Who You Gonna Call (As a Witness)?

Construction disputes (as with any matters in litigation) rarely make it to trial. Matters typically settle or are resolved on a summary basis through written evidence alone. But if a matter proceeds to trial, where evidence via live witnesses is required, which people to call as witnesses is integral. In construction, it is common that […] Read More
January 15, 2020

Spies and the Supreme Court: Charting a New Course for the Standard of Review 

On December 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited trilogy of decisions that will significantly shift administrative law. Administrative law encompasses legal challenges to regulatory or government action, ranging from cabinet approval of pipelines to the denial of refugee status, from professional regulatory decisions to First Nations band council decisions.  Recognizing the […] Read More

Think Leaving Equipment On Site Extends Your Lien Period? Think Again.

Builders’ liens provide unpaid contractors and subcontractors on a construction project the ability to secure a debt claim against a piece of land. While courts have acknowledged that the purpose of builders’ liens is to provide this protection, there are criteria that need to be met for a lien to be valid. One such criterion […] Read More
October 30, 2019

Doing Work on a Provincial Project? Protect Yourself with a Public Works Act Claim

The Public Works Act (“PWA”) is a helpful, rarely litigated piece of legislation for unpaid subcontractors. By submitting a PWA claim to the Provincial Government, a subcontractor has the ability to seek compensation outside of its contractual rights from the party it contracted with on public projects that otherwise may not be lienable. This is […] Read More
September 10, 2019

What’s Old is New Again – Municipal Reserve Lands in Alberta Cannot be Liened

Builders’ liens are a useful tool for unpaid contractors and subcontractors on a construction project. They provide a right to make a claim and register an instrument against title to a parcel of land, with the ultimate remedy being a sale of those lands in default of payment of the lien. However, not all lands […] Read More

Bet Your Bottom Dollar – Orphans No More!

By Doug Nishimura, Catriona Otto-Johnston and Andrew Wilkinson Today the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in Re:  Redwater [2019 SCC 5].  The decision, which overturns decisions of the Alberta Court of Queens Bench and Court of Appeal, has far reaching effect on the treatment of oil companies in insolvency proceedings (bankruptcy, receivership or […] Read More

Six Circles of Hell: Priority Among Insurers In An Alberta Rental/Leased Vehicle Claim

Accidents involving rental/leased vehicles give rise to overlapping insurance coverage situations. The rental/leasing company will have an owner’s policy covering it and anyone driving with its consent. The driver may have an owner’s policy of his/her own relating to his/her own vehicles that may provide the driver with coverage in some cases. The driver’s employer […] Read More
August 8, 2018

Keeping Your Hands Lien: Don’t Forget a CLP!

Builders’ liens are an important tool for contractors, subcontractors and suppliers when collecting unpaid invoices on a project. Although a lien does not guarantee payment, it does provide security and mitigate business risk. The lien process is complex with many timelines to be complied with or risk losing the lien. For instance, Section 43 of […] Read More

Is Spousal Support Available After Death?

Perhaps encouraged by the recent decision in Marasse Estate, we have another recent case from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench addressing an estate’s ability to claim spousal support and its liability to pay spousal support. Stalzer v Stalzer, 2018 ABQB 191 is reassurance to estate planning and family law practitioners that a person’s obligation to […] Read More

A Reference to Deference – The Court Weighs in on a Consultant’s Findings

The consultant plays an important role in any construction project. The consultant is obligated to fulfill its role in impartial manner, even though a contractor or owner may not always agree with the consultant’s determinations. If that happens, it’s important to understand how the Court treats a consultant’s findings when a dispute arises and the […] Read More