Business Law Question


For the assignment you will use the CanLII search engine to locate a case decision and then provide a two-to-three page memo about the case.


The easiest (and free) way to find Canadian case law is by using a website called CanLII (). is a website funded by Canadas lawyers and notaries which provides the public free access to legal cases and information.

CanLIIs search works similar to Google in that it uses Boolean operators ( , AND, +, OR., etc.) to connect words. If you would like a summary of how to search, there are two sample videos available at:

Additional CanLII search resources are noted below.

Finding An Appropriate Case

Cases on CanLII are identified by a legal citation which tells you the type of case. In our class, we only cover civil law topics (i.e. torts, contract, employment law, etc.), however, CanLII reports on a wide variety of legal topics like criminal and administrative law. For your case report, you should be reporting on a civil decision. The following is an example of a civil case citation:

Civil Case Citation: Malette v. Shulman (1990), 67 DLR (4th) 321 (Ont CA)

You must not use any of the following types of cases:

  • R. v. Person or Person v. R.
    • These are criminal law cases. For example: R. v Mathieu, [2008] 1 SCR 723.
  • Do not use any decisions which are from the following tribunals or agencies:
    • Human Rights Tribunal
    • Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunals
    • Privacy Commissioners
    • Labour Relations Boards.

Therefore, you are looking for a case with a citation like Professor v. Student from any of the following court levels:



Supreme Court of Canada




The BCPC and BCCRT typically have the easiest to read cases and so you should try looking through those court levels first. Ultimately, you may need to read through quite a few cases before you find an appropriate case for each report.

Completing a Case Report

To report or brief a case, you must first carefully read the decision to gain an overall understanding of the facts of the case, the decision rendered by the court, and the reasoning behind the courts decision. You must summarize in your own words what the judge said in the case and not give your own analysis of the decision. This is not a cut and paste activity you are to summarize the decision in your own words.

Your case reports should include the following sections:

  • Name, Student Number, and Full Case Citation (i.e. Fixter v. Student, 2020 BCCRT 13)
  • Facts: State the essential facts in the case. Be concise, including only relevant information.
  • Law: State the essential law that the judge used. Be sure to choose a case which highlights some of the legal ideas we covered during our law lectures.
  • Application: Identify the court’s response to the issues; explain the reasoning for its decision.
  • Conclusion: Provide a 2-5 sentence conclusion about the decision.

CanLII Search Functions

The following operators assist in narrowing down a search to find appropriate cases:

  • Phrase Search (“”) To search for a phrase, you can group words by typing them between quotes. For example: “duty of care”.
  • Boolean Search (AND, OR, NOT) To perform a search that combines or excludes terms, use the AND, OR and NOT operators. For example: warranty AND sale OR buy NOT car.
  • Proximity Search (/p, /s, /n) You can use proximity operators between your search terms in order to find documents containing at least one occurrence of terms that appear in the same paragraph (/p) or sentence (/s), or within n terms from one another (/n). For example: rent /5 arrears. This will find documents where the words rent and arrears are up to 5 words apart from each other.

Additional CanLII Search Resources

For further information on searching using CanLII, please refer to the following resources:

  • Videos with Sample CanLII Searches:
  • CanLII help page:
  • CanLII Primer:

Specific Instructions


This assignment can be done individually.


The employee gets into a fistfight with a co-worker.

Student Information

  • Please include your name and student number at the top of your case report.
  • Include the full case citation. For example: Malette v Shulman (1990), 67 DLR (4th) 321 (Ont CA)

Appropriate Case

  • Use a case which follows the specific case report instructions.
  • Be sure you are using a civil case and not a criminal or administrative tribunal decision.
  • Do not simply cut and paste statements from the decision or any other resource.
  • The case reports are about summarizing the decision in your own words.
  • Each case study should be a minimum of two-pages in length. Arial font, size 12, double spaced.



Due Date


Student Name: __________________________________________________

Grading Criteria

Criteria Expectations


Writing Technique
and Formatting

Student has selected an appropriate case.

Student has properly cited the full case.

Precise and effective use of spelling, grammar, usage, and writing mechanics.

Compliance with report sections. All required parts to the case report are addressed.

Report is readable and has an easy to follow narrative.

Meets or exceeds length requirement.

No wordiness or needless repetition, suspense, etc.

Student has not cut and pasted information from the decision, course materials, or previous work.



All relevant factual issues all identified and concisely canvassed.

Each fact is uniquely summarized/paraphrased and student has not cut and pasted from the decision.



All relevant legal principles/tests are identified and outlined.

Law is correctly stated.

Each legal aspect uniquely summarized/paraphrased and student has not cut and pasted from the decision.



Student has clearly stated how the relevant legal principles applied to the facts of the case.

Student has identified the relevant argument(s) that were persuasive to the judge.

Application is clear and concise.

Each aspect of the application is uniquely summarized or paraphrased and student has not cut and pasted from the decision.



Student has properly identified the key conclusion(s) in the case.


Instructor Comments and Total Mark




This is a short form example only. Your analysis must be more detailed.

McKinley v. BC Tel, 2011 SCC 38


The employee, Martin Richard McKinley, was a chartered accountant as BC Tel.he rose through the ranks of the company and developed health issues relating to high blood pressure.He took a leave of absence from work.He was consulting with his doctors during this time.When his termination was discussed, he asked for accommodation and alternative positions.Alternative employment with less responsibilities was not offer as those positions were filled by others when they came up.The employer terminated the employment based on frustration.The employee was terminated while he was still on leave. He was 48 years old, with 17 years of service.The employee rejected severance pay, saying he was constructively dismissed.

There was communication from a doctor that disclosed the employee could return to his previous position if he takes a beta blocker.The employee did not disclose this.The employer alleged there was dishonesty.The employee argue that he was wrongfully terminated and claimed compensatory damages, special damages, aggravated damages, damages for emntal distress, damages for intentional inflciaiton of mental suffering, and punitive damages.

The employer argued that:

  • the termination was in consultation with the employee,
  • a compensation package was offered,
  • the employees illness frustrated the object of the contract, and
  • the employee was terminated with cause.


Did the employees failure to reveal the doctors information constitute dishonesty that warranted dismissal for cause?


There needs to be a standard: the test is whether the employees dishonesty gave rise to a breakdown in the employment relationship.


The standard of dishonesty is what is relevant.The court found support for both positions regarding dishonesty and the degree thereof.The first set of cases outline the context, degree, and proportionality to be considered, along with the role of intention of the employee.The second set of cases outline that dishonesty is actionable as a matter of law.Dishonesty that ruptures the trust inherent in the relationship.

The test of reasonableness sets out that the jury verdict should not be interfered with, unless it is patently unreasonable.In the present case, the jury was not unreasonable to find that the employee was not dishonest to a degree warranting summary dismissal.The jury reasonably found that employee wanted to use the blood pressure medicine only as a last resort.This was not devised to deceive the employer.


The Supreme Court held that the employees dishonesty did not fundamentally undermine the employer-employee relationship.The employers response must be proportional to the employees conduct.