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Train creeps

Jun 10, 2015 / 5:00 am
I’d guess that most people in B.C. have traveled on the SkyTrain in the Lower Mainland. I love it. I can get downtown from my home in New Westminster faster than driving and it gives me time to catch up on overdue texts and emails with friends. But, there is also something a little...

Grandparents: no grandkids for you!

Jan 23, 2015 / 5:00 am
People love grandkids. And, why not? It’s exciting, right? You get to play with and spoil a child WITHOUT all the early mornings or dirty diapers. Good deal, right? Sadly, though, it’s not such a joyful time for everyone... Sometimes, grandparents are denied any time...

Lying about rape, violence, drug dealing?

Jan 9, 2015 / 5:00 am
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve heard the allegations against Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby. And, in light of those accusations (and the overwhelming assumption that they are both guilty of ALL such accusations), it got me thinking: we need to be VERY CAREFUL to...

Separating from partner? Big dollars!

Nov 27, 2014 / 5:00 am
Separating from your partner can be painful. Maybe you still love your former partner and you wish you were still together. Or, MAYBE you’re really happy that you no longer have to wake up with that person; but, you’re miserable because you have to deal with the money issues of...

Sex offenders and their children

Sep 17, 2014 / 5:00 am
Few, if any, people are as hated in our country as sex offenders, particularly those sex offenders who commit crimes against children. With that said, then, the purpose of this column is not to further demonize those offenders. Instead, the purpose of this column to...

Afraid of a family member?

Jun 20, 2014 / 5:00 am
Whether or not you choose to believe it, domestic violence is incredibly, incredibly common. Here are some Canadian statistics: In 2006, 12% of all criminal prosecutions in BC were domestic violence cases; Only 28% of victims of spousal violence will actually report these incidents to...

Child Support: A must read for parents

Mar 26, 2014 / 5:00 am
Ever wonder why the women on the Maury Povich show want to confirm ‘who the father is’? My (jaded) guess: they want child support. On that note, child support is one of the most commonly misunderstood subjects in family law. And, rightly so: it’s complicated. So, in the...

Divorce? Get out of my house!

Feb 24, 2014 / 5:00 am
In the wake of Valentine's Day, I thought I would write a column about family law. Ironic, I know… This column’s topic isn't exactly pleasant or in the spirit of Valentine's Day, but it is useful information. If not for you, then for someone you know... So, here...

Legal aid: horrendously underfunded

Oct 1, 2013 / 5:00 am
This week, I am writing about legal aid. Yes, I’ve written about it before: Politics and Legal Aid in BC. But, it’s a crucial topic, so I am going to discuss it, again. To start, legal aid is a vital program for our province. It’s VITAL. But, despite it being so vital,...

Complaining about (family) lawyers!

Sep 17, 2013 / 5:00 am
I haven’t written a column about family law before. I’m going to break that trend this week... And, I’m going to start from scratch, from the basics. In case you didn’t know, family law is an incredibly emotional area of law. Here’s a fact for you: family law...

Begging for money?

Aug 20, 2013 / 5:00 am
So, last week, I was on the radio in Vancouver. I was a guest speaker on CKNW radio, talking about panhandling and the laws around it. Now, if you recall, I wrote a column about this topic about a year ago: Is panhandling illegal? And, while I had written about the law around panhandling before,...

Lessons from the Nude Beach

Jul 23, 2013 / 5:00 am
As I write this column, I recognize it's an unusual topic… but, hear me out… Vancouver has a lot of famous landmarks. And one of those landmarks is Wreck Beach, a clothing-optional beach. I went to Wreck Beach a few weeks ago with a friend. When he originally asked me...

Big car crash: not big injuries!

Jul 9, 2013 / 7:30 am
Here is a classic misconception: big car crash = big injuries. This is one of the biggest misconceptions that exist around my job. And, it drives me insane… Believe it or not, the severity of a car crash is NOT proportionate to the severity of harm or injuries that someone experiences...

Prostitution is legal?!

Jun 25, 2013 / 6:00 am
I was in Las Vegas recently and, if you’ve been there, you’ll probably remember the ‘business cards’ that depict semi-nude women and that cover the sidewalks like raindrops. It’s shocking actually, how many of these ‘cards’ cover the ground. And, in...

