Articles

Airbnb and Covid-19

As of April 3, 2020 the Ontario Government prohibited short-term rentals as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the ban continues the fleet of would-be Airbnb units will remain empty and generating no income...read more

Is residential eviction possible during the COVID-19 pandemic?

By: Amanda Miller-Fleming
Under normal circumstances, Landlords have the right to evict those that do not pay rent, but is that still the case during these unprecedented times of the Covid-19 Pandemic?...read more

Sarah bio

Toronto litigator Sarah O'Connor, prinicipal with O'Connor Richardson Professional Corporation, specialzes in corporate / commercial and civil litigation ...read more

Court has domain in determining injunctive relief: O'Connor

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision confirms that although a contract may contain a clause setting out when a breach causes irreparable harm, the court will ultimately determine whether harm has been established and if injuctive relief is appropriate, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Ruling demonstrates progress in courts view of casual sex

A recent case where a man was found guilty of sexual assault after he agreed to waer a condom but proceeded to have unprotected sex with his partner shows that the courts are more open to the fact that people can set limits when participating in casual sex, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Parties usually consent to minor claim amendments: O'Connor

Parties in civil areas can usually amend statements of claim any stage of litigation, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Going to the dogs - a tricky workplace decision

Employers that allow dogs and other animals in the workplace are inviting problems, but they can cut the risk with careful planning and effective pet policies, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

There are consequences for backing out of a contract

If a party breaches a contract they can potentially be held liable for damages even if they didn't benefit from the action, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Beer store faces tough task to win damages from province

The Beer Store faces an uphill battle to win damages from the province following the cancellation of its beer distribution contract, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Bar set high for awarding costs against counsel

Allow Canada's safety watchdog has cited a "significant safety issue" with the doors of a popular small airplane that crashed last August, they would not be the main focus in assigning responsibility for the death of three of the plane's passengers, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Municipalities overreact with bans on popular - activities 1

Unsubstantiated fear of litigation may be driving municipalities to ban favourite pastimes such as winter sports and riding in horse-drawn carriages, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Municipalities overreact with bans on popular - activities 2

She says that many cities have bylaws that ban tobogganing on city property. O'Connor proposes a middle ground, providing special places for these activities instead of banning them outright. She points to the success of the dirt-bike ramp on the Toronto lakeshore and local skateboard parks...read more

Changes bring Canada in line with global trademark rules

Amendments to Canada's intellectual Property laws will bring a more simplified process to attaining global protection, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Hockey player should hold his ground in abortion lawsuit: O'Connor

Aprofessional hockey player sued for allegedly failing to pay for an ex-girlfriend's abortion should aggressively resist the lawsuit, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Law Help Centres too valuable to lose: O'Conner

Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor fears a valuable cost-saving program for self-represented litigants may never return if allowed to fail due to a lack of funding...read more

Tough to build a case for homeowners suing contractors

Homeowners face an uphill battle when it comes to winning disputes with contracters, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Legal disputes over lottery wins are becoming more common-1: O'Conner

It was a good move for a Nova Scotia woman to settle a lawsuit she launched against her nephew to recover half of a $1.2-million lottery-ticket win that was awarded to him because she would have had an uphill battle to win the case, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Legal disputes over lottery wins are becoming more common-2: O'Conner

Another case of O'Connor cities one in which several couples agreed to buy tickets together for a New Year's draw. One couple bought the ticekts, then held them out to the others saying "pick your ticket." As it happened, one of the couples won the jackpot and the other two couples are arguing that it was ajoint venture so they are entitled to share in the winnings...read more

Infringe celebrity image rights at your peril

Businesses that trade on a celebrity's image without consent risk legal action - even if the person is dead, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Collection could be a problem for sabotaged clarinetist

A clarinetist sabotaged by his ex-girlfriend could struggle to collect on the $350,000 judgement granted to him by an Ontario court, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells ...read more

Adult son's high-profile eviction would have been easier in Ontario

Kicking family members out of your house is typically easier than getting rid of tenants, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells ...read more

