Monthly Archives: March 2014

Supreme Court Rejects Prime Minister’s Appointment

In a rebuke to Canada’s Prime Minister, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that his attempt to appoint a judge from the Federal Court of Appeal to the country’s highest court was unconstitutional.  
 
On September 30, 2013, Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, announced the nomination of Justice Marc Nadon, a supernumerary judge of the Federal Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.  On October 3, 2013, Justice Nadon was named as a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada by Order in Council.  He replaced Justice Morris Fish as one of the three judges appointed from Quebec pursuant to section 6 of the Supreme Court Act (“Act“).   He was sworn in as a member of the court on the morning of October 7, 2013. 
 
On the same day, Justice Nadon’s appointment to the SCC was challenged by Rocco Galati, a Toronto lawyer.  Mr. Galati brought an application before the Federal Court of Canada arguing that the Act does not permit Federal Court judges to be appointed to the SCC.  As a result of Mr. Galati’s legal challenge, Justice Nadon decided not to participate in any cases that were before the SCC. 
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Chief Federal District Judge In Chicago Declines To Follow Illinois Appellate Court Holding That, Absent Other Consideration, Two Years Of Employment Is Required Consideration For A Restrictive Covenant

Judge Ruben Castillo, the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, recently declined to follow a widely publicized Illinois Appellate Court decision in which the Appellate Court held that, absent other consideration, two years of employment is required consideration for a restrictive covenant in Illinois.

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Chief Federal District Judge In Chicago Declines To Follow Illinois Appellate Court Holding That, Absent Other Consideration, Two Years Of Employment Is Required Consideration For A Restrictive Covenant

Judge Ruben Castillo, the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, recently declined to follow a widely publicized Illinois Appellate Court decision in which the Appellate Court held that, absent other consideration, two years of employment is required consideration for a restrictive covenant in Illinois.

Background

In the summer of 2013, long held beliefs about the required consideration for a restrictive covenant under Illinois law were thrown a curve when the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District (i.e., Cook County) held that, absent other consideration, two years of employment is required for a restrictive covenant to be deemed supported by adequate consideration—even where the employee signed the restrictive covenant as a condition to his employment offer and even where the employee voluntarily resigned. Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., 373 Ill. Dec. 379, 993 N.E. 2d 938 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. June 24, 2013). To our knowledge, Fifield is the only Illinois state court decision to hold that an offer of employment by itself is insufficient consideration for a restrictive covenant; neither the Illinois Supreme Court nor any other Illinois appellate district has so held.

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ILN Today Post

Tax Law Bulletin Bare Trusts, Nominee Corporations and the GST/HST Joint Venture Election

Background

Under certain conditions, an election is available under section 273 of the Excise Tax Act (Canada) (the “Act”) to permit the participants of a joint venture to elect to have an “operator” (who must be a “participant” in the joint venture) be responsible to account for the GST/HST on behalf of all the electing participants. If such election is not made or is unavailable, then each joint venture participant must report such participant’s proportionate share of the GST/HST collected and claim a fraction of the input tax credits that relate to the activities carried on through the joint venture. This election is obviously useful since it simplifies the administrative burden by effectively putting a joint venture on the same footing as a partnership for GST/HST purposes. More…

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ILN Today Post

Shartsis Friese Adds Two Leading Patent Lawyers to Establish Patent Prosecution Practice

Shartsis Friese LLP announced today that Cecily O’Regan and Bill Cray, formerly with Greenberg Traurig, have joined the firm as Of Counsel to establish a new patent prosecution practice group.

O’Regan and Cray are both registered patent attorneys with more than 50 years of combined experience in patent and intellectual property law. O’Regan focuses her practice on securing worldwide intellectual property protection and related business strategies for emerging technology clients, with an emphasis in the medical device, biometric sensor, software, and clean technology sectors. Cray prepares patent applications for electronic, electrical and electro-mechanical arts, including controllers and control systems, analytic, diagnostic and metrology systems, optics, software and Internet technologies. More…

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“BIG ESTONIA” business conference

Is it possible for Estonia to become large? What do internationally renowned speakers and opinion leaders think about Estonia’s potential? What do you think?

The speakers at the conference include Aare Tark, Siim Kallas, Edward Lucas, Taavi Kotka, Sonny Aswani, Jaan Männik, Abdul Turay, etc. The conference programme is available here

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Tamsin R. Kaplan Presents to the Woman to Woman Group at New Directions, Inc.

On March 20, Davis Malm shareholder Tamsin R. Kaplan spoke to the Woman to Woman Group, a group of high level executives and professional businesswomen, at New Directions, Inc. Ms. Kaplan shared the secrets of effectively negotiating employment agreements and severance agreements. In a two-hour presentation, she walked the group through the provisions of three model agreements and discussed dynamics, hidden agendas, tricks, and traps in negotiating each aspect. Ms. Kaplan specifically focused on restrictive covenants, including non-compete provisions, diverse forms of compensation, and negotiation of severance terms at the outset of the employment relationship.

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Be Mindful of What you Read

One of the accepted truisms of the last decade or so it that, by reason of an ageing population, there will be huge impacts on our economic and societal structures, most of which are reported rather ominously.

The media is tasked with making sense of all the change that is occurring and, therefore, must have a “lens” through which to capture events and significant shifts.  The result is that the media often moves in a pack-like manner, latching onto an idea and examining all of its angles.  However, every once in a while, someone looks at that data or trends from a different perspective.  What had once been accepted as a truism, becomes open to challenge and debate.

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General Counsel Corner: Factors in Hiring Outside Counsel

I’m very excited to be kicking off our newest feature today on Zen – the General Counsel Corner!

Throughout my career, I’ve seen a number of in-house counsel presentations and articles, many of which continue to have the same themes with respect to the inside/outside counsel relationship. It seems that many law firms may still not understand what their clients and potential clients really need and want. To continue to draw attention to those things that matter most to GCs, I’ll be featuring in-house counsel here on the blog in our “General Counsel Corner.” Periodically, I’ll be sharing with you a short interview that I’ve done with a GC, in which he or she will answer one key question. 

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How to Best "Keep the Funds Flowing", While Dealing With a Holdback Lien

By Anna Sekunova

The claim of lien created by the Builders Lien Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 45 (the “Act”) provides a powerful mechanism for a contractor or a material supplier to obtain security for payment for the work or materials provided to an improvement. Along with the claim of lien against the land, the Act provides another means to secure payment for claims – a lien against the holdback funds.

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