defamation by simply pleading that the publications were made with an intent to injure and with …

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A review of Damage Awards in Defamation

The experience of the past ten years confirms that very large damages in defamation cases in British Columbia are relatively rare. We can count only five cases since 2001 in which the damage awards were $200,000 or higher.

In contrast …

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