The Weinstein case and the ABCs of civil litigation 1

It isn't unusual that Harvey Weinstein would ask on Ontario court to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by Toronto actress, but those wishes are rarely granted so early in the process, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

The Weinstein case and the ABCs of civil litigation 2

It's not unusual for defendants to bring forward such motions, O'Connor says...read more

'Good faith' at issue in athlete's lawsuit

A American lawsuit involving a professional baseball player and a lending firm shines a light on the importance of the good-faith principle and how unfair bargaining practices can void a contract, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Case shows fraudulent misrepresentation voids a contract 1

A British Columbia decision to order a woman who was selling her upscale Vancouver home home to return a buyer's $300,000 deposit because of "fradulent misrepresentation" highlights how an "incomplete" presentation of a contract can void the agreement in its entirety, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Case shows fraudulent misrepresentation voids a contract 2

For the second element of the test, the defendant established, on a balance of probabilities, that the plaintiff's representation of her reason for selling the property "was a false representation by omission," says the judge....read more

Small claims dispute over dead trees dragging on

A legal dispute between two neighbours that's rooted in a row of dead cedar tress is running on the "longer side" as far as small claims matters go, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells the Hamilton Spectator...read more

Woman sues ex for half of $6M lottery win 1

An Ontario woman is sueing her former common-law partner for allegedly denying that the couple had won $6 million in a provincial lottery before claiming the full prize for himself...read more

Woman sues ex for half of $6M lottery win 2

The statement said both parties loved muscle cars and dreamed of purchasing a vehicle each, a piece of large country property near their home in Chatham, Ont., and a shop in which they could indulge their shared hobby. The statement of claim said both parties had an understanding that they would split any winnings that came from their lotto purchases...read more

Being unable to locate Weinstein won't stop lawsuits 1

Even if plaintiffs launching lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein are unable to locate him to serve the legal papers, it won't prevent those matters from moving forward against him, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Being unable to locate Weinstein won't stop lawsuits 2

The process around online serving through email or social media, substitute service and for dispensing with service is set out in Ontario Rules for Civil Procedure s. 16.04, O'Connor notes...read more

Unique lawsuit deals with trauma of witnessing crime in jail

A lawsuit filed by six prisoners against the province of Ontario is a unique case that may be one of the first in Canada to seek damages for the trauma of witnessing crime in a jail or prison setting, says Toronto civil litigato r Sara h O'Connor...read more

More civil cases involving sex assaults expected: O'Connor 1

TORONTO - There are several advantages to an Ontario woman's plan to sue Harvey Weinstein over alleged sexual assaults, say legal experts who believe civil court offers better prospects for a victim...read more

More civil cases involving sex assaults expected: O'Connor 2

Since the heart of the complaint is often centred on who has control and how it was used, that differencecan be immense for a victim, says Toronto lawyer Simon a Jellinek...read more

More civil cases involving sex assaults expected: O'Connor 3

But there are downsides, and risks: The costs can be prohibitive unless a lawyer takes the case pro bono or on a contingency fee basis. If the victim loses, they' re on the hook for the defendant's legal costs, too...read more

Abortion clinic safe access zones needed in light of protest

Legislation that proposes to establish safea ccess zones around Ontario abortion clinics is a positive step that, if passed, would result in violators facing a summary conviction, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells The Lawyer's Daily...read more

Toronto house copyright case raises questions about the law 1

A case involving a Toronto couple who alleged their neighbours copied the look of their home highlights how housing architect ure ca n be copyrighted but to prove it, the structures have to be identical and there must be evidence to show one was essentially replicated, says To  ronto civil litigator Sa rah O'Connor...read more

Toronto house copyright case raises questions about the law 2

"It's a unique area of law," she says...read more

Canada has no legislative responsibility to rescue citizens abroad

Complaints that the federal government didn't react fast enough to get Canadians out of the Caribbean when Hurricane Irma hit highlight a misconception about Ottawa's responsibility to airliftits citizens out of harm's way in foreign countries, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Use time to reform minimum sentencing not polls

