Do Builders' Liens Really Work?

Do Builders' Liens Really Work?

I was asked recently by a contractor if there was really any value in filing a builder’s lien in Nova Scotia. Reading between the lines, I gathered what he was really asking was, is it worth the money in legal fees that it would cost to go through with a builder’s lien process. The answer is, it depends.

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Understanding & Accommodating Mental Illness

Understanding & Accommodating Mental Illness

January 31st has been designated ‘Bell Lets Talk Day’ in an attempt to recognize that we as a society need work on acknowledging mental illness. Mental illness is as real as physical illness. Just like physical illness, mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate against who it attacks. Statistically, in any given year 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. The Canadian Mental Health Association website shares other startling statistics with respect to how common mental illness is amongst us. Initiatives like ‘Bells Lets Talk Day’ help reduce the stigma and resulting discrimination attached to mental illness. However, the reality is understanding and acceptance of mental illness in our society is not what it should be…. yet.

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Who Should I Choose as My Executor?

Who Should I Choose as My Executor?

In Nova Scotia, your Executor is the person you designate in your Will to be legally responsible for distributing your assets to the beneficiaries you name after you’ve died. They’re also technically responsible for handling your remains. It is a very important role with heavy financial consequences attached to it, as such it is important to select someone who is up to the task.

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Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease Part II – Leasehold Improvements

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease Part II – Leasehold Improvements

Leasehold improvements include anything that needs to be done to the space that you are going to lease in order to make it fit for your purposes. Your lease should outline who is responsible for making the changes, who is paying for the changes, and what the timeline is for getting it done. It should also make clear who is the decision maker with respect to the leasehold improvements. For example, if new flooring is to be laid do you get to decide the specific type or does the landlord.

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So What is Incorporation Anyway?

So What is Incorporation Anyway?

The topic comes up all the time. Are you incorporated? Are you going to incorporate? When is the right time to incorporate? But a large number of small business owners don’t know what incorporation actually means, or why they should or shouldn’t incorporate.

 

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The 411 on legal Cannabis use in Halifax, NS

The 411 on legal Cannabis use in Halifax, NS

As of October 17, 2018, the use of cannabis will be legal all across Canada. The rules for having and using cannabis are different in each province. Here are a few notable points for Nova Scotia, particularly when it comes to using it where you live…

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How to Defend A Small Claims Court Action

How to Defend A Small Claims Court Action

To start a small claims court action a claimant has to file paperwork at the court. The next required step is to serve the documents on the defendant. This means they either have to pass the documents to the defendant themselves or hire or arrange for someone else to do so. If you are never personally served with documents than it’s a safe bet there is no lawsuit against you.

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How to Make an Adverse Possession Claim in Nova Scotia

How to Make an Adverse Possession Claim in Nova Scotia

When you make an Adverse Possession Claim that means you are saying that you believe you should now be the legal owner of a particular piece of land, replacing the person whose name is currently on the deed. The first step is determining whether you meet all the requirements. In general, you must have possessed the land for a period of 20 years in a manner that is open, continuous, notorious, adverse, and exclusive. For more details on this criteria read our blog “Squatters Rights and Adverse Possession”. If you believe you meet all theses criteria then you are in a position to make a claim

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Squatters Rights and Adverse Possession in Nova Scotia

Squatters Rights and Adverse Possession in Nova Scotia

You’ve been using a piece of land in Nova Scotia that you know is not your own for years and you’re wondering how to get legal title to this land. People commonly refer to this area of law as squatters’ rights, lawyers call it “adverse possession”. In simple terms, in order to have any legal right to someone else’s land you must have used the land in an open, notorious, exclusive, and adverse manner for 20 years.

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What does "Accommodating" Breastfeeding Employees Really Mean?

What does "Accommodating" Breastfeeding Employees Really Mean?

One of your valued employees just announced that she is pregnant.  Undoubtedly this will have an impact on your business.  Among the other pregnancy related conversations you should have with your employee, you should also be discussing breastfeeding – specifically, that you are aware that, as an employer, you have an obligation (and are willing) to accommodate the employee’s choice to breastfeed.  Many employers don’t know what ‘accommodating’ involves or even why they should be forced to accommodate an employee who wishes to continue to breastfeed upon return to work (thinking, can’t they just give their baby some formula?) 

