Friday, August 26, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Wills and Estates

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Friday August 26, 2016. Today we are talking about Wills and Estates.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on


Ontario’s probate fees are $250 for the first $50,000 of an estate’s value and $15 for each additional $1,000. These fees are properly referred to as Estate Administration Taxes.


These taxes must be paid at the court when an Application is filed for the appointment of an Estate Trustee to administer an estate.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Thursday, August 25, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Civil Litigation

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Thursday August 25, 2016. Today we are talking about Civil Litigation.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

Ontario’s Small Claims Courts have jurisdiction to award damages of up to $25,000 in lawsuits brought before the Court. 

In 2012-13, almost 43% of all new civil proceedings in Ontario were commenced in the Province’s Small Claims Courts.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Employment Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Wednesday August 24, 2016. Today we are talking about Employment Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

Did you know that certain terms of an employment contract are applicable even after the end of your employment?

This can include the duty of confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-compete clauses.

It is important to carefully review your employment contract to fully understand your obligations both during your employment and thereafter.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Family Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Tuesday August 23, 2016. Today we are talking about Family Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on


Where all matrimonial issues have been resolved at the one-year anniversary of a separation, an uncontested divorce can proceed by filing specified paperwork with the Court.


Where issues remain unresolved, a divorce judgement can still be issued, and remaining issues can then be continued in a “corollary relief proceeding.”
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, August 22, 2016

140Law: Top 10 Legal Headlines

140Law: Here are your leading legal headlines for the week of August 22, 2016.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

140Law: Legal Headlines for the week of August 22, 2016

Here are the leading headlines from Wise Law on Twitter


- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How Your Social Media Footprint Can Backfire on You in Court

There is no denying that we live in a new age of social media, where expressing your inner most thoughts and personal feelings to an online audience is just plain normal.

While it may be tempting to speak out about the trials and tribulations you encounter with your ex spouse following the breakdown of your relationship, airing your frustrations online can cost you a whole lot more than you think …

Canadian Courts have seen the use of social media as evidence in family law proceedings increase dramatically in the past few years:

  • M(MJ) v. D(A), 2008 ABPC 379 -The Court in this case dismissed an application for guardianship for the parties' child that had been brought by the Father, instead granting him very modest access.  This decision was made in part due to the Court's finding that the Father had "demonstrated and displayed publicly (at least to his some 95 "friends" on his Facebook page) his disregard and callous lack of consideration of the mother and his demeaning and dismissive attitude to her". The Father's online activities sadly led the Court to determine that: "... there is no evidence that these parents can work together or communicate effectively. The father’s actions around his Facebook link is indicative of his lack of respect for the mother yet asks that decision-making be shared. I believe in such a situation that a shared decision-making arrangement would be destructive and chaotic for the child. The child is entitled to grow up in an atmosphere free of acrimony, rancour, disharmony and disrespect. The father has demonstrated he is unable to act as a principled decision-maker for the child and his attitude to the mother further demonstrates that he will continue to be dismissive of her and will attempt to enforce his will on her at every opportunity if he had any decision-making authority. This is not in the best interests of the child."
  • W(JWA) v. B(A), 2008 NBQB 157 - In this case, the Court admitted Facebook photographs into evidence, which depicted the Mother dancing at a bar, drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana. In consideration of the totality of evidence, including these photographs, the Court was of the opinion that the Mother lacked the same maturity as the Father, who appeared to be better suited to care for the child's physical, emotional, social and economic needs. This ultimately led tot he Court finding that it was in the child's best interest to reside primarily with the Father.
  • Byram v Byram, [2011] N.B.J. No. 120. - The Mother in this case was granted custody of the parties' children in part as the Court determined that the Father had "spared no effort to vilify the Applicant through Facebook and the internet...." In the circumstances, the Court was not prepared to grant joint custody, noting that this would only be appropriate in cases "where the parents can cooperate and communicate effectively". 
  • Tran v Tran, 2015 ONSC 5838 - In this case, the Mother relied upon Instagram and Facebook posts as evidence that the Father was currently employed and had purchased a BMW instead of providing child support. Though the motion judge was not prepared to impute income to the Father, it was noted that the mother's evidence was strong, and the issue was reserved for trial.