The federal government should keep its promise to reform minimum sentencing requirements rather than polling Canadians to determine how they feel about the issue, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Lower injury threshold needed to trigger police oversight: O'Conner

"Bodily harm" injuries caused to civilians by police should automatically trigger an independent probe instead of the current system where only those deemed "serious" are reported and investigated, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Who keeps the rings after an engagement ends

The question of who gets to keep the ring when an engagement ends before marriage comes down to who broke it off, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Assumptions about credit card debt limitations period often wrong

Although many believe the limitation period for credit card debt starts when a default occurs and then restarts each time a card is used or a partial payment is made, this reasoning is incorrect, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor writes in The Lawyer's Daily...read more

'Stealthing' is unwanted sexual contact: O'Connor

Education is key to inform the public that an emerging trend called "stealthing" - the removal of a condom during sex without consent - is ethically wrong and could lead to a civil lawsuit, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Goalie conviction draws clearer lines around hockey violence

The conviction of a hockey goalie who struck a player in the face with his stickand caused serious damage sends a message that violence will not be tolerated in sport, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Failed Starbucks lawsuit highlights high burden of proof

A 8.C. woman's unsuccessful lawsuit against Starbucks after she burned her legs with tea reinforces that it's not enough to simply show a product is dangerous,says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Women lawyers work harder to gain same level of respect

In general, sexism is something women in the legal profession have learned to deal with on a day-to-day basis, Toronto civil litigator Sara h O'Connor tells The Lawyers Weekly...read more

Video of police tasering man raises serious questions

A cellphone video that captures Toronto police Tasering a man while he was restrained and face down on the ground raises some "unsettling" questions about police conduct, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

More limits and oversights needed for solitary confinement

The pervasive and damaging use of solitary confinement in provincial jails and federal prisons across Canada desperately needs more limits and oversight, says Toronto civillitigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Wreath - laying refusal highlights need for Legion to do more

A Royal Canadian Legion branch's initial refusal to allow a veteran to lay a wreath for nine Afghan war dead shows how out of touch the organization is with the needs of modern day vets, saysToronto civil litigator SarahO'Connor...read more

Horse - slapping incidents highlight service animal protection law

Three people charged for slapping a Kingston police horse points to a new law aimed at protecting law enforcement and other service animals, and the sti ff penalties it carries, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

New protections for tenants fleeing abuse a positive step

A change to Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act that allows tenants fleeing domestic or sexual violence to terminate a lease sooner than was previously allowed is a great step forward but doesn't go far enough, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Alternatives to second amendment beneficial for small firm lawyers

Although it can be difficult to participate in a traditional secondment when working for a smaller firm, there may be opportunities to take part in an unconventional experience that yields many of the same benefits, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells Lawyers Weekly...read more

Tenants advised to 'stay put' when disputing rent increases

Tenants who face unexpected rent increases froml andlords should stand their ground while the dispute is being resolved, saysToronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Bra removal for all those in custody humiliating, unnecessary

Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor says the Chatham-Kent Police Service is flying in the face of a major court decision by routinely demanding that women remove their bras when in custody...read more

Officers' lawsuit against attorney general unusual: O'Connor

A lawsuit launched by three senior Toronto policeo fficers against Ontario's attorney general is highly unusual and contains allegations that will likely be onerous to prove in court, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor says...read more

$8M award for wrongfully convicted man highlights Charter rights

A British Columbia court's ruling to award a man $8 million after he was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault charges and spent 27 years behind bars highlights how all individuals - even those who are self-represented - are entitled to a fair trial and access to justice, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Appeal court ruling on contingency fees a lesson for lawyers

Although the result was positive for the law firm involved, a recent Court of Appeal ruling that ordered an accounting firm to pay legal fees run up under a contingency agreement is ultimately a lesson to lawyers not to overreach in these situations, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells LawTimes...read more

Liberal government's move to end veterans' class action positive 1

OTTAWA- The Trudeau government is drafting a letter of assurance it hopes will end a class-action lawsuit by Afghan veterans angry about a 10-year-old overhaul of their benefits and entitlements...read more

