Olah, John A.

CALL TO BAR

1975

CLERICAL ASSISTANTS:

Virginia Golbourne
Law Clerk
416.840.6670
vgolbourne@beardwinter.com
Susan Leckie
Law Clerk
416.840.6652
sleckie@beardwinter.com
Sandra Pascos
Legal Assistant
416.306.1798
spascos@beardwinter.com

DETAILS

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John A. Olah practises Civil Litigation.  He specializes in complex tort litigation ranging from cases involving product liability, a wide variety of sports injuries and the liability of hotels, resorts and bars.  He is involved in private international law cases as well as business litigation cases.

He received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1970 from York University (Glendon College) and his Bachelor of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1973. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975.

Mr. Olah has appeared at all levels of courts, including the Court of Appeal for the Province of Ontario and Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Olah was counsel at the Royal Commission into certain deaths at the Hospital for Sick Children where he acted for one of the members of the nursing team under suspension.

He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Advocates’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Club, the American Bar Association, the Association of Ski Defence Attorneys and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA). Mr. Olah served as Chairman of the Criminal Justice Section (Ontario), as Secretary-Treasurer of the Legal Education Section (Ontario) of the Canadian Bar Association, and served as Co-Chairman of the Annual Advocacy Symposium presented by the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario) and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was a member of the Constitutional Initiatives Committee of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario). He is also a past director of the Advocates’ Society and served on the Council of the Medico-Legal Society. He is a former Director of the Association of Ski Defence Attorneys.

Mr. Olah is the author of a number of articles on civil litigation and criminal law. He has lectured across Canada and in the United States on trial advocacy. He was a guest instructor and demonstrator in advocacy at the Intensive Advocacy Programme for trial lawyers at Osgoode Hall Law School. He also taught advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School.

He is the author of “The Art and Science of Advocacy”, a two volume textbook for lawyers on trial tactics and trial procedure.

Mr. Olah has been counsel to the Ontario Snow Resorts Association for over 20 years. He has and continues to act for a number of resorts across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. He has and continues to act for a number of resorts and hotels across Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. Mr. Olah has argued some of the leading cases in this area including Cejvan v. Blue Mountain in which a lift ticket waiver defence was accepted for the first time in Ontario.

Mr. Olah was counsel for the defendant resort in the Van Breda case recently decided by the Supreme Court of Canada as to when a Canadian court can take jurisdiction over a tort occurring abroad.  He was also counsel in Blue Mountain v. Ministry of Labour in the Ontario Court of Appeal as to the ambit of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the province of Ontario. More recently he was successful on appeal in the case of Ziebenhaus v. Mount St. Louis as to the right of the defence to have non-medical examinations based on the court’s inherent jurisdiction powers.  As well, Mr. Olah successfully acted for the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association in the closely watched case recently decided by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v. Getahun regarding counsel’s communications with expert witnesses and the use of draft expert reports in cross-examination.

Upcoming Presentations

July 13, 20017 | Quebec City P.Q. | IADC Conference Brochure
John A. Olah will be chairing a panel on July 13 in Quebec City for an international trial lawyers’ program, the IADC, at their annual conference on the future of the profession. The panel is entitled “2020 Foresight: Where is Our Profession Going—And How Should We Prepare to Get There?”

ARTICLES

May 15, 2017 by : in
Feature
Expert Testimony Around the World: Don’t Roll the Dice with the Wrong Expert
John A. Olah recently spoke at the Defence Research Institute (DRI) Product Liability Conference in Las Vegas on February 9 on Expert Testimony along with a speaker talking about the US law and one on South American law. The panel was called  “Expert Testimony Around the World: Don’t Roll the D More...
December 22, 2015 by : in
Feature
A Road Map to the Admissibility of Expert Evidence
In the trilogy of recent cases dealing with expert evidence, namely Moore v. Getahun, Westerhof v. Gee Estate and White Burgess Langille Inman v. Abbott and Haliburton Co. (“White Burgess) the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada laid out important guidance as to how expert evid More...
November 13, 2015 by : in
Feature News
Courts ‘taking a harder line’ on vexatious lawsuits

‘We have to balance the right to open access by creating processes that filter meritless cases and get rid of them inexpensively and quickly,’ says John Olah.

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent adoption of guidelines for the interpretation of a relatively new rule against vexatious proceed More...
July 16, 2015 by : in
Articles
Waivers in Recreational and Sporting Activities from A to Z
Contractual terms limiting a party’s liability in a contract is a common feature in today’s world. We see limiting conditions in a variety of commercial settings, ranging from the electronic commerce to recreational activities. Waiver provisions must be carefully drawn and proper procedures need More...
March 4, 2015 by : in
Feature
ACFI 17th Annual Fraud Conference | May 4 & 5, 2015
John A. Olah spoke to the ACFI 17th Annual Fraud Conference on the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Moore v. Getahun on the ability of counsel to speak to his or her expert witness. Toronto Westin Prince Hotel, 900 York Mills Road Contact: John A. Olah

EDUCATION

LL.B., 1973
Osgoode Hall Law School
B.A.(Hons.), 1970
York University

ASSOCIATION(S)

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
  • Association of Ski Defense Attorneys
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society
  • The Lawyers' Club