John A. Olah practises Civil Litigation. He specializes in complex tort litigation ranging from cases involving product liability, a wide variety of sports cases and the liability of hotels, resorts and bars. He is involved in private international law cases as well as business litigation matters.
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, often appears at the Court of Appeal for the Province of Ontario and has argued several cases before the 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 American Bar Association, the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA) (by invitation) and the International Association of Defense Counsel (by invitation). 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 Defense Attorneys.
Mr. Olah is the author of a number of articles on civil litigation and criminal law. He has lectured extensively 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 is also counsel to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. He has and continues to act for a number of snow resorts across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. He also 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 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 reach 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 acted for the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association in the closely watched cases recently decided by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v. Getahun, Westerhof v. Gee Estate and Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada.