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Take a Look at Our Law Articles to Learn More

Come to MacMillan Tucker when you want your case to be handled by a group of professional and experienced lawyers. For over 40 years, we have been offering dependable legal services to clients in Surrey and the surrounding area. Our team has the expertise to handle cases related to personal injury, wills and estates, family, estate disputes, real estate and mortgages, civil litigation, corporate issues, commercial and notary. Please go through the law articles below to learn more.

PERSONAL INJURY:

Justice and law concept

DUTY OF A RESCUER

The Plaintiff was a bus driver and was going up the mountain towards a ski area. It was snowy, and the roads were slippery. The Defendant, through his negligence, lost control of the vehicle and slammed into the bus. As a result of the accident, no one was injured, but there was some damage to the vehicles.

drink and drive

Don’t Let Anyone Drink and Drive! – By Cassandra Douma

Insured Ingrid and her friend Sloshed Steve went to a co-worker’s house for some drinks. They had arrived together in Insured Ingrid’s car, and Sloshed Steve had told them that he would drive it home at the end of the night. Insured Ingrid and Sloshed Steve had a number of drinks together as the evening progressed, and Insured Ingrid proceeded to become quite intoxicated.

a person placing a hand between wooden pieces

Risky Business – By Corey J. Bow

This month’s case is about the risk of going to trial versus settling your case. In this case, the plaintiff was injured in an accident and was about to go to a trial. It was not the usual type of trial as it was going to be a trial with a jury. These cases are always more risky and difficult to predict the outcome. 

a person with a pen and paper

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign – By Corey J. Bow

The plaintiff in this very important BC waiver case was an avid snowboarder from Australia. He was visiting and working at the Whistler Mountain Resort but was catastrophically injured while snowboarding on Grouse Mountain. He was snowboarding in the Terrain Park and attempted an advance level jump. He landed badly and was rendered a quadriplegic. He started a lawsuit against Grouse Mountain claiming breach of contract and that the Mountain was negligent. He also claimed that they failed to keep the Mountain safe for its users. 

tree fallen on a car

Timber! – By Cassandra Douma

Careful Carl was driving to a friend’s house through Stanley Park. It was a rather stormy night, and as he proceeded, a tree suddenly fell onto the road. Careful Carl swerved to avoid the fallen tree but hit Motorist Mary’s vehicle which had been travelling in the opposite direction. 


Motorist Mary was injured and sued Careful Carl for damages, alleging that Careful Carl was negligent in swerving into her lane.

tree fallen on a car

HUMPTY DUMPTY HAD AN EGG-STREMELY GREAT FALL - BY CASSANDRA DOUMA

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

Personal Injury

You Can’t Go back on Your Word – By Corey J. Bow

Speedy Gonzalez was driving his car and going straight through an intersection. Lefty McNish was heading towards the same intersection in the opposite direction. She, unfortunately, decided to turn left right in front of Speedy. Speedy collided with Lefty’s car and he was injured.

WILLS & ESTATES:

IT’S THE LAW – By Daniel Shim

THE SCIENTIST RICK AND HIS GRANDKIDS

 

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

Notary public wax stamper

IT’S THE LAW – By George Gunnink

SORRY, YOU GAVE IT AWAY!

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

A gavel and a red pen on a sounding block with a scales of justice in the background on a desk.

IT’S THE LAW – By Daniel Shim

Abe’s Will

What would you do if you were the Judge?  Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law.  Here is a fact pattern.  How would you decide who was at fault?  Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges.  Test your judgment!

Judge in court room writing report judge hammer

IT’S THE LAW – By George Gunnink

RUTH’s BEST INTEREST OR BETTY’S BEST INTEREST?

What would you do if you were the Judge?  Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law.  Here is a fact pattern.  How would you decide who was at fault?  Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges.  Test your judgment!

Two lawyers are discussing about contract paper.jpeg

IT’S THE LAW – By Daniel Shim

The Estate Trouble in the Gotham Family
 

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

Judge Issues Sentence with wooden gravel

IT’S THE LAW – BY George Gunnink
Never Gift a Witness!

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

partial view of blurred judge in robe holding gavel in court

IT’S THE LAW – BY CASSANDRA DOUMA

When Husband Henry and Wife Wendy tied the knot, they were both on their second marriage. Husband Henry bought a new house for the two of them to share. They also ran a Bed & Breakfast in the new house which brought in a modest amount of income.