ICBC advice you need to know!

Jun 18, 2013 / 5:00 am
While it’s one of my primary areas of practice, I try to stay away from writing about personal injury law topics. After all, there are already several other local lawyers who regularly write about car crash/ICBC claims. But, earlier this week, I met with another lawyer and helped her out...

Be careful when accepting job!

Jun 11, 2013 / 5:00 am
Whether or not you realize it, you regularly enter into contracts with other people or companies. In fact, you probably do it several times a day. And, despite how often you do it, you need to be very careful about entering into contracts. I say that because…well...very few people are...

Drunk driving law 101

Jun 4, 2013 / 5:00 am
While working in a Vancouver courthouse, I watched a judge tell a self-represented person, who had been charged with drunk driving, to seriously consider hiring a lawyer. The judge said that, in many ways, an impaired driving charge is more complicated than a murder charge. And, as odd as it may...

(Sad) future of B.C. politics

May 28, 2013 / 5:00 am
This recent provincial election was…interesting. And, historical for a number of reasons: some good, some bad. First, it’s great that Christy Clark is the first woman to lead a B.C. political party to victory. That is no small feat, considering she was once 20 points behind in the...

Sue your family!

May 14, 2013 / 5:00 am
When in a car, I prefer to drive. I am not sure why, but I do. But, now and then, I am a passenger in a vehicle. My friends and family members are good drivers, but they can make mistakes… And, if they did make a mistake and caused a crash that resulted in me suffering some injuries, I...

Witnesses are crucial in lawsuits

May 7, 2013 / 5:00 am
Think of some high profile cases and imagine what would have happened if there were no witnesses. Consider: Robert Pickton’s case, in which over 120 witnesses were presented; Robert Dziekanski’s final video-taped moments at the Vancouver Airport and how the RCMP officers...

Politics and legal aid in BC

Apr 30, 2013 / 5:00 am
So, there’s an upcoming election and, if you’re like me, you’ve heard a lot of promises. But, I haven’t heard much about the funding of B.C.’s justice system, which makes me wonder, “What the heck?!” Now, I have previously indicated in columns...

Bullied, raped student ends her life...

Apr 16, 2013 / 5:00 am
I’m angry… By now, you’ve heard about the tragic death of Rehtaeh Parsons. But, in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the tragedy… Rehtaeh, 17 and from Nova Scotia, was taken off of life support and died on April 7, 2013 following a suicide...

Give me back my money, now!

Apr 9, 2013 / 5:00 am
Have you ever owed someone money? Has someone ever owed money to you? You may already know this, but there are rules that have to be followed when collecting a debt. Typically, a “collector” cannot start a lawsuit to recover a debt unless the “debtor” (the person...

Consequences of a criminal record

Apr 2, 2013 / 5:00 am
Receiving a criminal conviction will change your life, period. And, it can happen to almost anyone. Let’s face it: a lot people commit a crime at some point in their lives. They just don’t always get caught. Try to remember your youth: have you ever drank a little too...

Take it seriously: don’t use a Will kit

Mar 26, 2013 / 5:00 am
You will probably get a Will at some point in your life. Most people do. But, whatever you do, don’t do it yourself (and don’t use a Will kit). A lot of people seem to think that drafting a will is easy. It’s not. Really, it doesn’t cost much money to get a lawyer or...

Watch your mouth!

Mar 19, 2013 / 5:00 am
Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve seen a young male wear a t-shirt with an inappropriate or adult-themed expression or joke written on it. If you are prude, you probably wondered, “How is that person allowed to wear that, legally?” Or maybe you are like me...

Can police search your home or car?

Mar 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
Several years ago, a friend of mine was stopped by a police officer for speeding. The officer should have just given her a ticket. But, he didn’t. The officer asked her some very pointed questions about the contents of her vehicle, suspecting that she had some illegal items in her car....

Seeing dead people (and lawsuits)

Feb 26, 2013 / 5:00 am
In your time on Earth, you have probably witnessed some horrific sites and scenes. Hopefully, those scenes didn’t leave you with any psychological scars. But, maybe they did. If they did, you might be able to start a lawsuit. I’ll back up... Have you ever driven by a car...

