An experienced litigator and labour and employment law advisor, JP helps clients avoid, resolve and successfully litigate disputes that combine complex conflict with high financial stakes. His clients include employers and business owners, as well as sports associations and individuals involved in conflict over estates. JP works closely with his clients to identify and understand the motivations and sensitivities of the parties involved and strives to find innovative and timely solutions that allow his clients to resolve or litigate their dispute quickly and effectively.
J.P. Zubec has a diverse practice. He advises and represents businesses in employment and labour law issues that occur at all stages of an employment or labour life-cycle, including issues that arise out of a purchase and sale of a business. As an advisor, J.P. regularly reviews and drafts employment agreements, contractor agreements, non-solicitation and non-competition agreements and workplace policies for businesses and senior executives, including public servants. He also provides risk management advice with respect to terminations, human rights issues and collective bargaining.
An experienced litigator, J.P. has a successful track record, appearing before the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Canada, the Divisional Court, the Superior Court of Justice, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ministry of Labour, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario as well as grievance and private arbitrators. His clients value his common sense approach to resolving disputes and his ability to anticipate, plan for and explain each stage of the litigation process. J.P's years of experience in complex and often highly emotive disputes allows to him effectively represent clients in a wide variety of conflicts, including estate litigation matters, shareholder disputes, judicial review applications, privacy matters, defamation claims, as well as the complete spectrum of labour and employment matters.
Originally, from Winnipeg, J.P. was a professional hockey referee before becoming a lawyer. While studying law, he served as a Program Manager for Sport Solution, a clinic that assists Olympic and National Team athletes with legal issues related to selection, discipline and carding. J.P. relies on this experience when representing and advising a number of national and regional sports organizations with respect to a wide variety of issues such as litigation matters, human rights complaints, collective bargaining and general counsel and risk management advice.
Some of J.P.'s recent work highlights include:
Summary Judgment Motion Dismissed
JP successfully represented an employer in a summary judgment motion brought by a former employee, who was claiming approximately two years' salary and alleging that the parties had entered into a two-year fixed term employment contract. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the employee's motion with costs: Besseau v. Seprotech Systems (unreported dated July 19, 2013)
Human Rights Complaint Dismissed
JP successfully represented Carleton University before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in a case brought by a graduate student who was withdrawn from a program after her request to extend the deadline for completing the program was denied and her appealed dismissed. During the appeal process, for the first time, the Applicant notified the University that she was suffering from a purportedly serious health issue. The University denied the appeal, but made a subsequent attempts to reinstate and accommodate the Applicant, which failed. The Applicant filed a complaint as a result, alleging that she had suffered discrimination and the University had failed to accommodate her disability. The Applicant sought an order reinstating her into the program as well as damages for future lost wages. At the conclusion of the seven day hearing, JP successfully convinced the Tribunal to dismiss the Application after proving that the Applicant’s disability was not a factor in the decision to withdraw her from the program and deny her appeal; the Applicant failed to prove that she had a disability-related need that required accommodation and, in any event, the Applicant caused the accommodation process to fail: Liu v. Carleton University, 2015 HRTO 621 (CanLII)
Human Rights Complaint Summarily Dismissed
JP successfully sought an early dismissal of an Application filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, when he represented a community health centre and two of its executives, who were all Respondents to the Application, which was filed by a former employee: Colbeck v. Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, 2010 HRTO 1435 (CanLII).
Successfully Represented Estate Trustees in a Multi-Million Dollar Estate Litigation Case
JP successfully represented two estate trustees who, along with the estate, were sued by two beneficiaries. The claims against JP’s clients, the estate trustees in their personal capacities, were for among other things, inducing a breach of contract, intentional interference with economic relations and conspiracy. During the proceeding, JP successfully defeated a motion to remove his clients as estate trustees of the estate: Hawkins v. Hawkins Estate, 2013 ONSC 661 (CanLII). JP then successfully brought a motion for summary judgment that resulted in the dismissal of all claims against the estate trustees in their personal capacities with costs awarded to his clients: Hawkins v. Hawkins Estate, 2015 ONSC 1106 (CanLII).
