BenchPress--Vol 41-4.

Author:Mitchell, Teresa

Act of Meanness

A Quebec Superior Court Justice recently heard an unusual estate application. A Montreal area woman was convinced that her deceased brother's wife had been unfaithful to him. At a supper held after her brother's funeral, the woman played a video she recorded of a conversation her late brother and his wife had about a month before his death. The video chronicled accusations of infidelity on the part of the widow. The Justice commented: "The broadcasting of this tape at the supper after the funeral caused scandal, shock and humiliation for Madam and her kids, in front of members of the Armenian community who were in attendance...The court is of the view that broadcasting this illegal recording of a private conversation between spouses is not only blameworthy, but constitutes an act of meanness that must be punished." He found that the widow and her two children suffered significant psychological trauma, stress and anxiety as a result of the sister-in-law's actions. He ordered her to pay $40,000 in moral and punitive damages to the widow and her two children.

Ashegh (Succession de), 2016 QCCS 6157 (CanLII)

Lost by a Nose

Another unusual funeral event: a Nova Scotia man will serve six months in prison for biting a fellow mourner on the nose at a wake. Many of the mourners were inebriated and a brawl broke out. The accused argued self-defence, maintaining he was trying to keep his balance when he bit the other man on the nose. However, the judge smelled a rat. He said "Apart from acrobats such as the iron-jaw trapeze artist memorialized in the well-known painting by Degas, nobody keeps his balance with his teeth. People will use their arms, hands, legs or otherwise contort themselves when they need to maintain balance. People do not bite into other people to maintain posture." In addition to the jail sentence, the judge imposed 12 months of probation, a victim surcharge of $200, a DNA collection order and a ten-year firearm prohibition.

R.v. MacLean , 2016 NSPC 59 (CanLII)


Two law professors at the University of Ottawa have succeeded in being named "co-mothers", or "co-mamma's" as they like to say, for a young boy called Elaan. Natasha Bakht gave birth to the child through the use of a sperm donor. Her friend and colleague Lynda Collins, was her birth coach. Elaan...

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