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Trick or Treating Routes

Halloween is a little over a week away and I am sure you and your family are choosing what costumes to wear and planning both activities and trick or treating routes. During your preparations, it is important to consider some of the laws that may apply to the festivities. Before crossing the street to find [...]

By |October 23rd, 2018|Civil Litigation, Criminal, News, Uncategorised|

The Salem Witch Trials

In 1692 a group of young girls became sick in Salem Village, Massachusetts, suffering from vomiting, delusions and muscle spasms.  At that time life in New England was harsh.  The recent war between the British and France, a smallpox epidemic, and fears of attack from Native American tribes caused paranoia among the villagers, and as [...]

By |October 30th, 2017|Civil Litigation, Criminal|

Are there flowers in Nova Scotia that are illegal to pick?

Are there flowers in Nova Scotia that are illegal to pick? Surprisingly the answer is yes! Most of us know of “Lady Slippers” – they are a variety of wild orchid that grows in Nova Scotia. These flowers are renowned for their beauty, which is what prompts many people to pick them. Unfortunately, Lady Slippers have some reproductive quirks that, combined with their tendency to be picked, makes reproduction challenging. Lady Slipper reproduction Lady Slippers produce no nectar and rely on fragrance to lure insects into falling into their slipper-like pouch. This forces the insect to climb past the staminode on the way out, pollinating the flower on the way. In addition to preferring moist soil and shade, Lady Slippers also have a symbiotic relationship with a particular microscopic soil fungus, and their seeds will not germinate without the fungus present.  This makes Lady Slippers challenging (though not impossible) to grow indoors. Lady Slippers’ very specific growing requirements mean that you should not disturb those you find growing in the wild. Are they illegal to pick? There are four varieties of Lady Slipper that grow in Nova Scotia (one of which is the Pink Lady Slipper, pictured above). Only the Ram’s Head variety (cypripedium arietinum, pictured opposite) is listed as an endangered species pursuant to s. 12 of the Endangered Species Act. S. 13 of the Act makes it an offence to disturb a designated species. If you do as an individual you could face a maximum of a $5000 fine, or 6 months in jail, or both. Illegal or not, the best advice if you come across a Lady Slipper is look but don’t touch! To see the complete list of species designated under s. 12 of Nova Scotia’s Endangered Species Act click here.   […]

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By |June 26th, 2017|Criminal, Uncategorised|

Cell Phone “Use” While Driving: What does the law say?

Most of us know by now that texting and driving is dangerous and prohibited by law in Nova Scotia. Do you know, though, exactly what it means to “use” your cell phone while driving? A recent CBC article noted the high volume of cell phone driving tickets in British Columbia, which explicitly prohibits holding the [...]

By |May 31st, 2017|Criminal|

Privileged Communications

Rules of evidence are developed to assist the judge in his/her attempt to determine the true version of events, and therefore make a fair and responsible ruling. However, there are certain types of communications that are so important that they must be protected, even if this means that the truth may be obscured. These communications [...]

By |September 14th, 2016|Civil Litigation, Criminal, Family|

Sexual Abuse, Legally Speaking

Sexual abuse. It’s not an easy topic to discuss; nor is it an easy crime to disclose. People who have been sexually abused are often afraid and ashamed to admit it. Despite the silence, sexual abuse has occurred and continues to occur in our society. Silence allows it to grow in the shadows of our [...]

By |April 5th, 2016|Civil Litigation, Criminal|