Qualified as an Expert by the Quebec Superior Court
JP was qualified as an expert witness by the Quebec Superior Court in an estate litigation case, wherein JP was retained to provide the Court with expert testimony on the law of resulting trusts in Ontario: Plant v. Estate of Devorah Sorger (unreported, Court File Number 540-17-008071-135)
Successfully quashes decision of a Citizenship Judge
JP successfully applied to the Federal Court for an order setting aside a decision made by a Citizenship Judge who denied a Canadian Citizenship Application, after finding that the Applicant (JP’s client) did not meet the residency requirement under the Citizenship Act: Limbu v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (unreported, Docket T-1011-16, September 1, 2016)
Victory for employee with 'perceived' disability
Incorrectly believing she had contracted tuberculosis, an employee informed her employer of her condition and was dismissed by her employer shortly afterwards. JP successfully represented the employee before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The Tribunal confirmed that the protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code extend to people with perceived disabilities. The Tribunal ordered the employer to pay the employee $20,000 in general damages and 13.5 months' of lost wages and benefits. In addition, the Tribunal asked the parties to make submissions on whether it could order the employer to pay the employee's wages and benefits from the date of the hearing to the date the employee would have otherwise retired. The parties reached a confidential settlement before making submissions on that issue: McLean v. DY 4 Systems, 2010 HRTO 1107 (CanLII).
Settlement for Locked Out Shareholder
JP successfully represented a 50% shareholder of a corporation who was paid nothing after being locked out of his business by the other 50% shareholder and then excluded from all corporate meetings and deprived on all corporate information. An Application was filed with the Superior Court of Justice and, prior to the hearing, the respondents agreed to make a non-taxable payment to JP's client for more than $280,000 in exchange for his client's shares in the corporation.
Graduate Student Reinstated
JP successfully represented a Master's Degree student at the University of Ottawa by applying to the Divisional Court of Ontario for an order quashing a decision of the University of Ottawa Senate Committee. The decision resulted in the student's forced withdrawal from a Master's Degree Program. The Divisional Court, which normally gives deference to university decisions, quashed the Senate Committee's decision and ordered that the student be reinstated into the Program after finding that she had been treated with such manifest unfairness that a flagrant violation of the rules of natural justice resulted: Handa v. University of Ottawa (Divisional Court of Ontario, unreported: June 10, 2008)
Compensation for Employee Dismissal During Maternity Leave
JP has successfully represented several employees who have lost their jobs either before, during or after a maternity leave. As an example, one case involved a woman who had eight years' of service with her employer and was summarily dismissed shortly after returning from a maternity leave. The employer made several allegations about the employee's performance in an attempt to legitimize its decision. In only six months, JP was able to obtain an order from the Ministry of Labour requiring the employer to pay the employee more than nine months' pay plus damages for emotional pain and suffering: Ladrie v. An-Hoa Inc. (unreported decision of the Ontario Ministry of Labour dated October 28, 2006).
Successfully Recovered Damages from a Negligent Home Builder
JP successfully recovered approximately $100,000.00 in expenses and legal fees for a family who were forced to restore their fifteen year hold home as a result of a failure of its exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) on the home.
Client Testimonials for JP
- I could not get over how quickly and efficiently you weaved your way through the work load. You helped to ease my concerns in dealing with this issue. I will be sure to share this with my fellow board members.
- I'm grateful to you for helping take all the stress away and restoring some of my confidence to move on from this event.
- You managed to make the process reasonable, practical and with the best outcome.
- It was not a fun time but throughout JP guided me and provided sound advice which in the end resulted in an offer that has allowed me to bring closure to a time in my life I'd like to forget.
- You provided us with support to handle the all the emotional ups and downs of this case, reeled me back in when I needed to be, and we felt like everyone was in our comer from start to finish.