HUGH R. SCHER
Hugh Scher is the founder of the law firm Scher Law Professional Corporation where he practices civil litigation with a focus on employment and human rights law as well as disability insurance litigation.
For more than 25 years he has engaged in a broad range of civil litigation matters at all level of court and tribunal including multiple appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada.
He is frequently called upon to advise employers and employees about issues related to the accommodation of people with disabilities in the workplace, return to work plans, complaints of discrimination and harassment, the investigation of harassment complaints and complex dismissal cases.
Mr. Scher has served as counsel in several precedent setting cases including:
- Labour, Employment and Human Rights Law
• Keays v. Honda (SCC) – Supreme Court’s Restatement of factors to be considered in assessment of notice and damages for bad faith in manner of dismissal and record trial award of $500,000 in punitive damages
• Brownson v. Honda (SCJ) – A summary judgment motion relative to not for cause termination during the course of a workplace investigation imbued by allegations of bad faith and unfair dealing
• Lowe v. Guarantee Insurance (OCA) – Creation of new cause of action against biased medical assessors
• Casler v. CNR (FCA) – judicial review of dismissal of human rights complaint and improper investigation
• Skinner v. Canadian Elevator Welfare Trust Fund (NSCA) – Human rights challenge to benefit plan exclusion of marijuana
• Turnbull v. Famous Players (OHRT) – accommodation of people with disabilities in movie theatres and review of policy excluding people in wheelchairs from access to movie theatres
- Constitutional and Health Law
• Carter v. Canada (Attorney General) (SCC) – Constitutional challenge to Canada’s assisted suicide law
• Rasouli v. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SCC) – Requirement of Consent to withdraw life support services at end of life and implement palliative care
• Bentley v. Maplewood Seniors Care Society (BCCA) – Challenge regarding the scope of substitute decision legislation relating to prior wishes of legally incompetent senior.
• Ali v. Her Majesty the Queen (on leave to SCC) – Constitutional challenge to income tax deductibility of natural health products
• Holland v. Hawrluck (SCJ) – Role of proxy decision-makers in interpretation of prior express wishes in end of life decision-making
• McKitty v. Hayani (OCA) – Constitutional challenge regarding legal definition of death
• Ouanounou v. Humber River Hospital (OntSCJ) – Constitutional challenge regarding legal definition of death
Hugh Scher served for six years as Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities where he directed interventions in 15 cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and Appeal Courts across Canada. He is a Past-President of the Board of Directors of ARCH: A Legal Resource Centre for Persons with Disabilities He also served for multiple years as Chair of the Labour and Employment law section of the Ontario Bar Association.
Hugh Scher has participated in various Federal and Provincial Government Consultations on issues of social policy and disability rights and has presented briefs before numerous Federal and Provincial Government Committees on subjects including constitutional, health, transportation, criminal law, justice, employment equity and human rights reform.
Hugh Scher regularly appears on television and radio broadcasts and has been featured in newspapers across the country on matters relating to employment and human rights law, euthanasia, assisted suicide and the human rights of people with disabilities. Mr. Scher is a frequent lecturer on employment, personal injury, advocacy, civil and Constitutional law at the Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of Toronto and other organizations across Canada.