Case Brief 002 — Small Claims Court

My case brief summaries this week are seriously interesting! One has to do with wedding planners from hell, and a home renovation gone horribly wrong. Read on to find out more!

Note: The cases this week are a bit longer and more complex than last week, and given I was down with the flu last weekend I am posting 3 this week instead of 4. I do notice there are several procedural details I am not able to explain very well, since I haven’t taken Small Claims Court in school yet. However, I do intend to do some research so I can come back and do an edit in the near future. If any of you are a bit confused I do apologize, but rest assured that I am working on it so stay with me! 😀

Graham v Total Wedding & Event Centre Ltd., 2015 CanLII 46106 (ON SCSM)


Representation: Ms. H.C. Graham & Mr. J.R.Heibein (plaintiffs are self-represented);  Mr. Timothy C. Ellis (Paralegal for the Defendant)


  • Plaintiffs are a couple, and they hired the defendants as wedding planners to help with their wedding ceremony and reception on August 16, 2014
  • Plaintiffs suing for breach of contract – claim they were grossly overcharged for service provided, caused them mental distress
    •  suing for $5,616.05 in total including aggravated and punitive damages
  • Confusion over the actual names of the defendants; issue with their credibility
  • Plaintiff claim sum of $992.30 were overcharged for “add-ons” they did not agree to
  • Defendant collected additional $2,121.00 from the plaintiffs 6 days before the wedding
  • Defendants gave plaintiffs only $710 credit for a reduction in the guest list from 130 to 88
  • Defendants did not pay the sum of $123.75 to the caters of the reception, even though they were contracted to pay the caterers in full; Plaintiffs paid this amount instead to ensure the caterers would actually show up
  • Defendants did not show up at the wedding
  • Decorations and overlays provided by defendants to decorate the ceremony venue had “unduly large and unsightly creases, that some were torn and some had foodstains or other defects”


Issues/Court’s Decisions

  1. Contracting Parties – Plaintiffs were initially given business cards to where in fact they were dealing with Mr. Usmani and Ms. Angeles. Charges to the plaintiff’s credit cards showed several different names and entities which adds to the confusion as to whether they were dealing with the company or just Mr. Usmani and Ms. Angeles. Email communication between the parties only ever listed personal identification. Mr. Usmani’s first name also differs between what is shown on documents and how he refers to himself in court and in emails. In his closing submissions, the defendants agreed that the contract was between the plaintiffs and Mr. Usmani and Ms. Angeles, that the corporate identity of “Total Wedding Events Ltd” would be dismissed as one of the defendants. The court agrees. Judge Winny also points out that this confusion of names and identities “does nothing for the credibility” of Mr. Usmani and Ms. Angeles.
  2. Overcharge – Mr. Usmani testifies that Ms. Graham agreed to the charge over the phone, and the “add-on” items were included in the contract and there was email confirmation, but no evidence was put forward to prove this. Ms. Angeles later agrees that there was billing errors on their part but never paid this money back. Mr. Usmani demanded that the plaintiffs pay the balance of $2,121.00 6 days before the wedding. The plaintiffs did pay under protest despite no resolution on the billing errors. Judge Winny finds that the add-on charged for chair covers were clearly covered in the contract and NOT an add on. Mr. Usmani claim there was an error on the contract which Judge dismisses. The court does find that Ms. Graham agree to some of the extra charge, just not the total amount.
  3. Caterer’s fee – It is the defendant’s obligation under the contract to pay the caterers in full. They failed to do so, and the plaintiffs had to pay the remaining balance so the caterers would show up at their wedding. The court finds that the plaintiffs are entitled to recover this money back.
  4. Ceremony and Reception Deficiencies – The defendants provided defected wedding decorations, failed to set up the venue, and did not show up for the actual day to make sure everything was running smoothly. They had failed to do what they were paid and contracted to do, and task were left for the bride and groom to deal with. The court finds this sort of behavior and attitude inexcusable.
  5. Damages – Court rules in favour of the plaintiff and grants them $2000 total in aggravated damages. Dismisses their claim for punitive damages given other damages already awarded.


Conclusion: The plaintiff’s claim is granted in part, they were overcharged, and the defendants are found to be liable jointly and severally. Judgment is $4,233.75 against the defendants, with costs fixed at $300 all inclusive.



