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John Drayton

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The U.S. pour-over will

Most of the U.S. states have, through legislation, allowed for something called the “pour-over will”. Here’s how that works. A person sets up something called a living trust. (Lawyers call this an “inter vivos” trust.) Sometimes that trust is set up with as little as $5, and sometimes the figure is much larger. It is not uncommon, for example, to transfer investment accounts into the trust.

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Hours of Service for B.C. Log Haulers

B.C. log haulers have special rules applying to them, different from the general rules for commercial drivers. For those readers inclined to do so, I invite you to go to the B.C. government’s website at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/national_safety_code.htm and examine the entire regulation, paying particular attention to section 37.15. For those who want a simplified version, the government has posted a summary on its website called “Hours-of-Service Rules—Loggers”.

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Collection Remedies for Loggers - Part 2

Despite all of the remedies available to unpaid loggers, sometimes there simply aren't enough debtor assets available to pay the priority creditors and the unpaid loggers. Government created the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund to compensate contractors who are not paid due to licensee insolvency. There are certain Rules that are set out for the trustee to follow, when deciding whether to pay a claim and in what amount. These rules are set out at the Fund's website, and they are...

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Collection Remedies for Loggers - Part 1

Like any unpaid creditor, the ability exists to sue the debtor, to seek from the court a judgment against the debtor. A claim up to $35,000 can be brought in the Small Claims Court. A claim of any size can be brought in the Supreme Court. Once a judgment is obtained, there are various remedies available to enforce that judgment.

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Fair Market Rate

Loggers performing services under a Bill 13 replaceable contract (also known as an evergreen contract) are entitled to be paid a "fair market rate". What is a fair market rate? A fair market rate is one that a willing consumer of these services (i.e. a licensee) would pay to a willing supplier of the services (i.e. a contractor) in a free and open market. The theory behind the legislation is that the parties to a replaceable contract are not willing participants - the licensee is forced to...

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Is Your Doctor Spying on You?

The BC Medical Association and the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles worked together in partnership to prepare something called the “BC Guide in Determining Fitness to Drive”. This guide is approximately 400 pages long. The guide speaks to a myriad of medical problems that might affect one’s ability to drive and, accordingly, affect the safety of other motorists. Obviously, drivers with eyesight problems or hearing difficulties can present dangers. So too can drivers who...

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Forestry Service Providers Protection Act

A video on the Forest Service Protection Act by John Drayton

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What is an Independent Contractor and What Does it Mean for You?

Almost every logging contract contains a provision which states that the logger’s relationship to the licensee is that of an “independent contractor”. What does this mean? In the traditional sense, being an independent contractor comes down to control of the work process; to enjoying the profits of a successful operation and risking the loss of an unsuccessful project; and to ownership of the capital, i.e. the equipment. It is easier to define “independent...

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Stumpage Payable Under B.C. Timber Sales

A log harvester that successfully bids on a B.C. Timber Sale will harvest the timber and sell it to one or more mills. Usually the sale price is negotiated, and the mill indicates that it will deduct stumpage from that price and remit that directly to the government. In most cases, that system works just fine. In some cases, however, where that mill is suffering financial difficulties, that can become a real problem for the log harvester. Sometimes the mill pays late; sometimes it...

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Prime Contractor Designation

The law concerning the “prime contractor designation” under the Workers Compensation Act has been a hot topic recently, in spite of the fact that this law has been around since 1999. In my view, it is necessary to put this law into its proper perspective. For the moment, let’s ignore the prime contractor provision and examine the other aspects of the Workers Compensation Act. On a typical logging block, the WCB considers there to be two owners, namely the Ministry of Forests...

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