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IT’S THE LAW – BY JASON SANGHA, GUEST WRITER

Walter passed away in 2015. He left a will naming all three of his adult children, Sarah, Daniel and Kim, as executors equally responsible for administering his estate after he passed. The three children were also the three equal beneficiaries named in the will.

judge with documents on table in office

THE ADEQUATE, JUST AND EQUITABLE WILL – BY COREY J. BOW

A couple from India immigrated to Canada and managed to build a wealthy farm. They had 4 daughters and 2 sons. As the children grew up, they were expected to work on the farm and contribute to the business. Not only did the daughters have to work on the farm, but they also had to do the family chores inside the family home. One daughter, who worked outside the family business, was expected to make her employment income available to the family business. As the family all worked together in the family business, they became wealthy and eventually owned a house in Vancouver and a 73-acre farm in Richmond.

Close-up of migration law document

REMAINS OF THE DEAD – BY COREY J. BOW

The Greek father of two children, Christophoros, made a will in 1978. In that will, he named his son and daughter to be executors of his estate and gave his entire estate to them as beneficiaries. In the 10 years before his death in 2010, he became estranged from his children and in April 2007, he made a new will that appointed his niece, Linda, as executrix of his estate. In that new will, he gave his entire estate to Linda’s son and completely disinherited his children. Chris’s adult children contested the will on the grounds of incapacity or undue influence.

Lawyer working with client at table in office

Nothing Can Be Said to Be Certain, Except Death and Taxes - By George Gunnink

Planner Polly did not want her estate to have to pay probate fees (tax) when she passed away. So, she did what many do to avoid these fees: she added her son, Oblivious Ollie, as a joint tenant on title to her home. At the same time, Polly did a new Will, which included a statement confirming that she intended to add Ollie as an owner of her assets with the intention that those assets would belong to him upon her death.

wills & estates

A Foster Family Forever - By George Gunnink

Foster Farley was a much-loved member of his foster family. To the end of his life on this earth, he was surrounded by and cared for by his foster siblings, with whom he had grown up since the age of 3. Farley was always treated as a full child by his foster parents, and even shared equally with his foster siblings in his foster mother’s estate when she passed. He knew nothing of his birth family, and at his date of death, his closest blood relatives were a birth aunt and niece in Switzerland, with whom he had no relationship. Farley died without a will, so his estate was destined for the Swiss relatives. 

paper cutting of a family in hands

The Preferred Roman Choice for Care – By Tyler B. Dennis

Julius Caesar returned to Delta, BC in 2019, after living abroad in Italy for nearly 50 years. His return had been facilitated by his nephew, Octavian after his uncle began to suffer the worsening onset of dementia. Prior to his return, Octavian had assisted his uncle by managing Julius’ finances and his medical care in Italy. Julius executed a Power of Attorney in 2015, naming Octavian as attorney. 

view of a hand holding a pen over a piece of paper

Continuing Affection - By George Gunnink

Alex and Ashley had a 30-year spousal relationship before they separated. It seems, however, that Ashley was not done with Alex. After their separation, she chose not to change her existing will, which left everything to Alex. She met with her lawyer over a number of months following the separation, to prepare a separation agreement and discuss her estate plan. Ashley’s friend suggested that she change her will, but she specifically stated to her lawyer that she did not want to do so and that she wanted Alex to receive her estate. In fact, she changed her power of attorney and representation agreement but chose to leave her will as it was.

view of a couple in a lawyers office

Till Death Do Us Part – By Stuart D. Robertson

Don and Debra lived together in unwedded bliss for almost ten years. When they started to live together, neither of them had much money, but they were able to purchase a home of their own with basically no money down. The property and mortgage had to be put into Don’s name only as Debra had some credit problems. They both took a lot of pride in their home and over the course of their ten-year relationship, they both put a lot of hard work and money into the property, including renovating and making regular lump sum mortgage payments. After about ten years, the home had tripled in value from when they had initially purchased it and the mortgage was paid off in full.

Estate Law and Wills

EXECUTOR BEWARE!