Liberal government's move to end veterans' class action positive 2

Their statement of defence made clear that the federal government believed it had no special obligation to soldiers and that promises of care for the wounded, dating back to the First World War, were political statements not  binding on present or future governments...read more

P.E.I. about-face on abortion long overdue

It's a positive step forward that Prince Edward Island withdrew its opposition to abortion in the face of legal challenge and the change is long overdue, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

The onus is on the person with HIV to disclose

TORONTO - An aggravated sexual assault conviction will stand for a man who had unprotected sex with two other men without telling them he was HIV-positive ...read more

Ruling provides new weapon against 'revenge porn'

An Ontario judge has provided a new weapon against revenge porn by awarding $100,000 in damages to a youngwoman whose ex-boyfriend posted a sexually explicit video of her on a pornography website, Toronto civillitigator Sarah O'Connor tells...read more

Animals on flights and the need for more regulation: O'Connor

The absence of Canadian law a round the transport of pets, therapy and service animals that travel alongside passengers on commercial flights is building to a perfect legal storm that could lead to litigation, saysToronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

PEI abortion challenge shows service not universally available

The fact that a lobby group is taking the Prince Edward Island government to court to force the province to provide fully funded and unrestricted access to abortion highlights that access to the procedure is not universal throughout the country,Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor says...read more

Latest criminal charge in hockey highlights changing attitudes

The fact that police have charged a youth hockey player with assault with a weapon following an incident on the ice is another indication of how attitudes toward violence and the game have changed, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor ...read more

Bill C-51 should be priority in litigation strategy review

As the new government prepares to review its litigation strategy, priority issues should include the approach to mandatory minimum sentencing as well as significant changes to Bilt C-51 , Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor tells Law Times...read more

HIV and the duty to disclose in Canada

Charlie Sheen's revelation that he is HIV positive has highlighted some legal issues that are rarely discussed, including when, and under what circumstances Canadians are required to disclose they have the virus that causes AIDS, says Toronto civil l itigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

59 suicides: Canada is failing its troops

News that 59 Canadian soldiers and veterans who served in Afghanistan have killed themselves is an indication of how Ottawa and the military are failing those men and women who have bravely served our country, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Crowd violence during Nuit Blanche 'concerning'

Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor says it is unfortunate and concering the way surely crowds confronted police at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto during the year's Nuit Blanche event and she hopes the violence isn't harbinger of what may happen with the Blue Jays in the playoffs ...read more

G20 officer ruling shows 'shift in courts'

A disciplinary hearing's finding that a senior Toronto Police officer is guilty of three offences related to his conduct during G20 protests is a good outcome but doesn't go far enough to clearly recognise of peaceful protesters, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Jail understaffing a major problem

Understaffing at Ontario jails is a major problem and has a butterfly effect on every aspect of the institutions' administration and on justice in general, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

The law around malicious prosecution is still emerging

A Toronto lawyer who is suing the police for the malicious prosecution and defamation after she was accused of smuggling drugs into a courthouse and arrested in front of collegues and clients will have to prove that officers had a primary purpose other than that of carrying the law into effect, says Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor...read more

Small claims rule changes create uneven playing field

Amendments to the Small Claims rules have created different standards for self-represented litigants and for parties represented by counsel, Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor write in...read more

Ruling unlikely to sway police from carding

Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor says that a recent ruling involving "carding" is unlikely to sway new Chief of Police Mark Saunders away from his decision to continue the controversial police practice...read more

State accountability not just a US problem

Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor says citizen journalism and cellphone videos have created more awareness around the issue of state accountability and highlights that police and enforcement officer misconduct is not just an American problem...read more

International LLM provides more global view of law

Toronto civil litigator Sarah O'Connor has convocated from Queen Mary University of London with a Master of Laws in international business...read more

A look at how Ontario may soon update its business laws

Ontario is likely to see some significant changes to its business laws following the establishment of the province's new Business Law Advisory Council, according to a news release from the Government of Ontario...read more