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CASE HIGHLIGHTS
  • In a series of court appeals involving the property assessments of the Toronto “Bank Towers”, a group of twelve municipalities hired John to convince the Divisional Court and subsequently the Court of Appeal for Ontario that his clients had a stake in the outcome and should participate in the arguments to resolve a decade long uncertainty in the provincial assessment legislation.

  • In a property assessment appeal involving the most significant commercial office tower in the municipality, the taxpayer refused to produce relevant valuation information to the City, including recently obtained property appraisals. John’s arguments resulted in a successful decision that re-affirmed the municipality’s rights to production of all relevant value information in assessment appeals.

  • The province of Saskatchewan challenged the approval of regulations made by a federal regulatory agency. John successfully persuaded the Federal Court of Canada that his client, the federal regulatory agency, should have status to participate in the judicial review of the regulatory approval.

  • A trial court decision cast doubt on the province’s method of valuing mobile homes and trailers for property tax. The decision meant potentially huge losses in tax revenue for municipalities. John represented a broad coalition of municipalities to intervene in the case at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. The coalition approach gave municipalities a voice in the appeal while saving tens of thousands in legal expenses. John arguments helped produce a successful decision for the municipal position.

  • A law firm hired John to help them deal with a former client who sued them, as well as a number of others in 70 lawsuits over ten years. John was successful persuading the Superior Court to dismiss the claims against the law firm and make a rarely obtained declaration that the former client was a “vexatious litigant”, who could not start any more lawsuits, without court approval.

  • A group of municipalities hired John to develop a strategy to change how provincial assessors valued mobile homes and trailers across the province. At that time, the assessors’ approach was uneven, producing unfairness and inequity in property taxation across the province. John created a two-step strategy. The first step focused a court case in one municipality as a test to get a court declaration that mobile homes and trailers were assessable for property taxes. The second step was to use that test decision to ask the court to order the province to assess all mobile homes and trailers. After succeeding with the first step, John successfully convinced the province to treat all mobile homes and trailers similarly, thereby avoiding the need for step two.

  • A software company specializing in system security applications discovered a former employee sent copies of the source code for the firm’s software and its customer database to an internet e-mail account. Within 24 hours, John had the case before a Superior Court Judge to obtain an “Anton Piller” Order, a rarely granted form of civil search warrant used to preserve evidence. The subsequent search of the employee’s home and cars revealed evidence that the source code and customer database were being used to unfairly compete with John’s client.

  • In an Alberta lawsuit between a poultry producer and the province of Alberta, the producer challenged the constitutional validity of regulations made by a federal regulatory agency. John succeeding persuading the Alberta court to allow the federal agency to intervene in the case at trial and on appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal, where the client’s regulations were ruled constitutionally sound.

  • The police charged a member of a local service club with violating the gambling provisions of the Criminal Code for his role in running charity bingos. At trial, John successfully argued the gambling provisions of the Criminal Code were unconstitutional. The State appealed and the case made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Ultimately, the State withdrew all the charges against John’s client.

  • A construction company hired to tunnel beneath a river to install municipal water and sewer services encountered difficulties tunnelling due to soil conditions beneath the river. The construction company sued John’s client, the engineer who designed the specifications for the river crossing. John successfully defended the engineer against the negligence claims of the contractor.