Claire left a will that she did not update after she separated from her husband. Upon her death, litigation ensued to try to sort out who should take on the executor’s duties and who should receive her estate. Rather than have a judge decide the matter, a settlement agreement was reached, where Claire’s late husband’s niece, Administrator Annie, would take on the executor’s duties (as an administrator) and the estate would be split 55% to her, and 45% to Claire’s nieces and nephews.

justice scale

WHOSE HOUSE IS IT, ANYWAY? - BY GEORGE GUNNINK

Jack and Jill were partners in a real estate venture. Many years ago, they purchased a property together, with each of them contributing one-half of the purchase price and closing costs. They found a renter for the property and opened a bank account together, where all the rent was deposited, and expenses were paid from. They each reported 50% of the income and expenses for the property on their tax returns.

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FAMILY LAW:

law and justice is represented by a mallet gavel of the judge

THE EXCLUDED GIFT

The parties had been married for 9 years. They had no children. Prior to the relationship, the Husband owned a house that the Wife moved into. The parties lived in this house for their entire relationship. The parties both spent a lot of time and money-making improvements to the home that was close to 100 years old. About 6 years into the relationship, the Wife was added to title to the house so that the Husband and Wife were on title as joint tenants. The Husband says he did this for estate planning purposes, and to take advantage of the homeowners grant and save on taxes, as the Wife was several years older than the Husband. The Wife thought of the transfer as a gift for all the hard work she had put into maintaining and improving the house.

IT’S THE LAW – By Tyler B. Dennis

Off with the Executor’s Head? 

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you determine who was at fault?  Fact patterns similar to this are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

Executor’s Head
view of a child holding an object

That’s All I Can Stands, ‘Cause I Can’t Stands No More – By Stuart D. Robertson

Popeye and Olive were together for several years before they separated. They had one child together named Sweet Pea. After a lengthy court battle, it was decided that Sweet Pea would live with Olive full time. At the time, Popeye had a great job as a spinach salesman. Popeye began paying support to Olive in cash. This continued for a couple of years until Popeye got sick of spinach and quit his job. Instead of trying to find a job right away, he decided to do some travelling. His travels quickly depleted his savings and he started going into debt trying to keep up with his child support payments. Eventually, he started missing payments. 

Conscious Un-Coupling

Conscious Un-coupling and Re-coupling and Support - By Stuart D. Robertson

Will and Grace were married for 25 years and had 2 children together. Grace gave up her job as an administrative assistant to stay at home with the children while they were young. Will continued to work at his job at ABC Incorporated throughout the marriage, where he worked his way up the corporate ladder to become Vice-President.

THE FALL OF ROME

Julia Caesar and Marco Brutus were happily married with no children. Several years ago, they had purchased a beautiful home in Cloverdale together, which they affectionately referred to as “Rome”. They purchased it for almost no money down and were both registered on title and on the mortgage. One day, Marco grabbed his robe and left Rome suddenly, saying the marriage was over and he was never coming back. Julia was shocked and felt as if she had been stabbed in the back by Marco. When Marco left, the value of Rome was largely the same as when they purchased it.

Family law

Woulda Coulda Shoulda got a Prenup - By Stuart D. Robertson

Magnum and Higgins started dating and fell madly in love. Higgins owned a beautiful home in Cloverdale that she had had for many years. Despite being advised by her friends and family to get a Prenuptial Agreement, Higgins and Magnum got married. Magnum proceeded to move into Higgins’ home. Higgins continued to pay for everything for the home, including the ongoing mortgage payments and property taxes.

Spouse laws

ARE YOU MY “SPOUSE”? – BY STUART D. ROBERTSON

Daphne and Duke started living together about ten years ago. Each had one child from a prior relationship. They all lived together in a home registered in Duke’s name only. Daphne and Duke made a point of keeping their finances separate, each making their own separate major purchases and Duke maintaining any expenses related to the house. Daphne paid Duke a monthly amount for her expenses. They both filed their respective income taxes as “single” each year. They each took rather limited roles in the care of the other’s child. While it is acknowledged that they did care for each other, Duke, on one occasion, went on vacation instead of staying home with Daphne after a hip replacement surgery.

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The Unintended Gift - By Stuart D. Robertson

The parties had been married for 9 years. They had no children. Prior to the relationship, the Husband owned a property that the wife moved into. The parties lived in this property for their entire relationship. The parties both spent a lot of time and money-making improvements to the home that was close to 100 years old. About 6 years into the relationship, the Wife was added to the title to the property so that the Husband and Wife were on title as joint tenants.