Stalking your ex-girlfriend?

Feb 19, 2013 / 5:00 am
If you’re reading this column, you’ve probably been in a romantic relationship. And, if you’ve been in a relationship, you’ve likely had your heart broken. Maybe you were “dumped” or maybe you “did the dumping”… Whatever happened,...

Hit and runs: know your rights

Feb 12, 2013 / 6:00 am
A short time ago, I wrote a column giving you some tips about what to do after being in a car crash. Those tips included 1) taking photographs of the crash; 2) getting witness names and contact information; and 3) getting the contact information of the other drivers involved in the crash. BUT,...

Arrested? Right to lawyer?

Feb 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
Hopefully, you have never been arrested. But, maybe you have... If you have been arrested, then you might already know a little bit about this week’s column topic: a person’s right to a lawyer (upon arrest). You have probably seen it on television many times: someone is arrested...

You're worth more alive than dead

Jan 29, 2013 / 5:00 am
I had someone ask me last week, "What is the family of a car crash victim (who dies in the crash) entitled to?" That was a great question and is the topic of this week's column. To start, you probably know that if you are INJURED in a car crash, you have a right to sue the...

Wear seatbelt or lose (big time!)

Jan 22, 2013 / 5:00 am
This is a column that everyone should read… Car crashes are way TOO common. A crash happens in Kelowna every one hour, which is completely ridiculous. As a result of these car crashes, people often suffer injuries (and losses), which can lead to lawsuits to recover those losses...

Sexual assault explained

Jan 15, 2013 / 5:00 am
There are few crimes that cause more anger and fear than sexual assault. Despite the intense emotion that it conjures up, few people know much about the crime of sexual assault. So, this is the topic of this week’s column. To start, it seems like most people think the term...

Test your criminal law knowledge

Jan 8, 2013 / 5:00 am
Do you know what happens to a person after he/she is arrested for committing a crime and released from police custody? Do you know about the court appearances that an accused person has to make before his/her trial date? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. From reading the news, it...

Law Society is scary to lawyers

Dec 25, 2012 / 5:00 am
In case you didn’t know, lawyers regulate themselves. And, it would be disastrous to have it any other way…. Every now and then, someone complains that lawyers should not be allowed to police themselves, thinking that lawyers will “stick together”. To those people: you...

Lawyers at (Christmas) parties

Dec 18, 2012 / 5:00 am
Have you ever met a lawyer at a party? (Insert stupid joke here…) Seriously though, if you have met a lawyer at a party and told him/her about your legal troubles, you might have caused problems for that lawyer. I’ll explain… If you talk to a lawyer at a party (or some...

The scary thing about jury trials

Dec 11, 2012 / 5:00 am
When going to court, the thought of a jury can be terrifying (even to the lawyers). They are completely unpredictable, but are still one of the best ways to settle disputes. There is a lot of public confusion around juries, so this column is intended to shed some light. To start, a jury is...

Kids committing crimes?

Dec 4, 2012 / 5:00 am
Kids make mistakes. That’s inevitable. These mistakes range from stupid to criminal. When youths commit crimes, there is a lot of confusion over how these youths are dealt with. This confusion seems to lead to (misplaced) anger and frustration at our justice system. In response to...

Risks of posting comments on Internet

Nov 27, 2012 / 7:00 am
The Internet has given everyone a voice - whether on Facebook, in a chat room, or in a forum. This is not always a good thing… There are a few types of online posters. Some posters try to make intelligent comments and conversation. Others post online for therapy, telling the world...
About the Author

Jeff Zilkowsky is a lawyer practicing at MacLean Law in the Lower Mainland and in Kelowna, and focuses his practice on family law and litigation.  

In his column, Jeff provides information about current legal events or points of interest or concern relating to the law. 

The information contained in Jeff’s column should not be used or relied upon as legal advice.

Comments are always appreciated and encouraged, so don’t hesitate to email Jeff at [email protected]

Visit Jeff’s website at www.jeffzilkowsky.com or visit the website of MacLean Law.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.