Marie-France Major

Marie-France Major is a partner in the firm. She drafts Supreme Court materials and provides advice and agency services to clients regarding applications, responses, factums and motions in regard to appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada as well as legal opinions in the areas of Charter, Constitutional, Human Rights, Aboriginal, Property, Municipal and Family Law.
Marie-France is fluent in English and French.

In 1989 and 1990, Marie-France articled with Mr. Justice G.V. LaForest at the Supreme Court of Canada where she enhanced her Supreme Court experience.

Education & Bars

  • Called to the Ontario bar, 1995
  • University of California at Berkeley, J.S.D., 1994
  • University of Oxford, B.C.L., 1987
  • University of Ottawa, LL.B., 1986
  • University of Ottawa, B.Sc.Soc., 1983

Representative Work

Marie-France’s representative work as Ottawa Agent includes:

  • Groia [2018] law of professions
  • Comeau [2018] constitutional law
  • Crime Stoppers [2017] informer privilege
  • Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. [2017] Injunctions
  • R. v. Oland [2017] Interim release
  • Harry Daniels, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al. [2016] Métis voting rights
  • Carter v. Canada [2015] physician-assisted dying
  • Loyola High School v. Québec [2015] freedom of religion
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. Green [2015] securities class actions
  • Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp. [2014] contract interpretation
  • Bruno Appliance and Furniture v. Hryniac [2014] summary judgment
  • Bernard v. A.G. [2013] privacy rights
  • William v. Her Majesty the Queen [2013] aboriginal title
  • Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott [2013] hate propaganda
  • Fullowka v. Pinkerton's [2010] tort duties of care
  • Khadr [2008] Charter challenge and duty to disclose
  • Honda [2008] setting aside of aggravated and punitive damages in employment termination case
  • Kapp [2008] Charter (s. 15) validity of commercial fishing license privileges to Aboriginal people
  • Mustapha [2008] review of duty of care and remoteness of damages
  • Hislop [2007] class action: survivorship pensions
  • Resurfice [2007] clarification of "but for" test to determine causation in negligence cases
  • D.B.S. [2006] validity of retroactive child support orders
  • Kirkbi  [2005] trade-marks and the doctrine of functionality
  • Calgary (City) [2004] proper approach to interpretation of statutes empowering municipalities
  • Marriage Reference [2004] federal question to SCC on Charter compliance of proposed same-sex marriage statute

Marie-France has also appeared as counsel and co-counsel before the Supreme Court in a number of cases, including:

  • Rankin’s Garage [2018] duty of care
  • Trinity Western; Law Society of British Columbia [2018] law of professions and religious freedom
  • Chippewas [2017] aboriginal law
  • Clyde River [2017] constitutional law
  • Windsor (city) [2016] constitutional/municipal law
  • Ledcor [2016] property insurance
  • Taypotat [2015] aboriginal law and Charter
  • A.I. Enterprises [2014] tort of unlawful interference with economic relations
  • Cojocaru [2013] torts, reasons for judgment
  • O'Brien [2013] criminal law, uttering threats
  • Criminal Lawyers Association of Ontario [2013] fees paid to amicus curiae
  • Castonguay Blasting [2013] environmental law
  • Halifax Regional Municipality [2011] municipal taxation
  • Montreal Port Authority [2010] municipal taxation
  • Kerr [2010] division of family property
  • Tercon [2009] government contracts and tendering process
  • Nguyen & Bindra [2008] Minority language educational rights
  • Evans [2008] duty to mitigate upon wrongful dismissal
  • Lameman [2008]  aboriginal people and limitation of actions
  • Stein [2008] family assets: division of contingent liability
  • L.T.H.  [2008] admissibility of statements of young persons
  • McGill University Health Centre [2007] clarification of the role of collective agreements in assessment of employer duty to accommodate
  • Dickie [2007] contempt order
  • Veuve Clicquot [2006] trade-marks: confusion and the depreciation of goodwill
  • Saint John (City) [2005] municipalities and official languages

Teaching Engagements

  • Associate Professor (tenured), Faculty of Law; member of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Ottawa, 1995-2001.
  • Law Lecturer, Property Law, Course for Lawyers in the Department of Justice of Canada, 1999-2000.
  • Assistant Professor, School of Law, University of Moncton, New Brunswick, 1987-1989.

Publications & Presentations

  • The Law of Criminal Attempt (Carswell, 3rd ed., 2015), Co-author
  • Bullen & Leake & Jacob's Canadian Precedents of Pleadings (Carswell, 2nd ed., 2013), Co-author
  • Supreme Court of Canada Manual (Canada Law Book, 2011), Co-author
  • “Going to the ‘Big House’: Your Key Out of the Supreme Court’s Waiting Room” (2010) CBA Canadian Legal Conference
  • “The Constitutional Legal Status of Municipalities 1849-2004: Success is a Journey, But Also a Destination” (2007) National Journal of Constitutional Law
  • “Conscientious Objection to Military Service: The European Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee” (2002) California Western International Law Journal
  • “Reporting to the Human Rights Committee: the Canadian Experience” (2000) The Canadian Yearbook of International Law
  • “Comparative Analogies: Sullivan visits the Commonwealth” (1999) Indiana International and Comparative Law Review
  • «Neuf à zéro ne suffit plus: Gould c. Yukon Order of Pioneers et la perspective féminine» (1997) Osgoode Hall Law Journal
  • “Sexual-Orientation Hate Propaganda: Time To Re-Group” (1996) Canadian Journal of Law and Society
  • “American Campus Speech Codes: Models for Canadian Universities?” (1995) Education & Law Journal
  • “Conscientious Objection and International Law: A Human Right?” (1993) Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law
  • “Obscene Comparisons? Canadian and American Attitudes Toward Pornography Regulation” (1993) Journal of Contemporary Law, U.S.A.

Special Recognition

Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada as a leader in Aboriginal Law

Awarded the 1993 Marion Porter Prize by the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, for "the most significant feminist research article from a journal or anthology, on the basis of academic and scholarly excellence, importance of the issue to women, and originality of theme"