Prenuptial agreement .jpg

PREMATURE NUPTIALS

Anne and Henry had been married for about 5 years when they mutually decided to end their marriage. They worked together and agreed on how to divide all their assets and debts. Henry agreed to arrange and pay for the divorce. He decided to try and do it himself but had trouble completing the process through the courts, resulting in some delay. Henry eventually submitted the order for divorce with the court and was just waiting for it to be filed. Meanwhile, Anne kept asking him, on an all too regular basis, whether the divorce was complete. After Henry submitted the order to the court, he advised Anne that the divorce was complete in order to stop Anne from nagging him. Henry was unaware that Anne was in a new relationship and that she wanted to get remarried.

REAL ESTATE & MORTGAGES:

PICK YOUR BATTLES – BY GEORGE GUNNINK

Helpful Hanna was upset, as people often are when they resort to the courts. She had been very involved in her Aunt Annie’s businesses for many years and had also helped Annie with a lot of her personal affairs. Hanna figured she should be getting something for her efforts and became concerned when Annie made arrangements to transfer many of her assets to other family members. Hanna also discovered that Annie had signed a will that left all her estate to another niece. Hanna felt it was worth picking a fight over, as Annie’s assets were worth many millions of dollars. So, she started a claim, alleging that Annie had agreed to leave the bulk of Annie’s estate to Hanna by her will. While there was no formal written agreement, Hanna presented three letters that she said were written by Annie, confirming the alleged deal. In this case, unusually, Annie was alive to defend the claim and presented evidence of her own claiming that two of the alleged letters were not written by her. Experts were called upon to analyze the letters for authenticity, independent witnesses were called upon, and the judge had to weigh the credibility of the parties during the trial.

Real estate agents offer contracts to purchase or rent residential_

BUYER BEWARE! – BY TYLER B. DENNIS

The Pied Piper and his wife decided it was time to move from their home in Germany to Canada, after he was hired by a pest control company in Langley, B.C. The Piper family visited multiple homes and finally found a property and home they liked. The owner, Mr. Rat, provided them with a tour of the home. The Piper family liked the home and property so much that they agreed to purchase it.

BUYER BEWARE

A Gruff Limitation? - By Tyler B. Dennis

The three Billy Goats Gruff (“Goats Gruff”) lived in Pitt Meadows on a property that was too small to provide them with enough grass to eat. In 2013 they purchased a property in Langley which had a greater abundance of grass. To purchase the property, they borrowed 1 million dollars from their friend Mr. Troll, who lived under the Golden Ears Bridge, and who operated a lucrative tolling business.

A GRUFF LIMITATION

Don’t Make a Costly Mistake! - By Cassandra Douma

Barry Buyer was in the market to purchase a new home. Susy Seller had her home on the market, and after Barry viewed the property he made an offer which Susy accepted. The contract was subject to Barry obtaining financing and an inspection within 60 days. The contract also incorporated a Property Disclosure Statement (“PDS”) that Susy had completed about the condition of the property.

COSTLY MISTAKE

Little Red Riding Hood vs. the Big Bad Wolf - By Tyler B. Dennis

Little Red Riding Hood (“Little Red”) and her Grandma owned a house in rural Cloverdale that they were renting out to the Big Bad Wolf (“Wolf”). During a property inspection by Grandma and Little Red they found that unknown to them, Wolf had three sub-tenants, the Three Little Pigs, living with him.

Fact patterns

Home Sweet Home? - By George Gunnink

All Mary and her husband wanted was a place to live for the rest of their lives. That’s what they told Mary’s daughter and son-in-law when they gave the kids $150,000 to help them to buy a home with a suite that Mary and her husband could live in. At the time, they decided that they did not want to go on title to the home and, trusting that they would all get along, they did not put their agreement in writing.

