Successful defence of BC SPCA

Branch MacMaster successfully defends the BC SPCA at trial seeking damages for conversion: Fentiman v. BC SPCA.

Pilot’s Physician Added as Defendant in Damages Claim Against Pilot

Chris Rhone and Adam Ueland of Branch MacMaster successfully applied to the B.C. Supreme Court to add a pilot’s physician as a defendant to an Action against the pilot in relation an an aircraft collision in Richmond, British Columbia. The Court rejected the physican’s argument that he was immune from prosecution pursuant to the federal Aeronautic’s Act. The full case is available on the court website: Zhang v. Garrison.

Court upholds BC SPCA’ s Decision regarding 70 cats

Chris Rhone of Branch MacMaster successfully defended the BC SPCA in a claim by a cat-owner seeking the return of 70 cats taken from her custody by the SPCA’s special provincial constables. Ulmer v. BCSPCA (February 12, 2010).

On February 25, 2010, the B.C. Court of Appeal refused a stay of proceedings, which allows the SPCA to adopt the cats: Ulmer v BCSPCA (B.C. Court of Appeal). Click on the following hyperlink for the Vancouver Sun article on the case 

BC SPCA Boarding Rates Upheld by B.C. Supreme Court

The B.C. Supreme Court has found the B.C. SPCA’s boarding rates for seized animals are reasonably charged to owners of seized animals at a rate of $15/day for dogs and $8/day for cats. The B.C. SPCA was represented in Court by Chris Rhone of Branch MacMaster. The full decision is available here: Haughton v BC SPCA, 2010 BCSC 406. For CBC News Coverage of the case follow this link: CBC Article.

Supreme Court of Canada hears Progressive v. Lombard

On April 20, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada heard a general contractor’s appeal concerning coverage under a CGL insurance policy issued by Lombard General Ins. Co. of Canada. Lombard was represented before the SCC by Ward Branch and Chris Rhone of Branch MacMaster, together with Michael Sobkin of Ottawa.

A live broadcast of the oral argument is available on the SCC website at the following: link to webcast.

Domain Name Dispute Dismissed in Favour of Vancouver Career College

Luciana Brasil successfuly defended a domain name dispute brought by Vancouver Community College against the Vancouver Career College. The CIRA panel concluded that the domain name should remain registered in the name of Vancouver Career College’s operators. The decision can be found on CIRA’s website at

Pyramid Scheme Class Action Filed in Federal Court

On May 4, 2010, Branch MacMaster filed a proposed class action in Federal Court against Business in Motion International Corporation, Alan Kippax and Ashif Mohamed. The claim alleges that the defendants operated an unlawful pyramid scheme and recruited participants by making certain prohibited representations about compensation.

More information is posted on the Plaintiff’s Class Actions portion of this site.

Supreme Court Clarifies Implied Undertaking Continues to Apply Despite Pre-Trial Motions

In Bodnar v. The Cash Store Inc., 2010 BCSC 660,  the Supreme Court accepted Branch MacMaster’s submissions that documents or evidence that are put before the Court in pre-trial motions or are filed by the contrary party remain subject to the implied undertaking of confidentiality. For the first time, the Court established the process to be followed whenever a party proposes to such document or evidence for purposes other than the litigation in which they were generated. The process includes a mandatory leave application when the party proposing to use the material was not the party that filed or used it during the pre-trial motions. Ward Branch and Luciana Brasil were counsel for the defendants in this application. 

Arbitration Clauses

Ward Branch quoted in Financial Post article on use of arbitration clauses in class actions: see

CBA Task Force on National Class Actions

Ward Branch appointed to CBA Task Forces studying the problem of overlapping class actions:

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