Prykas v CPR Media, 2015 CanLII 56071 (ON SCSM)


Representation: Mr. Richard Bowers (Paralgel for the Plaintiff); Rajneesh Sharda (Counsel for the Defendant)


Background: Plaintiff Robert Prykas was working for the defendant corporation on contract providing handyman work in Brampton, ON. The defendant corporation is a “media planning and buying agency”, and Mr. Prykas was described as a “versatile, dependable, and industrious man” working full time for the company. There are no complains about Mr. Prykas’ quality of work. Issue for this claim arises out of several clauses in their service contract where it states that Mr. Prykas is required to pay for his own insurance out of his wages ($30/hr). Mr. Prykas started working for the company in 2008 and this was never an issue until January 2013 where the defendant company insisted that Mr. Prykas get his proof of insurance sorted out. Evidently this never got sorted out and starting July 2013 the company stopped paying Mr. Prykas wages until when he quit in December 2013. The company’s position is by docking months of wages, it was to pay for all the insurance coverage Mr. Prykas never paid for ever since he started working for them. Mr. Prykas now sues for lost wages totaling $33.448.10. The company arrived at this amount by way of the accountant informing Mr. Prykas that they were going to deduct $5 from his hourly wage for his failure to secure the insurance coverage for all these years. It is unclear how the amount of $5 was arrived.


Issues/ Court’s decisions:

  • Did the defendant CPR Media give up its right to find Mr. Prykas liable? — The doctrine of “estoppel by acquiescence” or “estoppel by encouragement”, a form of equitable jurisdiction (ultimately in favour of Mr. Prykas) may be applied here, if found that by asserting the strict legal rights it would be unconscionable. In order for the court to do so, three key elements must be met:
  1. Inducement, encouragement or acquiescence – CPR Media chose not to assert or challenge Mr. Prykas until January 2013, and still did not take action until end of July 2013 where they finally put him on notice and was going to start docking him $5.00 per hour. The court finds that it meets the standard for acquiescence, which is non-action.
  2. Detrimental reliance – It is clear from evidence that Mr. Prykas relied upon the inaction of the company. Everything was business as usual for 4 years
  3. Unconscionability – CPR Meida is planning on not paying Mr. Prykas for 5 months worth of work in order to pay for all the insurance that he allegedly owes — even though they never did anything for 4 years. The court finds this “patently unfair and highly prejudicial”
  • Is the court going to allow any deduction from Mr.Prykas’ wages? Yes. Although the court did fine some accounting errors on evidence presented by CPR Media, the court will allow CPR media its requested set-off payments of insurance owed, but only from the time they stopped paying Mr. Prykas till when he finally left the company (5 months)


Conclusion: The judgment is in favour of the plaintiff, Mr. Prykas, for wages owed for the 5 months he worked, which is around $30K but reduced to $25,000 to comply with the maximum monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court. Minus $5/hr during those months for insurance deductions, and HST.


Spavest Inc. (Lu) v Wu, 2015 CanLII 36628 (ON SCSM)

Representation: Mr. Timothy C. Ellis (Paralegal for Plaintiff); Ms. Jennifer M. Krotz (Counsel for the Defendant)


Background: [Home Renovation Gone Wrong] — This was a five-day trial in the Kitchener Small Claims Court with Deputy Judge J. Sebastian Winny presiding. Mr. Lu (the Defendant) worked on renovations to a student housing property recently purchased by Mr. Bao and Ms. Wu (the defendants) for 6 weeks. Mr. Lu was under the impression that he was helping out friends, but would be compensated at a “friendly discounted” rate nonetheless. Ms. Wu used to be Mr. Lu’s vocal teacher, they were all friends, and claims Mr. Lu agreed to work for them on a volunteer basis. They also claim damages against Mr. Lu because he was allegedly liable for the cost to repair deficiencies in his work. Both parties had nothing in writing, no agreement on price. However, the defendants did make two payments of $1,000.00 to Mr. Lu during the time he was working for them, but claims they were “gifts of appreciation” and not compensation for his work.