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How to Save Money during a Divorce

How to Save Money during a Divorce

Divorces and separations can be very expensive. During a separation, families may face new expenses for custody and access visits, outfitting a new apartment with furniture. Now add to that legal fees and court costs and it can be a very challenging time financially. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce you expenses.

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Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day is almost upon us. The “We Remember” ads are on the radio and tv. It occurred to me that in a small way, my work as a lawyer continues to carry on the work of our veterans by standing up for and enforcing Canadian’s rights that they sacrificed so much to protect.

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Highlander Law Group Expands to Offer Family Law Services

Highlander Law Group Expands to Offer Family Law Services

The firm has also recently expanded its service offering to include contested family matters.  It’s a sad reality that when relationships break down professional assistance is often beneficial in resolving the situation, particularly when children are involved.  Joseph Cuffari joined Highlander this summer to fill this need.  As a senior practitioner, he brings 35 years’ experience to the firm.  He also has experience in the areas of probate, real estate and corporate planning.  

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Children’s Art Show A Success

Children’s Art Show A Success

Last month, the offices of Highlander Law Group got a little brighter when they turned part of their office into an art gallery.  Local children were given an opportunity to not only showcase their artistic talents, but also to raise money for Fort McMurray. (50% of the proceeded from each piece of art sold was donated to an art center that was impacted by the wildfires)

The theme of the show was ‘Looking for Beauty in the Strength of Nature.’   We received almost 40 original submissions including paintings, drawings and multi-media pieces.  The youngest artist was only 16 months old and the oldest was 12 years old.

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What you Wish You Knew About Overtime Wages.

What you Wish You Knew About Overtime Wages.

With school now officially out for the summer, seasonal jobs are in full swing.  For many, particularly in the hospitality/tourism industry this means lots of overtime.  Everyone understands the concept of overtime – working more than the standard 40 hours a week, or is it 35 hours, or does it depend on the job?  The NS Labour Standards Code outlines the rules that pertain to overtime and holiday wages for most hourly employees.

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What You Wish You Knew Before Letting the Customer Keep YOUR money.

What You Wish You Knew Before Letting the Customer Keep YOUR money.

Why do you allow customers to keep your hard earned money?  CBC News recently reported ‘Industry estimates put the cost of unpaid wages and materials for the construction trades at $300 million a year in Canada’.  I quote this statistic because a common answer is the contractor is essentially embarrassed that they aren’t getting paid.  In my experience, it isn’t typically the contractor who’s at fault – the customer has ‘invented’ reasons why they won’t pay.  So, what can you do about it?

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A Little Snowstorm Couldn’t Stop Us! Thanks for making our Grand Opening a Grand Success

A Little Snowstorm Couldn’t Stop Us! Thanks for making our Grand Opening a Grand Success

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a month since we had our Grand Opening party here at our new offices.  They say time flies when you’re having fun!

While the snowy weather attempted to put a damper on things, it didn’t stop us from celebrating in style.  A big thank you to all our clients, business associates, friends and community members who came out to enjoy the evening with us.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I’ve never considered myself a feminist – I’ve honestly always thought that as a female, if you want something, you can work hard and achieve it, just like your male counterpart. I reflected on what today means to me, particularly as a female litigation lawyer who has had children in recent years. It occurred to me that there are certainly some challenges that female lawyers face that simply aren’t an issue for the men.

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Allow us to Introduce Ourselves

Allow us to Introduce Ourselves

Allow us to Introduce Ourselves 

We are Highlander Law Group, your new friendly yet knowledgeable neighbour, in Upper Tantallon.

Why start up a Law Firm in Tantallon?

Because this is home. Our goal is to support the community we live in while offering our neighbours effective legal services without having the hassle of travelling downtown. We know you want to get in, get it done and get out, spending as little of your valuable time and money as possible.

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