How to Protect Yourself 

While it may seem like common sense, it is a beneficial reminder:

  • To not post and/or tweet anything about or in relation to your ex online that is negative or alludes to negative feelings about them;
  • Do not post anything in relation to any extracurricular/adult activities you may be involved in, or anything that could be misconstrued (In other words, posting that picture of you passed out in a bar surrounded by empty beer bottles may not be the best idea);
  • Use your privacy settings and make your social media private;
  • Do a thorough sweep of your "friends" on social media and delete/block anyone who may have the potential to create drama in relation to your family law matter.
  • If you have a hard time maintaining your composure online, you may want to consider temporarily suspending or even deleting your social media accounts, particularly during the course of your family law litigation;
  • As a rule of thumb, do not post or tweet anything that you would not want a judge to read.

Collecting Evidence

A few things to bear in mind:

Firstly, you cannot deceitfully or illegally collect evidence from a spouse’s social media page. Put simply, you cannot hack your ex's social media page, or make a fake account for the purposes of gaining access to collect evidence.

That being said however, if you do come across some useful information online through the proper channels, it may be possible to rely upon and use this in your litigation.

In many cases your ex’s online presence may confirm things are awry. For example, he/she may post about a job though claiming to be unemployed; post pictures of his/her luxurious yacht vacation, though alleging to have no assets; or post pictures or comments that suggest poor parenting judgment.

Now that you have read this, consider for just a moment what you could possibly stand to gain from ranting about your ex online…The next time you are tempted to post a not-so-friendly tweet about your ex, just imagine the cringe-worthy moment when it is read out loud in open court.

- Simran Bakshi, Associate and Rachel Spence, Law Clerk

LawFact of the Day: Family Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Thursday August 18, 2016. Today we are talking about Family Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on


In determining entitlement to spousal support, Ontario courts consider the financial means of both spouses, the length of their marriage, and any economic disadvantage experienced by a spouse as a result of the marriage.


Also relevant is any significant disparity between the incomes of the spouses, the goal of encouraging economic self-sufficiency, and several other important factors. 
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Employment Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Tuesday August 16, 2016. Today we are talking about Employment Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

Did you know that a probationary period may go longer than three (3) months?


The Employment Standards Act does not impose a probationary status for employees. It simply provides that there is no minimum notice or pay in lieu of notice required for employees less than three months of service.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, August 15, 2016

140Law: Top 10 Legal Headlines

Here are your leading legal headlines for the week of August 15, 2016.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

140Law: Legal Headlines for the week of August 15, 2016

Here are the leading headlines from Wise Law on Twitter


- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Friday, August 12, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Wills and Estates

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Friday August 12, 2016. Today we are talking about Wills and Estates.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on


Everyone who applies in Ontario for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee is required to file an Estate Information Return within 90 calendar days after a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee has been issued by the Court.


An Estate Information Return must be filed with the Ministry of Finance. This form is used to certify the net value of the assets of an Estate and to verify the Estate Administration taxes payable by an Estate. 
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

On Change, Planning and Professional Practice

Death, taxes and change.

Reputedly, these are among life’s inevitabilities. And while there is probably very little we can do about death and taxes, change is something we truly can manage.

A central theme of many of my Practice Tips posts has been the importance of planning for law firms and other professional practices. By occasionally stepping back from the demands of our day-to-day dealings and deadlines, we can gain the benefit of a longer view, think about objectives, and develop strategies and routines to meet our short and longer term goals.

There will be many changes along the way, from the day we first hang a shingle, through to the maturity phase of our practices, and the ultimate decision that may come sooner – or later – than we think to wind down, transition to retirement, plan for succession or otherwise expand or contract our professional horizons.