  • Parties’ credibility: Judg Winny finds significant issues in the parties’ testimony. The defendants often offer lengthy oral testimonies that had nothing to do with the case. They submitted evidence that were filled with errors and relied on evidence subject to doble-hearsay. Documents were created and presented as the trial went along, and Judge decided they were unreliable to the point that they seemed to have made up the evidence (of what Mr. Lu worked on and when) as they went along. Judge found that Mr. Lu also inflated his number of hours worked, but his version of the story was much closer to the truth
  • Nature of Mr. Lu’s work: Judge found the defendant’s claim that Mr. Lu volunteered his work on this project for free to be preposterous. Defendants have never before paid Mr. Lu “gifts of gratitude”, they were also renovating this property for commercial use (student housing), and commerce most likely involves money, therefore it is not reasonable to assume money and compensation is not part of the picture
  • Whether Mr. Lu was a contractor or employee: Judge found that Mr. Lu worked on this project under the direction of Mr. Bao, and the defendants served as their own general contractor because they also hired other workers to complete this entire renovation project of their properties. Mr. Lu was not working on this project on his own account so he is deemed an employee in this case
  • Whether Mr. Lu was wrongfully dismissed: Both parties understand that Mr. Lu was only going to be working on this project until a Mr. Li takes over to finish the project. Judge finds all three parties were consistent that Mr. Lu was only working on this temporarily. Therefore upon terminating Mr. Lu’s involvement there are no wrongful dismissal concerns here
  • Monetary Compensation: Mr. Lu originally calculated his claim based on the assumption of working $45 per hour for the number of hours he worked. Based on the common ground that he would be working for a “friendly discount”, his hourly rate is reduced to $13/hr. It is evident that he also modestly inflated the number of hours worked, so the number of hours worked will be discounted by 10%. Judge accepts that Mr. Bao also helped Mr. Lu in this project (even though he owns the property, but this is their oral agreement that he will help), but because he has zero prior experience his hourly rate will be $11/hr. Due to his significant lack of credibility, the number of hours he’s worked is discounted by 60%. Therefore the defendants are entitled to a set-off of this amount that Mr. Bao has worked. (this amount will be reduced from the amount they have to pay to Mr. Lu)
  • Cost: Cost is also a point of concern in this case due to the length of the trial. Judge Winny specifically noted that this was the longest trial he’s sat on in his 8 years being judge. He criticizes the defendants for producing surprise documents during the trial. The defendants certainly took up the majority of the 5-day trial, however, the plaintiff did also exaggerate his claim. Therefore cost is awarded to the plaintiff for both his own original claim, and for his success in the defendant’s claim against him. No penalty cost award against the defendants were ordered (even though there are good grounds for them to have to pay the penalty in this case)


Until next week!



Top 5 Favourite Coffee Recipes

I can’ t believe I completely missed out on “National Coffee Day” yesterday! This is one “national” social media  day that I can get behind 😉 Now you guys know I like to keep things real here, so these are coffees I actually drink at least 2 or 3 times a week. My go-to is obvioulsy plain coffee with cream and sugar but that’s no fun right? We like to keep things at least a little bit intersting here :p

Full disclosure: I am a long-time Starbucks fan (yes I am one of those), so this is mainly centered around what I would order when I go to Starbucks, which is quite often. I am also a firm believer that a morning cup of joe shouldn’t cost $6.50 a piece.

Let’s get right into it! (in no particular order of preference)

