Family Law: Agreements and Disagreements

Course Date: October 15, 2004

Day 1: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Welcome and Introduction

Matthew Cooperwilliams — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver                                     

Employment Law in the Cloud

  • overview of the law
  • privacy issues and the reasonable expectation of privacy
  • employment issues
  • recent jurisprudence
  • policy considerations

Matthew J.G. Curtis — Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Vancouver 
Carman J. Overholt, QC — Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Vancouver

Dismissing the Sick, the Old, and New Parents: Considerations and Strategies

  • dismissing the sick—the value of time
  • dismissing the old—analysis of pensionable employees
  • dismissing new parents—do not qualify for EI, strategies for mitigation, and more
  • recent case law analysis

Gwendoline C. Allison — Valkyrie Law Group LLP, North Vancouver

Networking Break

Liability of Employers for Mismanagement of Registered Pension Plans

  • recognizing and identifying historical errors
  • managing regulatory interactions
  • strategic approaches to remedies
  • liability of employers and third party service providers
  • conclusions and practical tips

William E. Cascadden — Spectrum HR Law LLP, Calgary & Vancouver
Jonas McKay — Spectrum HR Law LLP, Vancouver

Oppression Claims and Employment

  • nature of oppression and derivative claims
  • duties of directors and rights of shareholders and directors under the BC Corporations Act
  • where and how employment claims intersect with claims of oppression or derivative actions
  • strategies
  • ADR
  • remedies

Nazeer T. Mitha — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver

Lunch with Featured speaker

Gavin H.G. Hume, QC — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver and Chair of Law Society Cloud Computing Committee


  • what conduct is sufficient evidence of an intention to resign?
  • what is the impact of an employee’s mental state on the validity of a resignation
  • what is the effect of retracting a resignation?
  • is a coerced resignation a wrongful dismissal?
  • what must an employer do to accept a resignation?
  • what conduct could constitute a deemed resignation?

Simon K. Kent — Kent Employment Law, Vancouver
Jennifer D. Wiegele — Kent Employment Law, Vancouver

Legal Issues in Workplace Investigations

  • when, why, and how to investigate
  • deciding who should conduct the investigation
  • managing the investigation and the people involved
  • maintaining privilege
  • compliance with privacy obligations
  • cases illustrating investigation pitfalls
  • best practices

Earl G. Phillips — McCarthy Tetrault LLP,  Vancouver
Donovan G. Plomp — McCarthy Tetrault LLP,  Vancouver

Networking Break

Social Media Continuing Developments

  • the hiring process
  • managing social media in the workplace
  • discipline and termination
  • US trends

Michael R. Howcroft — Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Vancouver

Closing Questions and Comments

Day 2: Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome and Introduction

Matthew Cooperwilliams — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver                                        

New Rules Role Play—A Master's Perspective

  • plaintiff and defence counsel will choose several discrete procedural issues that arise under the new rules and present opposing arguments
  • mock procedural disputes will be adjudicated to highlight procedural changes and the factors that impact the decision making process

Master Dennis Tokarek — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Christopher R. Forguson — TevlinGleadle Employment Law Strategies, Vancouver
Richard E. Press — Davis LLP, Vancouver

The Developing Tort of Invasion of Privacy

  • Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Jones v. Tsige
  • ramifications for employers and employees
  • workplace privacy policies

Timothy J. Delaney — Lindsay Kenney LLP, Vancouver

Networking Break

Employment Law Issues Arising From Corporate Transactions and Restructurings: Update and Issues

  • sanctions for violating CLC–Part III Group Termination provisions
  • novation
  • assignment of employment contracts
  • purchase and sale agreement obligations to provide “comparable” offers or offers on “substantially the same” terms

Greg Gowe — Senior Counsel (Employment Law), TELUS, Burnaby
Ramneek S. Padda — Litigation Counsel, TELUS, Burnaby

First Nations Issues in Employment Law

  • update on jurisdiction and NIL/TU,O case
  • practical considerations when dealing with First Nations employers
  • common issues
    • managing employment relationships in small communities
    • employee versus independent contractor

J. Berry Hykin — Woodward & Company Lawyers LLP, Victoria
Leah L.J. Mack — Woodward & Company Lawyers LLP, Victoria

Networking Lunch (provided)

Termination Without Notice: Employer Repudiation and Consequences for Restrictive Covenants, Fiduciary and Common Law Duties

  • when and why is failure to give reasonable notice of termination (or pay in lieu) a repudiation of the employment agreement?
  • what role does the doctrine of “acceptance” play in the context of employer repudiation?
  • does failure to give reasonable notice relieve an employee of contractual obligations, restrictive covenants in particular?
  • what is the effect of employer repudiation on common law and fiduciary obligations owned by the employee?
  • what are the exceptions to the General Billposting rule? what policy underlies the rule, and where is it vulnerable?

Peter W. Lightbody — Richards Buell Sutton LLP, Vancouver
H. Scott MacDonald — Richards Buell Sutton LLP, Vancouver

Networking Break

Securing the Speedy Determination of Wrongful Dismissal Claims—Is Fast Track Litigation (Rule 15-1) Now More Effective Than Summary Trial (Rule 9-7)?

  • increasing difficulty in securing dates for summary trials in Vancouver
  • expedited timelines for fast track litigation
  • a detailed comparison for Rules 15-1 and 9-7
  • what types of cases qualify to be heard under each Rule
  • pros and cons of proceeding under each of these Rules

Blair W. Curtis — TevlinGleadle Employment Law Strategies, Vancouver

Working Notice—Is It So Complicated?

  • what effect does inadequate working notice have on the employment contract?
  • must the employee remain at work?
  • what will remain of the employee’s damage claim?
  • can the employer extend a working notice period?
  • a discussion of the answers provided in the recent decision in Giza v. Sechelt School Bus Service, and the prevailing authorities

Michael A. Watt — Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Vancouver

Closing Questions and Comments