Mary Kills People is a brand new Canadian television show starring Caroline Dhavernas. Mary Kills People is a fictional show which centers around Dr. Mary Harris, an ER doctor who engages in assisted suicide. The series premier took place on January 25, 2017. According to this Toronto Star interview with the show’s writer, Tara Armstrong, Tara came up with the idea for the show while she was at the University of British Columbia.
As you may be aware from our blog, by reasons dated February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada found the criminal code prohibitions against physician assisted suicide to be unconstitutional. This landmark decision originated in proceedings before the British Columbia Supreme Court. In 2011, the Plaintiffs in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), amongst other evidence, put forth 13 affidavits from individuals who wished to have the option of assisted suicide. The Plaintiffs also sought to admit additional witness evidence, on an anonymous basis, from a person called “L.M.” who swore an affidavit which set out the circumstances in which his terminally ill father had ended his own life with the help of his physician and how L.M., his sister, and his sister’s physician assisted L.M.’s terminally ill mother in ending her life. In an order to protect L.M.’s identity the Plaintiffs’ also sought procedural relief which would allow L.M. to be cross-examined and/or testify behind a screen. However, this relief was rejected by the Hon. Madam Justice Smith at first instance and L.M.’s evidence was not a part of the trial record. See Carter v. Canada (Attorney General),  B.C.J. No. 1897, for this particular evidentiary ruling.
While I have not seen the show (yet), and I am not aware of the inspiration or research behind the show, it will be fascinating to see if and how the role of the Courts and judicial reform will be featured on Mary Kills People.
Click here for the Season 1 teaser of Mary Kills People.
Happy reading (and watching)!
Following the theme of my last blog, a very colourful Endorsement was recently rendered by the Honourable Justice Skarica, in a matter unrelated to estates, in which the opening sentence of was as follows,
“This is a costs order that is essentially meaningless”.
Ms. De Cruz Lee was the Applicant in De Cruz Lee v. Lee. Ms. De Cruz Lee was at one time married to the Respondent Mr. Lee. Ms. De Cruz Lee went through two different lawyers before representing herself at trial. Although the trial was originally scheduled for 1-2 days, it went on for 9 days in total. The claims at issue before Justice Skarica were so extreme that this case was even covered by the Toronto Star here.
Ultimately, Justice Skarica concluded that he could not find any evidence to substantiate Ms. De Cruz Lee’s allegations of fraud, conspiracy and human trafficking against Mr. Lee and he was awarded with $53,000.00 from the proceeds of the sale of the home that he shared with the Applicant.
Notwithstanding the fact that Ms. De Cruz Lee was judgment proof, Justice Skarica ordered full indemnity costs against the Applicant in the amount of $34,674.05. According to Justice Skarica, this was a case for full indemnity costs because of Ms. De Cruz Lee’s unsubstantiated allegations of dishonesty, illegality and conspiracy which were advanced without merit.
In particular, Justice Skarica was passionate about the role of costs in civil proceedings,
“Self-represented litigants whose aim it is to protract court proceedings to force the other side to expend significant resources on legal costs due to scurrilous allegations that are without any evidentiary foundation and are entirely irrelevant to the issue before the Court will meet the hammer of a cost’s award. In our resource strapped court system, there must be deterrence against such conduct that not only penalises the opposing party but also penalises those litigants who have genuine claims to bring before a court but must have their justice delayed due to Court time being spent on this type of litigation.”
Have a great day everyone and thanks for reading!
With summer almost over it is time to look forward to the new beginnings of fall. On September 13, 2011 the courts will open for the new session. To mark the Opening of the Courts, there are a number of special events to which all members of the judiciary, lawyers and paralegals are invited.
The schedule of events is as follows:
- At 10:00 a.m. there is a Special Divine Interfaith Service at the Church of the Holy Trinity at 10 Trinity Square (Near the Eaton Centre);
- At 3:30 p.m. the Opening of the Courts of Ontario ceremony will take place in Courtroom No. 6-1 at the Toronto Court House, 361 University Avenue; and
- At 4:30 p.m, following the ceremony, the Law Society of Upper Canada will host a reception at Convocation Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto.
It is a very special opportunity to be a part of tradition and to mingle with many esteemed colleagues, members of the bench and government officials. Come be a part of the celebration of the accomplishments of our legal system.
Hope to see you there!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.
Listen to the Health Care Consent Act.
This week on Hull on Estates, Megan Connolly and Sean Graham review the Golubchuk case out of Manitoba and discuss the Health Care Consent Act of Ontario.
Listen to Compensation for work done by estate trustees and solicitors.
This week on Hull on Estates, Paul Trudelle and Diane Vieira discuss compensation for work done by estate trustees and estate solicitors.
Rooney Estate v. Stewart Estate 2007 WL3019262 (Ont. S.C.J.), 2007 CarswellOnt 650
Section 131 of the Courts of Justice Act establishes the authority for the Court to award costs. Section 131 states that the Court has absolute discretion in awarding costs, subject to the provisions of an Act or the rules of court.
Before July 2005, the Rules of Civil Procedure provided some sense of certainty to the Court’s broad discretion in awarding costs as the Rules provided a costs grid. The costs grid suggested that costs were to be determined by an hourly rate multiplied by the time spent. In 2004, the Court of Appeal in Boucher v. Public Accountants Council set forth the general principle as to the fixing of costs pursuant to Rule 57.01 and the costs grid. With respect to costs, the Court stated that the overall “objective is to fix an amount that is fair and reasonable for the unsuccessful party to pay in the particular proceeding, rather than an amount fixed by the actual costs incurred by the successful litigant”. Subsequently, in July 2005, the Rules were amended.
The amendment to the Rules abolished the costs grid and expanded on the list of factors, set out in Rule 57.01, which the Court may consider before making a cost award. Rule 57.01 was now expanded to include the principle of full indemnity and the reasonable expectations of an unsuccessful party to pay a cost award.
The principle of the reasonable expectations of an unsuccessful party to pay a cost award appears to provide the parties with some flexibility in obtaining the maximum cost award by permitting the successful party to establish the reasonable expectations of the unsuccessful party.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!