  1.  Cinnamon Americano — this is a grande size Americano straight off of the menu: 3 shots of espresso plus piping hot water with room for cream and sugar (if you are so inclined). What I do is I pour in some milk until it’s almost to the top of the cup, and finish it off with some coffee cream. You can certainly skip the cream, because I find that by adding the hot water to the espresso it makes the drink very smooth already in comparison to regular coffee, so cream here is actually optional. I then sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the coffee along with some nutmeg. If I’m feeling fancy I often add a dash of vanilla powder too. All this can be found at the condiment bar… and there you have it, perfect for the fall season and that sudden craving for all things cinnamon and spice 😉 On a side note, I personally think this may be a better way to get your caffeine fix on a budget than other “starbucks hacks” out there. For one, you avoid the awkwardness of having to ask for extra ice/cup/milk etc to create your concoction, and a grande Americano here in Canada is only $3.10 tax included. Not bad in my opinion, because usually this will get me through most of the day.
  2. Caramel Iced Coffee —  This is probably the most complicated one on my list but I promise it’s delicious: I would order a grande ice coffee (not the cold brew ice coffee usually, unless I am really really tired) in a venti cup, and ask for extra ice to be filled all the way to the top. I will ask for 1% milk, 1/2 or 1 pump of caramel syrup (depending on my mood), and caramel sauce “Cali-style” –meaning caramel sauce drizzle all around on the inside of the cup and on top. The reasoning for this is so that the caramel suace will drip into the bottom of the cup slowly instead of clumping all together. By doing so you end up with a very even spread of caramel flavour as you sip along. At first I thought this is just some snobby coffee terminology, but I tried it myself and I am a believer: it’s so good! You get little clumps of caramel here and there and because I don’t like my coffee overly sweet anyways, it is just the perfect amount of sweetness with an intense caramel flavour. Oh and the extra ice keeps your drink nice and cold for a long time, make sure you get a sleeve though because your hands WILL be wet after a while due to the condensation. All inclusive this usually comes out under $4 including tax. Shout out to Alex from HRH Collection for this inspiration on one of her recent vlogs <3<3
  3. Double Shot On Ice — This used to be on the menu when I was in high school but I haven’t seen it come back since then. Good thing is every barista I’ve come across knows exactly what this is and it’s a great pick me up for when you don’t want to drink a whole big thing of liquids (I usually get this late in the afternoon or early evening when I’ve had lunch/dinner but I’m feeling that food coma :p). It’s simply two shots of espresso, with milk and sweetner (you can choose whatever you want), shaken together with ice and viola! The coffee flavour is intense in this one so you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Instant Iced Coffee — I found out about this purely by accident. I had some instant coffee lying around the house and I saw online how people were making greek frappes out of a special kind of instant coffee. So I thought I would give it a try with what I have and it turned out amazing! I take two generous heaping table spoons of instant coffee, put it in a tumbler, and add just enough room temperature/cold water so I can dissolve it. If you are using sugar cubes or granulated sugars you can add that in here too so it dissolves with the coffee. Use a spoon (the straw that comes with the tumbler will work too) and stir virgorously, until a layer of foam forms on top of the coffee. Then add ice cubes all the way to the top of your tumbler, and then pour in as much or as little milk as you want. If you are using syrups this would be a good time to stir that in. Give it a quick stir to make sure everything is combined and that’s it! Sip and be surprised how similar (if not even better) it tastes compared to store bought iced coffee. This is my favourite tip because you can make it at home, you have total control, and it is SUPER budget friendly.
  5.  Red Eye Latte — I call this a red eye latte simply because this is what I get when I need something on the milder side, something hot, and something more substantial (aka when I am skipping breakfast), but also gives me the kick that I need to get through the day. This is the easiest one: add an extra shot of espresso to your latte. I don’t know if it’s just me but I find that 2 espresso shots in a grande latte drink is simply NOT enough (talking like a true addict here, seriously), this is a pricier choice for sure but my rationale when I think I deserve to splurge on my morning coffee is: go big or go home. An extra shot definitely gives the latte a much richer taste and it doesn’t make the drink at all bitter in my opinion. so it’s definitely worth a try on those mornings when you simply cannot. get. up.


So here we have it folks! My top 5 favourite coffee drinks at the moment. I can talk about coffee all day, so if you’ve read this far thank you! Be sure to let me know because by now, I need to take YOU out for a coffee <3



What is YOUR favourite drink? I’d love to know! 

Case Brief 001- Small Claims Court

Welcome to my first case brief summary! Starting this week I will be posting 4-5 case brief summaries every Sunday taken from recent court decisions published on CanLII (The Canadian Legal Information Institute). The cases I pick will generally fall within the paralegal scope of practice, and I do try to pick cases where one of the parties are represented by a paralegal. I believe this will be a good way for those of you interested in the profession to gain a better understanding of “what paralegals actually do”. This was done in an effort to keep myself reading and informed of the law while in school, and for readers who may find this interesting and helpful. The summaries are for educational purposes only, and is not meant to be used as legal advice.