Throughout our careers, there will probably be more than a few office addresses, important collaborators or partners, key clients, irreplaceable staff members, and memorable cases and projects There will also be revolutions in technology, drastic changes to the substantive law, regular shifts in the economy and continuing evolution of our marketplace and our regulatory environment.

Not to mention, a few curveballs.

Things don’t generally remain static in professional practice. Opportunities, setbacks and new challenges will virtually always come our way.

There will be lessons learned and pages turned, if you will.

It would be naive to believe all of these changes can be planned for. Some changes will be thrown upon us, unexpected, sudden and even unwelcome. That’s life, I suppose.

Nonetheless, much of this inevitable change can be managed and directed, if not wholly controlled. And our professional paths and our career successes may well be defined by how we navigate these changes.

Obviously, the future can’t be fully predicted or controlled, but with careful planning, a professional practice can definitely be guided in the right direction more often than not.

Begin by identifying objectives, challenges and issues. Get input from others. Be concrete about goals. Break objectives down into their components and target small, readily achievable milestones. Speak regularly with your partners, associates, staff, accountants, life partners, practice management experts and any other trusted sounding boards. Make lists, check them twice. Always leave space in your calendar to regularly assess where you are and work on your practice and professional goals.

The topics of discussion will likely change through the phases and life cycle of every practice, but once established, the habit and art of planning can be a major contributor to handling change and moving our career arcs forward.

Inevitably.


(Cross Posted at Slaw Tips)

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Thursday, August 11, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Civil Litigation

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Thursday August 11, 2016. Today we are talking about Civil Litigation.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on


Civil lawsuits in Ontario’s Superior Court are commenced by issuing a document known as a Statement of Claim. A Defendant who is served in Ontario must file a Statement of Defence within 20 days of service.


If a Defendant is served elsewhere in Canada or the US, a Statement of Defence must be filed within 40 days of service.  If a Defendant is served outside Canada or the US, the Statement of Defence must be filed within 60 days of service.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Family Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Wednesday August 10, 2016. Today we are talking about Family Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

The property rights of common law spouses upon separation are not governed by any Ontario statute.


Common law spouses may still advance family property claims, especially where property has been acquired in a “joint family venture,” or they have contributed to the acquisition, maintenance or improvement of property owned by a common law spouse.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Employment Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Tuesday August 9, 2016. Today we are talking about Employment Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

Did you know that your Employer has a duty to accommodate your disability up until a point of undue hardship? 

An employee is however responsible for requesting the accommodation and providing the employer with adequate information about the nature of his or her request, which often includes producing supporting medical documentation.

He or she cannot be compelled to disclose his or her specific diagnosis.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Monday, August 08, 2016

140Law: Legal Headlines for the week of August 8, 2016

Here are the leading headlines from Wise Law on Twitter


- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Friday, August 05, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Wills and Estates

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Friday August 5, 2016. Today we are talking about Wills and Estates.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

What happens to my property if I dies without a Will?

Under the Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, if you die without a Will, your Estate will be divided among your spouse, children, grandchildren, parent, siblings, and other family members.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Thursday, August 04, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Family Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Thursday August 4, 2016. Today we are talking about Family Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on

The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) assist Ontario Courts in determining the amount of spousal support payable by a spouse. Unline the child support guidelines, the SSAG's are not binding upon the Courts.

Ontario's Courts, however, are required to consider the SSAG's and to provide reasons for any decision that does not follow them.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

LawFact of the Day: Employment Law

Here is your daily LawFact from Wise Law for Wednesday August 3, 2016. Today we are talking about Employment Law.

A video posted by Wise Law Office (@wiselaw) on


In 2015, an Ontario Court awarded 27 months’ of pay in lieu of reasonable notice to a 65-year-old civil engineer who had been employed for 40.66 years.

In exceptional circumstances involving extraordinarily long-service employees, it is within the discretion of Ontario Courts to award more than 24 months’ damages.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net