Unfriendly Competition

Tough Sell – By Cassandra Douma

Seller Susie decided she wanted to move to a smaller home and put her house up for sale. Buyer Barry made an offer on Seller Susie’s house at the asking price of $950,000 which Susie Seller accepted. Buyer Barry paid the required deposit of $50,000 and removed the subjects included in the contract. 

a person working on a calculator

A Deal Too Good To Be True? – By Cassandra Douma

Developer Dan acquired a piece of land on which he wanted to build three townhouses to sell. Developer Dan hired Builder Barry to complete the drywall portion of the construction and hired Contractor Carl to complete the stucco work.

a person writing on a papers

old bylaws and new bylaws – By Tyler B. Dennis

Old MacDonald had a farm located just outside Victoria, B.C. In or around January 2019, Old MacDonald purchased a piece of bare land located outside Duncan, B.C., that was part of 27-unit bare land strata. Old MacDonald intended to construct a cannabis production facility on the newly purchased bare land. At the time of purchase, the zoning bylaws and strata corporation (the “Strata”) bylaws did not prohibit licensed commercial cannabis production on the bare land. 

a person working on a calculator

Real Estate and the GST… the Overlooked Tax? – By Tyler B. Dennis

Scipio Africanus (“Scipio”) immigrated to Canada from Rome in 2015, and in 2016, purchased a farm in Mission, B.C for $2,000,000.00 from Hannibal Barca (“Hannibal”) who had immigrated from Carthage in 2000. The Contract of Purchase and Sale was silent as to if GST was applicable in the transaction. Scipio’s lawyer sent vendor documents to Hannibal’s lawyer, one such document being a GST Certificate. Hannibal signed the Certificate declaring the property was “exempt from GST due to being used residential property.” The transaction was completed and Scipio took possession of the farm.

Businessman hands signing documents file paperwork financial or property mortgage real estate

Huff, and Puff, and …Good Faith Eviction? – By Tyler B. Dennis

The three little pigs lived in Abbotsford, B.C., within one block of each other. One pig lived in a straw house, one a wood house, and one a brick house. They all rented their properties from the Big Bad Wolf, who was their landlord. After the November 2021 flooding, the straw house and the wooden house collapsed (although rumours say it was blown down by unusually strong winds), so all the pigs moved into the brick house.

Three mini model house and keys on table

CIVIL LITIGATION:

businessman put a stamp on business contract in office

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? – BY COREY J. BOW

The Li family lived in China. The family became interested in immigrating to Canada after Mr. Li’s law school mate, Ms. Fung contacted him (20 years after she had moved to Canada). She offered to put them in contact with a Canadian immigration agency that would help with the process. According to Mr. Li, in the initial discussions, Ms. Fung said that she would not take any fees for her service but would merely receive a commission from the agency for her work as a self-described “errand runner” between the Li family and the agency.  

social media

TWITTER GETS SUED 

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

MacMillanTucker-0022

MISCREANT MOTORIST

What would you do if you were the Judge? Judges decide the facts based on evidence put before them, and then apply the law. Here is a fact pattern. How would you decide who was at fault? Fact patterns similar to this one are often presented in court and assessed by Judges. Test your judgment!

That’s Not What

That’s Not What I Bought - By Cassandra Douma

Betty Buyer needed a new car. She approached Shady Sean, a local car dealer, to see if he had any vehicles in stock which would suit her. Betty, who was not very knowledgeable about cars, was looking for a reliable vehicle that she could use to commute to work in Vancouver. She also wanted something with good fuel economy, given recent trends in gas prices. Sean told her he had exactly what she was looking for and showed Betty the new Acme Adventure he had in stock. Sean assured Betty that as the car was new and Acme was a great manufacturer she would have no issues.

CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL:

Unfriendly Competition - By Cassandra Douma

Employee Elliott worked at a pet store in Cloverdale owned by Bob Boss called Pets-R-Us. When Employee Elliott started at Pets-R-Us, he was asked to, and he did, sign an employment contract. The contract contained a clause which stated that when Employee Elliott left Pets-R-Us, he would not open up or work for another company that was in the business of selling pets, pet accessories, or pet food in the Lower Mainland for a period of ten years after his departure.

Unfriendly Competition

GINGERBREAD LEASE - BY TYLER B. DENNIS

Hansel and Gretel lived in a forested area of Surrey, B.C. As children, they had dreamed of opening a daycare centre so they set out to find a suitable space. Eventually, they found available space in a former gingerbread shop in a local shopping centre (the “Gingerbread Property”). Hansel and Gretel met the Gingerbread Property owner in January 2022, who turned out to be a real Witch. However, in spite of their misgivings, they decided to follow their dreams and negotiated and signed an Offer to Lease. The Offer to Lease included a move-in date of April 2022. It also contained a requirement for the Witch, as Landlord, to complete renovation work to the Gingerbread Property to bring it up to code and to ensure it could safely withstand little children invariably trying to eat it. (the “Offer”).

Gingerbread lease
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