Litigation Lawyers in Vancouver
Are you being sued or thinking of suing someone? Call me today for a consultation in order to learn about the costs, risks, rewards and considerations of pursuing litigation. I provide litigation and dispute resolution services in different areas of the law, with an emphasis on public (government) litigation.
About the B.C. Courts:
B.C. Provincial Court
In British Columbia, most court cases are heard in Provincial Court. This is a busy court that hears about 50% of all family law cases, all civil lawsuits for claims less than $25,000 (Small Claims Court), most traffic & bylaw matters, most criminal law cases and most cases involving young offenders. About 150 Provincial Court judges work in more than 80 locations throughout the province to hear in excess of 240,000 cases per year.
Cases heard in the Provincial Court fall into four main categories:
- Criminal and Youth Matters
- Family Matters
- Small Claims Matters
- Traffic & Bylaw Matters
The Provincial Court is a statutory court created by the Provincial Court Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 379. It is one of two trial courts in British Columbia, the other being the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which also hears judicial review matters and some appeals from the Provincial Court. There are also appeals or further appeals to the Court of Appeal of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Canada.
B.C. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of British Columbia is the province’s superior trial court. The Supreme Court is a court of general and inherent jurisdiction, which means that it can hear any type of case, civil or criminal. It hears most appeals from the Provincial Court in civil and criminal cases and appeals from arbitrations. A party may appeal a decision of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 443, provides for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, an Associate Chief Justice, and 86 other justices. The legislation also provides for supernumerary judges who sit hearing cases part-time. Including supernumerary judges, there are presently 105 judges. There are also 12 Supreme Court masters who hear and dispose of a wide variety of applications in chambers. The Supreme Court also has a Registrar and a District Registrar who hear assessments relating to bills of costs, reviews lawyers’ accounts, settles orders, references of various types and deals with bankruptcy discharge applications.
B.C. Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal is the highest court in the province. It hears appeals from the Supreme Court, from the Provincial Court on some criminal matters, and reviews and appeals from some administrative boards and tribunals.
The Court of Appeal is constituted by the Court of Appeal Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 77. The Court of Appeal Act provides for a Chief Justice and 14 other justices, as well as for supernumerary justices. Thus, the Court of Appeal actually has more than 15 judges. The Chief Justice of British Columbia heads the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has a registrar who, in addition to other administrative duties, hears matters related to the settling of orders and bills of costs.
AD LUCEM LAW CORPORATION, professional family lawyers in Vancouver provides cost-effective and dynamic contentious litigation counsel in the areas of special cases, family law, matrimonial and divorce litigation. I take private family and government sponsored legal aid family cases throughout the province. Please give me a call today if you need to consult a litigation lawyer in Vancouver about any or all of the following family law matters:
Abuse & Family Violence
Abuse in relationships includes behavior ranging from threats to physical or sexual assault, and may also include harmful financial, emotional, and verbal actions. Abuse can be physical, emotional or verbal, psychological, sexual, and/or financial.
When you adopt a child, you take over parenting, usually from the birth parent(s), who stop having any parental rights and responsibilities (unless it’s a stepparent adoption, where the stepparent becomes a joint parent with the birth parent). This process creates new and permanent family ties.
If a child’s safety is at risk, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (or an Aboriginal delegated agency) must look into it. If necessary, the ministry must take the child from the home.
The term “common-law relationship” is often used to refer to a marriage-like relationship that has lasted a certain length of time, usually one or two years. Used in some federal laws to refer to a marriage-like relationship of a year or longer.
Divorce & Separation
In British Columbia, the federal Divorce Act R.S.C. 1985, c. 23 (2nd Supp.), and the provincial Family Law Act S.B.C. 2011, c. 25 govern most family matters. All family cases are heard by either the Supreme Court of British Columbia or the Provincial (Family) Court of British Columbia. Divorce is the end of a legal marriage. To get a divorce, you must be married and go through a legal process and get a court order that says the marriage has ended. Separation is the first step of that process.
Parenting, custody & access
Parenting includes contact with a child, guardianship, parental responsibilities, and parenting time (BC Family Law Act); and access and custody (federal Divorce Act), and covers who has the right and responsibility to make decisions about the child, and guardians’ and non-guardians’ time with the child.
Money paid by one parent or guardian to another parent or guardian as financial support for the children after separation.
Money paid by one spouse to the other spouse as financial support.
If distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and others make products available to the public that are defective and cause injury, you may have a product liability case. I have experience in the field of product liability, gaining from working with companies in the tobacco industry to advising clients on complying with food and cosmetic labeling and complying with government regulatory and market requirements.
Product liability claims can be filed based upon one of three types of defects:
- inadequate design,
- defective manufacturing, or
- risks regarding inherent in usage
Have you suffered an injury while using a product in its intended manner? If so, distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and any other party who made the product or products available to the public may be held responsible.
Have you or someone you know has suffered an injury from a defective product? If so stop using it immediately, take photos and gather any information regarding its purchase (date, location, receipts), warranties and registrations. Your next step is to contact a lawyer. I can help.
If you are interested in a free consultation and need to consult a lawyer about issues regarding product liability, please contact me today.
Corporations are run by their officers and directors, but are owned by their shareholders.
Shareholders by virtue of their owing stock (“paper”) in the business are owners of a corporation. Accordingly shareholders owe no duty to the corporation. There sometimes exists a tension between the interests of directors and officers on one hand and shareholders on the other. Directors are elected by shareholders to manage and/or supervise the management of a corporation’s business. As such, directors have a lot of power and control within a corporate structure. In fact, all of the power and control remains with the directors until delegated to others, e.g. officers. Directors also can be held personally responsible if the corporation fails to pay its employees.
To provide some level of protection to shareholders, corporate law requires directors to:
- The Duty of Loyalty to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the corporation; and
- The Duty of Care to exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent individual would exercise in comparable circumstances.
Further, a director is not permitted to act in his or her own self-interest and must always act in the interests of the corporation or at least with the intentions of acting that way. Doing so may attract civil and criminal penalties depending on the facts.
Are you a director facing liability? Have you been accused or are you suspected of acting in a manner that may attract liability and result in civil or criminal action being taken against you? If so please contact me today for a free consultation.
Are you an aggrieved shareholder or group of shareholders? Are you considering taking legal action for professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty and shareholder actions or other securities-related civil and regulatory proceedings? If so please contact me today for a free consultation. There are shareholder remedies including the Oppression Remedy and Derivative Action, among others that may be suitable in your situation.
Being a director of a corporation, means being informed. Directors must exercise common sense, do their homework and keep themselves informed about what is going on in the company. There is a professional reliance exception, but the best strategy for a director is to be informed and appreciate that the “buck stops with them” as far as the corporation is concerned. Therefore to avoid claims by shareholders and mitigate legal liability it is crucial that directors and officers understand their fiduciary duties and the potential pitfalls surrounding director’s liability. I have practiced corporate law including securities and white-collar fraud litigation from “Wall Street” to the “High Street”. I can help.
If you are interested in a free consultation and need to consult a lawyer about issues regarding Director’s Liability & Shareholders Remedies, please contact me today.