Kicking off this week, all four cases are taken from Small Claims Court in Ontario. The topics coverd include rental agreements, arrears of rent, recovery of debt (at or under $25,000.00) and privity of contract. Disclaimer: I’m entirely new to writing case briefs, so please bear with me as I work on finding the best way to distill relevant information from each case and present it to you guys in the most efficient manner possible. I welcome (aka. want more than anything) all constructive criticism and feedback 🙂

Stamm Investments Limited v Ryan et al., 2015 CanLII 52577 (ON SCSM)

Representation: Mr. B. Parsons (paralegal for Plaintiff), no appearance for defendants


  • Residential tenancy matter, former landlord (Stamm Investments) suing for unpaid rent against former tenants (Ryan & Marks), and their guarantor
  • Tenants late with rent, a mediated settlement was reached but tenants defaulted again
  • Landlord obtained termination of tenancy on August 15, 2013
  • Worked things out with tenants and did not pursue eviction, tenants started paying rent again until December 2013. Stopped paying rent, evicted and moved out of unit on January 20, 2014 (still under 6 months expiry date on eviction order)
  • Landlord under the impression tenants have to pay rent for another 60 days ater eviction
  • Landlord claims unpaid rent from December 2013 to March 2014, sheriff’s fee for eviction, cleaning fee and unpaid hydro

Issues/Court’s decision:

  1. Do tenants have to pay rent from after they moved out on January 20 until March 2014? NO. Tenants have no obligation to pay rent after tenancy is terminated by the Residential Tenancy Board
  2. What about rent for December 2013 and from January 1 to January 20, 2014? Residential Tenancy Board has exclusive jurisdiction on the matter of unpaid rent, not under Small Claims Court jurisdiction
  3. Can landlord claim the sheriff’s eviction fee (cost to enforce the eviction) of $325? No. Small Claims Court has no jurisdiction for claims against tenants for enforcement costs
  4. Is the landlord successful in claiming cleaning costs? No. Landlord only provided affidavit with no detail how the $65 was charged, lacks proper supporting documentation.
  5. Is the landlord successful in claiming unpaid hydro bills? No. Hydro bill provided did not point to the unit tenants were occupying; only showing that hydro billed the entire building. Not enough evidence. Since rent from after tenants moved out cannot be enforced, hydro for those months won’t be enforced either.
  6. What can the landlord be awarded then? Actually nothing because it turns out the landlord actually owes tenants money. Tenants made partial payment of December 2013 rent, combined with last month’s rent already paid to landlord actually exceed amount owing. But since tenants did not file a claim for that money this claim is entirely dismissed.
  7. What about the guarantor? Can’t he/she be made to pay? No. The Landlord and Tenant Board have no jurisdiction over guarantors. So normally Small Claims Court can actually hear a claim regarding guarantor. However, because no money is actually owed by the tenants, there is no claim against the guarantor in this case.
  8. Does the guarantor have to pay the sheriff’s fee? No. If the tenants aren’t liable for the sheriff’s fee, and the guarantor’s liability is co-extensive with that of tenants, then the guarantor is not liable either.

Conclusion: The landlord (plaintiff)’s claim against the tenants are dismissed because it’s not within Small Claim Court’s jurisdiction. Even if it were under the court’s jurisdiction, would have been dismissed regardless due to lack of merit. Claim against guarantor is dismissed also.

U-Haul Company of Canada Ltd. v Cambridge Moving Supplies and Trailer Hitches, 2015 CanLII 52506 (ON SCSM)

Representation: Mr. Timothy C. Ellis (paralegal for the Plaintiff), Mr. Hootan Vani (Self-represented)


  • Plaintiff sues for amount owing with defendant, Mr. Vani when plaintiff terminated their business agreement in August 2014
  • Vani admits to owing about half of the amount claimed by plaintiff, but alleges that a variety of things owed to him by U-haul more than offsets his debt:
    • Alleges U-Haul and plaintiff of committing fraud, error is accounting
    • Alleges U-Haul owes him commission amounts set out in contract
    • Alleges U-Haul withdrew money from his business account without permission, constituting invasion of privacy
    • Claims damages of $16,000 to the asphalt of the property where his business is located by employee of U-Haul
    • Asking for punitive damage of $5000

Issues/ Court’s Decision:

