Our firm has argued the following significant court cases:
Click any case name for details.
Dwyer v. Dwyer, 2013 BCSC 1486
We acted for the wife in this case regarding custody of young children with mum living in Alberta and dad living in BC, and equitable ownership of BC rural property legally owned by dad and his parents and lived on by mum and dad as the family home during their relationship. The court ordered the children to reside with mum in Alberta with access rights to dad in BC, and recognized mum's right to share equally in the portion of the former family home property that dad owned.
N.J. v. J.J., 2013 BCSC 155
We acted for the husband in this case where his former wife attempted to set aside their separation agreement which was negotiated and signed without either husband or wife obtaining legal advice. The court found the agreement to be fair and dismissed the former wife's case.
Hall v. Becker, 2011 BCCA 5
We acted for appellant/common-law wife for an appeal concerning the proper application of trust principles in common law relationships where property was purchased in one spouse's name only. We acted for the common law wife, who was successful in that she was awarded an interest in the property. At trial she was only awarded modest damages equivalent to her unpaid contributions based on a modest wage for work done on the property. This judgment from the B.C. Court of Appeal is an important precedent for establishing the principles applied to common law relationships under the regime of the Family Relations Act.
Jones v. McDaniel, 2006 BCCA 165
We acted for appellant/common law wife for an appeal of a Supreme Court judgment in which the common law wife was awarded a 10% interest in a valuable commercial property. Appellant succeeded and her interest in the commercial property was increased to 30%.
Insurance Matters including Motor Vehicle Accidents and Personal Injury
Plishka-Humphreys v. Bolen, 2013 BCSC 1298
We acted for the injured plaintiff. A civil lawsuit relating to an assault. The plaintiff was awarded $84,250 in damages. Despite the assault being an intentional act normally not covered by insurance, we were able to frame the case so as to obtain a settlement from one of the two defendant's insurers.
Davidson v. Kokanee Park Marine Ltd., 2001 BCSC 940
We acted for a person who was injured moving a boat motor at a marina. He was helping his neighbour, who was also his employer although he was not working that day. A jury awarded damages of $826,000 less 25% for contributory negligence by our client. The court stayed the jury verdict to permit WorkSafe BC to reconsider their prior decision that the injury occurred in the course of his employment and was therefore covered by workers' compensation. WorkSafe BC found that he was in fact working. The jury verdict was set aside. The law firm succeeded in obtaining a lump sum payment from WorkSafe BC for the injured worker for past income loss along with the payment of a permanent disability pension going forward. This award ended up exceeding the award from the jury.
Konkin v. Costa, 1997 CanLII 2631
We acted for the injured, elderly plaintiff who was knocked down by a vehicle while crossing the street. The plaintiff succeeded and was awarded damages in excess of $20,000.
Contentious Estate & Inheritance Matters
Elder Estate v. Bradshaw, 2015 BCSC 1266
We acted for the dear friend and caregiver to the deceased who benefited under his will. Distant relatives, who were recognized under a prior will of the deceased, believed that our client had pressured the deceased into making the more recent estate arrangements. They also took the position that the deceased lacked the mental ability to make the will that benefited our client. After a lengthy trial, the court recognized the genuine nature of the deceased's relationship with our client, consistent with the views of the various medical and health practitioners, who also gave evidence as to the mental capacity of the deceased despite his declining health. The court found that the deceased had the mental faculties required to make the will and that he had acted of his own free will in choosing to leave his estate to our client; the distant relatives' claim to the contrary was dismissed in its entirety.
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Semenoff Estate v. Bridgeman, 2013 BCSC 1022
We acted for the deceased's siblings in this case about the standard of care owed by a lawyer to a client. The deceased's son (plaintiff), who was the executor of the deceased's estate, brought this action against the lawyer for allegedly negligent services provided to the deceased. The lawyer sought contribution and indemnity from the siblings of the deceased, who the lawyer "third partied" or brought into the lawsuit to share in any liability that may have been found in favor of the plaintiff. At the close of the plaintiff's case as presented at trial, we brought an insufficient evidence motion on behalf of the siblings, which was successful (for the benefit of our clients, the siblings, and the lawyer), and the plaintiff's case was dismissed by the court.
Peters (Estate of) v. Ewert, 2002 BCSC 1540
We acted for a niece of the deceased/defendant. The executor of the deceased's estate sought a declaration that the last will and testament of the deceased was valid. The will was set aside due to the existence of suspicious circumstances at the time the will was made including the fact the deceased lacked the requisite testamentary capacity. The estate was then distributed to the deceased's family rather than to the charity which was named in the will as the sole beneficiary.
Wrongful Dismissal & Employment Matters
Dopf v. Royal Bank of Canada, 1998 156 DLR (4th) 56 (BCCA)
We acted for the dismissed employee/respondent. Mrs. Dopf was dismissed from her employment with the Royal Bank. She was awarded general damages of $88,000 and punitive damages of $250,000 by a jury. The appeal by the bank was successful in that the punitive damages were set aside; however, the general damages were sustained despite the finding of fact that the dismissal was for cause.
