Privacy vs. Free speech on the Internet: An update on the right to be forgotten and what is happening at home

As first published in BarTalk, August edition. On February 24, 2017 Netherland’s highest Court (ECLI:NL:HR:2017:316) found that Peter de Vries – who was brought into the spotlight five years ago when an undercover video of him soliciting a hit …

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The interplay between BC’s statutory tort of privacy and the tort of defamation

Defamation law and breach of privacy law are separate and distinct, but the two torts are occasionally brought before the courts in the same matter. An attack on an individual’s reputation can be done in a manner that also contravenes …

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Facebook’s Terms of Use does not give California Court jurisdiction over the privacy rights of British Columbians

All users of Facebook agree to its Terms of Use as part of the registration process.  When doing so, users agree to submit to California courts when litigating any claim arising, and that the laws of California will govern.  Hence, …

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What they wish they knew before publishing

Never underestimate the risks

I have defended various kinds of professionals who have found themselves on the wrong side of a defamation action.  So often, my clients had a genuine need to voice criticisms of a person or company.  Other …

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Special Costs: When Pursuing Your Defamation Claim May Cost You

A Plaintiff in a defamation action not only had its action dismissed, but its hands slapped by the Court with an order that it pay the Defendants special costs in the case of Taseko Mines Limited v. Western Canada Wilderness

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Making Complaints to Regulatory Bodies within the Protection of Absolute Privilege

When someone makes a complaint about a professional to a professional regulatory body, he or she can do so within the protection of absolute privilege, provided that certain safeguards are taken.  The protection of absolute privilege provides a complete defence …

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Journalistic Source Privilege Applies to Content

In Kwok v. Canada (NSERC), 2013 ABQB 395, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held  that journalistic source privilege applies to some of the contents of the information given to a journalist, even though the sources of the …

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Internet Defamation: Notice of Claim Served via Message Board

Earlier this year, the British Columbia Supreme Court allowed a plaintiff, Brian Burke, to serve his defamation claim via the message board on which the defamatory publications were posted. Service was thereafter effective on the defendants in the names of …

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Defamation Awards attract Court Ordered Interest

In the recent case of Dhillon v. Jaffer, 2013 BCSC 1860, the Honourable Mr. Justice Melnick had an opportunity to review the case law on whether interest is recoverable on an award for damages in a defamation action. Justice Melnick …

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Libel Tourism: Courting Foreign Litigants

The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision of Breeden v. Black, 2012 SCC 19, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 666 has reaffirmed that the tort of defamation occurs where the defamatory comment is published (i.e. read by a third party), even when …

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