I believe in the judicial system.
All stories relating to lawsuits
Already embroiled in a legal skirmish with buyers hoping to get their deposits back, Talon International, the developer of Toronto’s Trump Tower, has also caught the unwanted attention of the Ontario Securities Commission. In 2004, the commission excused Talon from some of the more onerous conditions (such as filing a prospectus) normally imposed on companies taking investment offerings public. The exemption came with instructions: Talon was to market the condo-hotel units as spaces to stay in or visit, rather than lucrative investment opportunities, and it couldn’t provide buyers with revenue or cost projections. The now more than 50 investors seeking to renege on their contracts have come forward to claim Talon did exactly that, flashing spreadsheets that touted the revenue-generating potential of the units—projections that haven’t been realized, since the hotel’s occupancy is hovering below 50 per cent. The commission says it’s investigating, leaving the door open for regulatory action. Whoever thought the tower’s falling glass days would be the easy ones? [Toronto Star]
With Apple’s billion-dollar legal victory over Samsung dominating tech news this week, we wondered how the outcome of the patent lawsuit would affect Research in Motion. Turns out we weren’t alone on that front. Here’s the consensus: the ruling potentially benefits RIM, Nokia and other companies that don’t use Google’s Android operating system. Basically, Samsung’s U.S. market share could falter as it faces a court ban on selling eight of its models there; moreover, other Android manufacturers will need to take extra time before releasing new products to ensure they don’t infringe on Apple’s patents (although, to be fair, most of the infringements were Samsung-specific). Finally, the ruling reinforces the value of tech sector patents, of which RIM owns a large portfolio. The main point of uncertainty for the Canadian tech giant is the same one that’s been plaguing RIM for months—namely, whether the company can get BlackBerry 10 out quickly enough to capitalize on this opportunity.
The sex scandal consuming Toronto’s Korean community began when six international students said they were repeatedly gang-raped by members of their small church. The accused allege that their eccentric pastor brainwashed the women to deflect attention from his own transgressions
One July day in 2007, an 18-year-old woman checked into her Toronto-bound flight at South Korea’s Incheon Airport. She was travelling light—she had with her one suitcase containing clothes for a range of seasons, some books and a favourite brand of face cream. She had been living with her grandparents in South Korea and was joining her mother, who had split with her father and moved to Toronto to study acupuncture three years earlier.
A court-ordered publication ban prevents me from identifying the woman, but I’ll call her Yeri. Her plan was to learn English at one of Toronto’s hagwons, Korean-run cram schools that cater to the thousands of young men and women who come to Canada on student visas each year. With command of the language, she would get into a better college in South Korea and ultimately, her family hoped, receive coveted job offers at multinationals.
From the airport, Yeri headed to a Bloor and Islington apartment building where her mother lived in one of six units leased by members of Jesus First, a Korean Presbyterian church run by a pastor named Jae Kap Song. Her mother belonged to the church and expected her to join, too. They’d share one of the apartment’s bedrooms. A second bedroom was shared by two male members of Jesus First.
Faulty towers: who’s to blame for condoland’s falling glass, leaky walls and multi-million-dollar lawsuits
Jan Gandhi and Omar Jabri share a love of big-city life: the people, the architecture, the fashion, the logarithmic bustle of human energy that comes from high-density, high-rise living. They first met as articling students with different Bay Street law firms, introduced by mutual friends. Together they moved to New York, where Gandhi worked as in-house counsel for MTV and Jabri as an intellectual property lawyer, and they lived in an apartment in Chelsea. Gandhi became addicted to flash-sale websites, filling her wardrobe with deeply discounted designer fashions. Flash sales are enormously popular in New York. She saw an underserved market in Toronto, so she hatched a plan to return and launch her own site.