Baldface Mountain Lodge Limited Partnership v. Nelson Amphibious Adventure Tours Inc., 2010 BCSC 594
We acted for Nelson Amphibious, the successful claimant at arbitration, and the opposing party brought a petition, attempting to appeal this arbitral award. At arbitration, our client obtained a substantial award under the Commercial Arbitration Act. The petition was dismissed, the arbitral award was upheld, and our client was granted costs (in addition to the court's validation of the award at arbitration).
Anderson v. Woodland Park Housing Cooperative, 2007 BCSC 608
We acted for the Cooperative, who had terminated the appellant's membership in the co-op which then resulted in a termination of occupancy. The court found the appellant's conduct was detrimental to the co-op and the co-op decision to terminate membership was authorized
Cross v. Mountain High Recreation Ltd., 2007 BCCA 121
We acted for the shareholder/petitioner. At issue in the appeal was the ownership of the controlling block of shares. The petitioner succeeded and the company was ordered to transfer shares to the petitioner.
Trozzo Holdings Ltd. v. Niagara Holdings Ltd., 2002 BCCA 655
We acted for the judgment debtor/appellant. This was an appeal of a Supreme Court judgment in which the appellant was found liable in the sum of $82,066 under a lease for the cost of remediating contaminated soil and other related expenses. The appellant succeeded and a new trial was ordered. The appellant was granted costs of the appeal.
Construction Law Matters
Culos Development Corp. v. High Street Developments Ltd., 1999 CanLII 5118
We acted for the developer and successor strata corporation in a related construction case involving building deficiencies in a 42 unit strata development. The Strata Corporation succeeded and recovered in excess of 3.5 million dollars in a series of combined cases and the developer was awarded a judgment exceeding half a million dollars.
Culos Development Corp. v. High Street Developments Ltd., 1995 CanLII 547 (BC SC)
The rock slope above the development was unstable. The slope was partly on the development lands and partly on the municipality's road right-of-way. We obtained a mandatory injunction requiring funds held in trust for the contractor to be used to stabilize the rock slope. Leave to appeal the decision was denied. The law firm supervised the engineering and construction contracts for the remedial work.
Regulatory Matters including Professional Discipline
Salway v. APEGBC, 2009 BCCA 350
We acted for the professional who was subject to discipline by his profession's regulator. The Court of Appeal accepted our submission that certain procedures of the regulatory body were beyond its powers as they were unauthorized by its governing statute. The outstanding discipline order was struck down.
Renwick v. Nelson (City of), 1998 CanLII 5695
We acted for the neighbours/petitioners. Petitioners sought a court declaration that a commercial business being operated in a residential area was not permitted under zoning by laws. The petitioners succeeded and the court declared the commercial operation was a breach of the permitted uses under the city land use regulation and therefore quashed the business license which City staff had issued in breach of their authority.
Land & Property Disputes
Hawes v. Dave Weinrauch and Sons, 2015 BCSC 1727
We assisted people who have lived in homes with the permission of prior owners of the lands and mineral claims for many years assert their equitable right to be there and present in the houses, when the the new owner of those lands and claims took the position that he wanted them to leave. The lower court did not recognize those equitable rights, after a lengthy and complex trial, and our firm will argue the case for a different result in the court of appeal.
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Sherbinin v. Jackson, 2011 BCSC 74
We acted for the landowner who had the benefit of the easement. The parties disagreed as to whether or not a registered easement relating to their properties was valid and, if not, whether rights of access should be confirmed by a court ordered equitable easement under the doctrine of proprietary estoppel. Having determined the existing easement was obsolete and should therefore be cancelled, the court granted our clients a new, registrable easement based on equitable principles.
Small Business Disputes
Burch v. Suffredine, 2002 BCSC 1394
We acted for a lawyer in partnership dissolution/plaintiff, and obtained a summary judgment that the partnership was dissolved on a certain date, a special reference to value the interest as of that date and judgment against the defendant successor law firm.
Just Plain Interesting
Take 2: Weber v. Leclerc, 2015 BCSC 1151
Based on what occurred at his examination for discovery, the common-law husband sought to disqualify our firm based on the same alleged conflict of interest. Again, the court found in our firm's favor and the integrity of our internal systems specifically designed to guard against conflicts was upheld.
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Weber v. Leclerc
Oral Reasons for Judgement delivered by Mr. Justice Groves, February 3, 2014, Nelson Registry
We applied for a ruling that Pearkes & Fernandez was free to act for the common-law wife in a family law matter where the common-law husband sought to disqualify our firm based on an alleged conflict of interest. We were successful and the court found there was no such conflict based on a set of factors which included the integrity our firm's internal systems for conflicts checks when dealing with prospective clients.
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