A recent decision shows Federal Court judges will resort to imprisonment in rare cases of contempt involving intellectual property infringement, according to Toronto civil litigator Kevin Fisher.
Fisher, a partner at Basman Smith LLP, says a hefty fine and the threat of jail time are usually enough to spur parties into compliance with court orders.
“What you hope is that a rational person will get counsel, go back to court, and show how they've purged the contempt,” he says. “Nobody really wants to put anyone in jail for these sorts of things, so the court only tends to use it as a last resort. But if you continually ignore an order, it shows complete disregard for the process. The more blatant the conduct, the easier it will be for the judge to make a detention order and not feel bad about it.”
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