  • Does the defendant (Vani) owe the plaintiff (U-Haul) money? Yes. Sufficient financial documentation satisfies balance of probabilities that they do.
  • Did U-Haul commit fraud? Did they have error in accounting? No. Vani did not establish on balance of probabilities U-Haul had error in accounting, it was mostly his wishful thinking
  • Does U-Haul owe him commission payments? No. Their contract says that commission incentives only payable if certain conditions are met. Vani did not meet these conditions. Even though U-Haul has paid in the past doesn’t mean they are legally liable to keep doing so, and waive the conditions if terms specified in contract are not met.
  • Was there an invasion of privacy? Not sufficient evidence to prove so. Judge Winny was not satisfied that a redacted item on a bank statement enough to prove U-Haul did go into their account and withdrew that money. Merely showed there was a transaction on that date shown.
  • Will Vani be awarded punitive damages? No. Judge Winny found no basis for such a “rare and exceptional” award
  • Is U-Haul liable for the damage to the asphalt? No. Asphalt found (through photo exhibition) to be in much disrepair in the first place. The alleged incident where a U-Haul employee caused the damage is not considered an absolute liability in law, so its either negligence or just an accident. Vani did not establish all elements required to prove negligence, and because the asphalt was in such a state where it’s very susceptible to damage anyways, Judge Winny found this to be an accident Ă  U-Haul not liable, neither are they vicariously liable for their employee’s conduct
    • Vani not eligible to sue anyways because he did not own the property

 Conclusion: Defendant would have benefited a great deal if he had legal representation. He failed to prove much of his allegations, or had no standing to the amount he was claiming. His claim was ultimately dismissed, and he is to pay costs. Judgment granted to the plaintiff’s claim, and is ordered to pay costs too.

Hammond Transportation Limited v Carey, 2015 CanLII 52709 (ON SCSM)

 Representation: V. DeCaire (paralegal for the Plaintiff), D.Ryan (counsel for Defendant, Frank Demasi)


  • Hammond provided bus services to a hockey club
  • Hockey club was later sold to Cary, Fisher and Demasi
  • The owners assumed debts of the hockey club including $25,000.00 owing to Hammond for outstanding bus services they provided
  • Fisher filed consumer proposal in bankruptcy soon after club was purchased, so he is excluded from this debt for the purpose of this case
  • Carey settled with Hammond [on his own] and agrees to pay $9,000.00 Ă  which makes Demasi the focus of this case
  • Demasi argues they are suing the wrong party, should go after the previous owners who contracted with Hammond, and Hammond was not a party of the contract [explicitly], so Demasi should be saved by privity of contract rule

Issues/ Court’s Decision:

  • Can Demasi be saved by the privity of contract rule? No. Deputy Judge Lange cites SCC’s decision in Fraser River which set out that a third party (not named in the contract) may be able to sue on the contractual terms if this party benefits from the contract, and seeks to rely on the terms of the contract. Clearly this applies to Hammond: He seeks to benefit from being contracted for his bus services and relies on the contractual terms to recover the debt. The court found that Carey’s settlement with Hammond (for the $9000) is enough to confirm this intention. Thus privity of contract rule cannot save Demasi.
  • Is Demasi liable for the debt? Yes. Because Demasi signed the purchase agreement of the club as one of the owners at the time and the contract assumed Hammond’s historical debt.
  • Demasi states that he never actually became an owner of the club after the agreement was signed, and never got any profits, will this help him in this case? Not in this case. Judge finds Demasi still liable [because he did sign the contract after all]. He may have a cause of action against the other owners Carey and Fisher to recover the debt from them but that is a different proceeding. Keeping in mind that Fisher filed a consumer proposal already(which means he is legally released from his debts if the proposal went through).


AF Controls Canada Inc. v Metro Condominium Corporation 581 and Kamal Patel, 2015 CanLII 54163 (ON SCSM)

Representative: Rauf Ahmad (President of AF Controls Canada Inc.) representing his company; Mr. S. Malik (licensed paralegal) for the defendant


  • This is a new written submission from both parties after the matter against the defendant was previously dismissed. Deputy Judge Marr allowed parties to make written submissions and here they are
  • AF (plaintiff) seeks $7,892.81 for unpaid fire protection services provided to MTCC 581, a condominium corporation (defendant)
  • MTCC 581 contests the legitimacy of the invoices being billed to them
  • AF testified and produced exhibits in court showing the invoices kept on Quickbooks, the contract they signed with MTCC 581 for the work
  • Technician who worked on the project from AF and superintendent at MTCC 581 testified to completion of the work and signing of the work orders
  • MTCC 581’s current property manager testified but essentially couldn’t comment for or against the company, he did not receive the paperwork upon taking over
  • MTCC 581 produced no evidence to defend its case and on cross-examination of the witnesses, was unable to disprove AF’s evidence