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Post-incarceration, Conrad Black has turned his love of litigious matters into a hobby. The most recent fight for the “oppressed” baron started last year, when Black learned that his pesky conviction for fraud meant he could lose his Order of Canada (and you know he doesn’t want to stop wearing that cool Order of Canada pin). Now Black is taking the council reviewing his membership to court because he wants them to hear him out in person—according to his lawyers, Black’s case is too complex to be sussed out through written arguments. If Black, a noted and long-winded writer, can’t plead his case via text, we’re afraid to imagine how epically wordy his courtroom speeches will be. [Globe and Mail]
Conrad Black must love lawyers as much as Barbara Amiel loves her Hungarian kuvasz dogs. In the midst of working through a few leftover Hollinger lawsuits—and one of his own against British author Tom Bower for his
biography of Black and Amiel—the baron filed a $1.25-million defamation lawsuit against publisher Random House of Canada and author Bruce Livesey over Livesey’s book Thieves of Bay Street. (Further proof that Black takes no prisoners: Random House owns McClelland and Stewart, which published Lord Black’s recent memoir, A Matter of Principle. So he is essentially suing his own publisher.) According to the lawsuit, four passages in the book are defamatory, and their publication has brought the baron “hatred, ridicule and contempt in Canada.” As usual, we prefer the over-the-top words of the baron himself, who told Peter Mansbridge he’s being treated “like a medieval leper, with bells on my head to warn the unsuspecting of the approach of moral taint and turpitude” since he got out of jail. [National Post]
Bad news for Bell Mobility and parent company BCE: they have been served with a $100-million class-action lawsuit over wireless services—a division that has been a cash cow for the company in recent months. Bell Mobility customer Celia Sankar says expiry dates on pre-paid wireless services are illegal, arguing that the payments are defined as “gift cards” under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act and therefore shouldn’t have a best-before date that allows the company to seize unused credits. If the class-action suit is allowed to proceed, Sankar will represent anyone in Ontario who has used Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada and Solo Mobile pre-paid wireless services since May 4, 2010 (i.e., a boatload of people).
The OPP, the Toronto police and the RCMP may all have been blamed for the “kettling” tactics at the G20 protest that launched lawsuits and had Amnesty International crying foul, but a new report suggests that the usual suspect, “confusion,” was to blame (well, more so than the RCMP anyway). The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP has spent the past year looking into the Mounties’ role in G20 policing. It has found that the Major Incident Command Centre, run by the Toronto police, was in charge of police tactics outside the summit centre, though OPP commanders were in charge of the front-line operation at Queen West and Spadina when the RCMP showed up to help cordon off the site. Apparently, kettling isn’t part of the RCMP playbook, but the Mounties deferred to the MICC while their commander searched for the OPP officer in charge for two hours, and was eventually told that the MICC wanted “everyone arrested.” Still confused over who’s to blame? There’s another report coming next month from former justice John Morden that should answer a lot of questions about the actions of all the forces involved. [Globe and Mail]
Conrad Black is back in Toronto, and so far his plans sound pretty low-key for a baron. In an email to the Globe and Mail, Black wrote that his post-jail life will include updating his book and trying to lose some weight. He’s also trying to sort out a court case with U.S. tax authorities, suing British writer Tom Bower for $2.5 million over Bower’s biography of Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel, and wrapping up a few lingering Hollinger lawsuits. Not on the itinerary: buying back the National Post (which he launched in 1998), entering the newspaper business again or giving interviews to anyone in Canada but Peter Mansbridge. Black also refused the Globe and Mail’s long-standing invitation for a beer in characteristically verbose style: “I only drink the odd glass of wine and am trying to lose weight, so the forum you proposed, though appreciated, is a bit dated after these years that have passed.” [Globe and Mail]
Drake now holds the record for the most No. 1’s on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart (he has 11), but he’s got some major ex-girlfriend issues to work through before he can relax and celebrate. Drizzy’s former flame Ericka Lee, who says she’s the mystery woman heard at the beginning of the song “Marvin’s Room,” is suing Drake for recognition as co-writer of the song, damages and a share of profits. Lee alleges she has a text message from Drake that reads, “U basically made that song,” but after the pair split and she tried to seek royalties, things got ugly and she had to hire a lawyer. Drake does credit Lee as the song’s “Syren Lyric Muse,” but it would seem that shout-out just isn’t good enough for her (or a spell-checker, for that matter).