Aboriginal Law And Advisors Group – Bennett Jones

Our Aboriginal Law Group helps project developers navigate the regulatory process in securing approvals for major energy development projects, including consulting and negotiating with Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders. We draw on our top-tier, cross-departmental expertise in the energy, environmental, corporate commercial, regulatory, litigation and tax arenas in shepherding significant projects through to fruition. We structure and negotiate commercial agreements for projects involving aboriginal rights and interests, as well as debt and equity financing arrangements for projects on aboriginal lands or with aboriginal participation.

We understand the risks associated with Aboriginal issues in the context of significant energy development project approvals and work closely with our clients to devise an exposure management plan to identify and manage potential litigation and other issues both pre- and post-closing, including compensation, royalty, surface rights and land access issues. Our unparalleled experience with major development projects enables us to forecast outcomes with a high degree of accuracy.

Select Experience

Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Group regarding the multi-billion dollar Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project, in connection with the negotiation and structuring of commercial agreements including ownership agreements among various Aboriginal groups and various development, operating, shipping and financing agreements with Imperial Oil, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell and TransCanada Pipelines.


Craig T. Matthews & Associates, LPA: Verdicts & Settlement

Represented elderly widow who with her husband had amassed substantial assets which were taken by manager of her bank. After forensic accounting investigation, filed suit against bank manager, bank manager’s husband, and bank. Defendants claimed the assets they took were “gifts.” Case was successfully mediated. The defendants were investigated by the FBI and criminal charges were pursued by the United States Attorney.

Cline v. Neihaus, Montgomery C.P. No. 2011 CV 05176 (2011).

Represented elderly widow who was tricked in marriage then prevented from divorcing after “husband” filed application to declare her incompetent. After her death, represented her family in action to defend against claims filed by the estranged husband. After nine of estranged husband’s 10 claims were dismissed upon our motion for summary judgment, the case was successfully mediated.

Austin v. Lamb, Montgomery C.P. 2010 CV 05546 (2010).

Represented in a federal court woman subjected to years of horrible sexual abuse and harassment at the workplace which resulted in her becoming physically ill and being forced to quit. Alleged hostile work environment sexual harassment. After employer’s motion for summary judgment was denied, the case was successfully mediated.

Hughes v. Goodrich Corporation, S.D. Ohio No. 3:08CV263 (2011).

Represented in a federal court woman who was retaliated against after she refused to continue sexual relationship with her boss and owner of the company. Alleged sexual harassment. Case was successfully mediated.

Davis v. International Trade Bridge, Inc., S.D. Ohio No. 3:11cv00462 (2008).

Represented elderly widow whose assets were taken by out of state nephew using a power of attorney. Nephew claimed he took the assets for “safekeeping.” After suit was filed, all assets were recovered. Upon widow’s death, the nephew then filed a will contest action because widow had written him out of her will. After we defeated nephew’s motion for summary judgment, case was successfully mediated.

Executor of Estate of Violet Schumann v. Knoop, Montgomery C.P. No. 2006 CV 5601 (2006).

Represented elderly retired man whose entire life savings were taken by his nephew using a power of attorney while he was in the hospital. Nephew claimed the assets were given to him as a “gift.” Obtained jury verdict for full amount taken plus punitive damages and attorney fees. Verdict sustained by court of appeals.

Scott v. Hall, 61 Ohio App.3d 616, 573 N.E.2d 718, 1998-Ohio App. LEXIS 4985 (2nd Dist. 1988).

Represented elderly widow who was sold an unnecessary waterproofing contract to fix cracks in the ceiling, which costly repairs did nothing. Trial court granted Defendant’s motion to stay the case and compel arbitration. We appealed. After court of appeals sustained our appeal, the case was successfully mediated.

Moran v. Everdry, Montgomery C.P. No. 2010 CV 03696 (2010).

Defended construction company against suit filed by injured employee who alleged his employer had intentionally caused his injuries by requiring him to climb into a roof truss. Case was dismissed upon our motion for summary judgment and dismissal was sustained by court of appeals.

Horanyi v. Shooter Constr. Co., 2nd Dist. Montgomery No. 23876, 2011-Ohio 4164, 2011 Ohio App. LEXIS 3488.

Represented owner of historic home severely damaged by fire and improperly repaired in suit against the contractor. After defeating defendant’s motion for summary judgment, case was successfully mediated.

Bremer v. Angler Construction Company, Montgomery C.P. No. 2010 CV 09962 (2010).

Represented three women who were subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. We alleged claims for hostile work environment sexual harassment. Defendant initially prevailed on motion for summary judgment. We appealed and court of appeals reversed the trial court on the claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment and related claims. Case was thereafter successfully mediated.

Harmon v. GZK, Inc., 2nd Dist. Montgomery No. 18762, 2002-Ohio-545, 2002 Ohio App. LEXIS 480.

Represented contractor in state court suit against insurance agent who promised to obtain policy to cover claims for intentional workplace injury. After the contractor was sued for an intentional workplace injury, carrier denied coverage. At eve of trial, defendant removed the case to federal court. We successfully defeated the removal to federal court and obtained an award of full amount of attorney fees for the improper removal. Upon remand to state court and after winning our motion for an expedited order to compel discovery, case was successfully mediated.

Shooter Construction Co. v. Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, S.D. Ohio No. 3:11cv00181 (2011).

Shooter Construction Co. v. Acordia of Ohio, LLC, Montgomery C.P. No. 2009 CV 00965 (2009)

PA Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority: IMPACT

Insurance fraud is hardly a victimless crime. When dishonest people take money they don’t deserve from insurance companies‚ this act results in increased policy costs for everyone.

If you pay insurance premiums‚ you’re already a victim of insurance fraud. And some fraud schemes – such as those involving arson or a staged auto accident – can put innocent human lives in harm’s way.

This is why insurance fraud is such a serious crime. In Pennsylvania‚ insurance fraud is a felony‚ punishable by up to seven years in prison and up to $15‚000 in fines. There’s also restitution‚ court costs‚ and lawyer’s fees to pay. Plus‚ those who are convicted get a felony charge on their record that follows them for life‚ and that can stand in the way of securing employment or housing.

The crime also brings with it consequences on the home front. Someone with a felony conviction often risks damaging his or her relationship with friends and family‚ is made an outcast within the community‚ and is viewed as an undesirable employee – or ex–employee‚ in some cases.

Anyone thinking about committing insurance fraud should think about these life–changing consequences. Why risk wrecking your life through an act of dishonesty? It’s just not worth it.