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.Read More
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…Read More
In Nova Scotia small claims court is a great option for getting a ruling on issues that involve amounts totalling less than $25,000. The two main benefits are that A) every step of the way it’s quicker and B) for most people it ends up being significantly less expensive, yet you still end up with an enforceable judgement from a Nova Scotia Court.Read More
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.Read More
The short answer is yes, you can represent yourself in Nova Scotia Small Claims Court. In fact, in Canada you can represent yourself all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. However, the limit for small claims court in Nova Scotia is $25,000 so if the claim you’re involved in is approaching that amount it may be well worth your money to use the expertise of a lawyer to represent you.Read More
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 claimRead More
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.Read More
I see many people in my office whose relationships have broken down. Although every couple and every situation are unique, there are some common themes that emerge. Whether clients label it or not, “emotional labour” is at the heart of many disputes and a significant cause in relationship breakdown. But what is emotional labour?Read More
When a couple separates, they know they will have to consider custody and parenting arrangements, support payments, and property division. One critical area that can be overlooked is life insurance.Read More
Quite simply put, Notary Publics and Commissioner of Oaths are people who have been authorized by law to serve as an official witness to the signing of various legal documents. Notarizing a means that a Notary or Commissioner has taken the proper steps to verify your identity and then has witnessed your signing of a particular document. Afterwards they seal and sign the document to certify their witnessing of the signature.Read More
Verbal contracts are technically enforceable. You can go to court and obtain a judgement against someone who doesn’t respect a verbal agreement. So why bother getting it in writing? Here are a couple of basic reasons why everyone should use a written agreement instead of relying on a verbal agreement:Read More
I recently came across a story in the news highlighting the unfortunately common situation where a small business owner is facing financial disaster as a result of terms in their commercial lease they didn’t fully understand when they signed. Cash flow challenges are reality for most small business, particularly those in the start up phase. As a result, many view spending money to have a lawyer review what appears to be a standard lease is a luxury they can’t afford.Read More
There is no question police have a difficult and at times dangerous job. I think police do their best and try hard to be reasonable and helpful. But police do have a tremendous amount of power and that is why there is so much news coverage when things go wrong and they don’t act responsibly. Cameras worn by police as well as CCTV cameras seem to be working to make police more accountable.Read More
Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout from the business owner where the fall happened, but some people, and sometimes those hurt far worse, don’t get anything?
Most often these situations are governed by the Occupiers Liability Act, although the common law rule of negligence may also apply. Under the Act, the ‘occupier’, defined as the person who essentially has control over the premises (whether because they own it, rent it or for any other reason have physical control over the premises), has a duty to ensure that any person who legally enters the premises will be reasonably safe. The key word there is ‘reasonably’. Obviously no owner/occupier of a property can prevent every potential accident from happening, so the law draws a line between injuries that are as a result of unavoidable, unfortunate accident and which injuries should have been prevented by some action by the owner/occupier.
An unfortunate reality of today’s corporate world is restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing. For many hard-working employees, the result is lay-offs. One day you go to the job you’ve devoted yourself to for years and the next you find yourself unemployed with a standardized letter letting you go, along with a request to sign a ‘Release’ in exchange for a severance package. You are reeling and have no idea if the package they are offering you is what you are entitled to. This is where an employment lawyer comes in. Many lawyers, including myself, are happy to meet with people in your shoes to review your situation and give some basic advice as to whether or not the severance package offered is within the acceptable range.Read More
You can obtain a hunter’s license at the N.S. Dept. of Natural Resources, or any approved vendor. You need to renew your hunters licence every year. You must be the age of 18 or older unless you have an adult with you. Hunting season in Nova Scotia is open October 1st until December 5. You are not allowed hunting on Sundays except for November 1st & 8th.Read More
Ever drive by a school zone sign and wonder what counts as ‘When Children Are Present’? It’s even more important to know now that the speed limit in a school zone changed to only 30 km/hr where the speed limit is normally 50 km/hr. The definition of ‘When Children Are Present’ hasn’t changed. The School Area Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Act states that a child is deemed ‘present’ if the child is ‘on land’ within 30 meters of the center line. There is no time limit to this definition. If a child is present, the reduced speed limit is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Therefore, if a child is walking along the side of the road in a school zone at 10:00 pm at night in the middle of August, the school zone reduced speed limits still apply. The logic is, regardless of the time of year, a school is an area where children congregate, whether it’s for academic learning or other pursuits that make use of the school facilities (sports leagues, drama camp etc.).Read More
Lorne Grabher was back in the news this week after police told him to remove an out-of-province license plate bearing his controversial last name. Nova Scotia law requires valid plates mounted on the back of a vehicle only; the plate in question was an expired Alberta plate mounted on his front bumper.Read More
One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is managing cash flow. Running a business is expensive, and while none of your creditors want to wait to be paid, sometimes collecting from your customers can be a real challenge. So what can a business owner do when they are having a problem collecting the money owed by their clients?Read More
Every January there are an infinite number of blog posts on how to make or stick to your personal New Years Resolutions. But what if your business could write its own resolutions for 2017, what would they be? I don’t think many businesses would be begging for more of your time – entrepreneurs are notorious for devoting all of their time to the business. But is that precious time used effectively?
As a litigator, I meet far too many small business owners who were so busy trying to move their business forward that they didn’t notice they never made time to stop and protect the business they were working so hard to build – until it was too late. The potential points of failure for a small business are unfortunately many. Leases, employees, personal situations, intellectual property, product malfunction, and weak (or absent) contracts to name a few.Read More