Issue/Court’s decision:

  • Does MTCC 581 have to pay the debt owed to AF? Yes. The court makes a finding of fact that the evidence put forward by the plaintiff is enough to prove, on a balance of probabilities that MTCC 581 does owe them the money
  • How will the cost/interest be dealt with in this case? If the plaintiff wishes that the defendant pay costs and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, they need to serve written submissions to each other and all documents/correspondence must be filed with the court by the given dates in the decision and in compliance with the Courts of Justice Act.
Save on Textbooks (feature image)

How to Save on Textbooks?

Hey everyone! It’s been a while and I’m back today for a new post (finally) on a topic that I think a lot of us students out there have struggled with: How to save on textbooks?!

During my time away, I finished my first semester as a paralegal student and is now settling into my second. I know it’s way past back-to-school season, but I figured better late than never. So here’s what I’ve learned over the years when it comes to saving some hard-earned cash legally (we do things legit around here 😉

  1. Number one rule: BUY USED/SECOND HAND TEXTBOOKS — avoid and fight the new textbook smell/allure at all costs!
  2. Start looking as soon as you get the book list — the number of sellers may be less than you think, some people do want to keep their textbooks for reference purposes (myself included). So start looking early, especially if your textbook is in a very specialized field
  3. Ask/email your prof to ensure the latest edition is actually necessary — Profs don’t always know, especially when they didn’t do the revision themselves, but it never hurts to ask. Some profs like to use very detailed, textbook oriented powerpoint slides/teaching material, so in that case I’d say the prescribed text isn’t 100% essential to your success (also means you probably shouldn’t skip all the classes :p). Other profs do not use powerpoint at all, and/or goes completely off script, in that case I’d say seriously consider just buying the textbook (if only for your own sanity when finals hit)
  4. Check the school library — In my experience, the school library usually have one or two copies of the text on reference. If you are good with studying in the library for a longer period of time, definitely consider just reading the prescribed chapters in the library. You don’t have to buy the textbook at all, and I think it may even give you motivation to do the readings ahead of time to avoid the chance the book is checked out by someone else. I’ve never tried this but I do know some classmates who advoate for this method with a passion.
  5. Kijiji — This is my go-to. I know a few other websites (mostly based in the US) that does textbook buy/sell/exchange, but in Toronto, this is where most sellers post their textbooks for sale. I strongly recommend buying/selling textbooks in person, one to avoid shipping charges, and two you get to meet the owner of the book and ask about first-hand tips of the course before you even take it! That’s a win-win in my book (bad pun intended). One downside to Kijiji or any local meet up resale is that you are still dealing with a stranger, and they don’t always keep their word even if they agree to sell the book to you. I’ve had instances where we’ve agreed on the price, time, location of the meet-up but it fell through because the seller sold it to the first person willing to drive up to their house with the money. So be prepared and have a back up, contact a few sellers, and brush it off if the “deal” fell through. We are all human, it happens.
  6. Look at another school/campus’ forum/Facebook group — Check to see if your course/program is offered anywhere else in the city, and try and see if you can post an ad on that school/campus’ textbook exchange site. Make sure you include the actual ISBN of the book because course codes are most likely different.
  7. Check the publisher’s website for the ebook version — This is especially relevant and lesser known for the paralegal textbooks. The publisher for all of our textbooks offer ebook versions for about $20 less than if you were to buy the new physical copy. This is a great option if you really can’t find the text but needs that exact edition for your course, and you don’t mind reading on the computer. Sometimes the ebooks may be further discounted if you are okay with only having access to it for a limited period of time. Check to see if your publisher have this option for you to choose from.

I know these are pretty simple, basic tips and you’re probably screaming “duh! we know!”, but they are tried and true for me, so I thought I’d cover all my bases and make sure to get the word out  😉

Let me know in the comment below your experience when it comes to buying textbooks!


(Feature image by Dustin Lee @