David Morritt

David Morritt

Partner, Litigation

Key Contact: Product Liability

Contact Information

dmorritt@osler.com

tel: 416.862.6723

Office

Toronto

Areas of Expertise

Bar Admission

Ontario, 1984

Education

  • Oxford University, B.C.L.
  • University of Western Ontario, LL.B.

Language(s)

English

David was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984 after serving as law clerk to Mr. Justice Estey at the Supreme Court of Canada. David has been a partner with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP since 1989 and his practice covers a range of corporate and commercial litigation, with a particular focus on product and professional liability, securities litigation, shareholder rights, corporate governance and oppression proceedings, contract and commercial issues and defamation. David has extensive experience in defending class actions and regulatory proceedings, and in providing risk management advice for innovative product manufacturers and for professionals and businesses generally.  

David has acted as counsel in cases in all levels of the courts of Ontario and in the federal judicial system and the courts of many other provinces. In addition, he has been counsel in numerous ADR proceedings, including domestic and international arbitrations, mediations and neutral evaluations.

David was a two term member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates’ Society, Past-Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the Sir William Campbell Foundation and a past member of the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties Section. He is a former member of Osler’s Executive Committee, a key contact for the Osler Product Liability Group, and serves as the firm’s Risk Management Partner. He has written extensively and spoken frequently at conferences and is a co-author of two books published by Thomson Reuters: The Oppression Remedy; and Canadian Defamation Law and Practice. David has been included in Best Lawyers in Canada (Product Liability), Lexpert and Chambers Global and has been recognized as a Litigation Star ( Class Actions - Canada) in Benchmark Litigation Canada and Acritas Stars.

    • Providing risk management advice to product manufacturers and distributors and advising on and defending product liability litigation for major corporate clients, including national class proceedings
    • Advising on and litigating corporate governance issues, shareholder rights and oppression proceedings  
    • Advising on and litigating complex contractual and business issues and defending corporations charged with regulatory or quasi-criminal offences
    • Providing risk management advice to accountants on issues arising in the course of their practices and defending litigation and discipline proceedings for accountants and other professionals 
    • Investigating potential frauds against businesses, co-ordinating civil and criminal investigations and proceedings, obtaining injunctions to restrain asset dispersal and litigating to recover assets

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Dispute Resolution
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Litigation and Product Liability
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Personal Injury Litigation; Product Liability Law
  • Acritas Stars: Recognized as a Star Lawyer
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada: Recognized in Class Action; Dispute Resolution (Litigation Star)

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Advocates’ Society

David has spoken frequently at conferences and professional education seminars and written extensively on a wide range of legal topics, including two books published by Thomson Reuters of which he is a co-author. A sample of his publications and presentations is set out below.

  • The Oppression Remedy, Book published by Thomson Reuters, Spring 2004, with updates published annually; Co-authored with S. Bjorkquist and A. Coleman.
  • Canadian Defamation Law and Practice, Book published by Thomson Reuters, Spring 2012, with updates published annually; Co-authored with R. Pepper, R. Stephenson and J. Ross.  
  • The Art and Science of Cross-Examination, Cross-Examination Strategies for Success, The Advocates’ Society, January 30, 2018.
  • Civility/Professional Conduct, (with J. Birch), 4th Annual Professionalism Issues for Business Lawyers, Ontario Bar Association Professional Development, October 20, 2016. 
  • The Oppression Remedy: A Work in Progress, (with E. Thomas), Osgoode Professional Development Conference, Shareholder Litigation and the Closely-Held Company, April 7, 2015.
  • Canada: An Overview of the Legal System, Chapter in The Dispute Resolution Review, published annually by Law Business Research Ltd., four editions 2012-2015.
  • Class Actions and Financial Institutions, Osler Client Seminar, May 24, 2012.
  • Product Liability: Causation and Waiver of Tort, Osgoode Professional Development Conference, 6th National Symposium on Class Actions, April 2-3, 2009.
  • Oppression Remedy Update, Osgood Professional Development Conference, Litigating Shareholder Disputes, June 12-13, 2008 (Conference Co-Chair and Presenter).
  • Shareholder Rights Plans: There’s Not Much Poison in that Pill, Insight Information Conference, Dealing With Dissent and Oppression Actions and Remedies, September 20, 2007.
  • Advocates’ Society Toronto Mentoring Dinner Program, Chair of a Multiple Part Discussion Program linking newer advocates with Judges and senior counsel, held three times each year since 2004.
  • Preparing for Commercial Arbitration, Law Society of Upper Canada Conference, Advanced Commercial Arbitration, April 30, 2007.
  • Strategies for Effectively Preparing the Complex Case, The Canadian Institute’s Advanced Forum on Managing Complex Litigation, April 19, 2007.
  • Oppression Remedy Update. Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development Conference, Litigating Shareholder Disputes, December 5, 2006, Conference Chair and Presenter.
  • Securities Investigations, Ontario Bar Association, Conference, Threats and Opportunities: Litigating under the Ontario and Canada Business Corporation Acts, May 1, 2006.
  • Working Effectively with Expert Witnesses, Third Annual LexisNexis Commercial Litigation Conference, Litigating Shareholder Disputes: Recent Developments and Best Practices for the Legal and Accounting Professions,February 10, 2006.
  • Recent Developments in Oppression Litigation,  Second Annual Commercial Litigation Seminar, LexisNexis Seminar Series, February 4, 2005.
  • Increasing Risks for Directors, Officers and Auditors: Avoiding Liability in Today’s World of Accountability, The Canadian Institutes’ 4th Annual Advanced Forum on Securities Litigation, November 29-30, 2004.
  • Co-Chair of the Advocates’ Society’s Fall Convention, Phoenix, Arizona and Presenter of a Paper on International Human Rights and the Contribution of Canadian Lawyers, November 18-20, 2004.
  • Appellate Review of Findings of Fact: Guidance From the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Waxman v. Waxman, Commercial Litigation, Federated Press, Vol. XI,  No 1 (Fall 2004).
  • Planning and Conducting Effective Examinations-in-Chief, Advocates’ Society Program, The Direct Approach, Chair of the Program and Presenter, September 30, 2004.
  • The Art and Science of Cross-Examination, Joint Advocates’ Society and Law Society of Upper Canada Program, “Convincing Cross-Examinations”, November 4, 2003, Chair of the Program and Presenter.
  • Mr. Justice Estey: Perspectives on Private Law Rights, Remedies and Rationality, Symposium on the Impact of Mr. Justice Estey on Canadian Law, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, November 28-30, 2002.
  • The Stakeholder Debate: Balancing the Duties of the Board of Directors, 9th Annual Queen’s University Business Law Symposium, The Corporation in the 21st Century, November 8-9, 2002.
  • Defending an Accountants’ Liability Case, Insight Conference, Accountants’ Liability: New Challenges and Future Trends, June 13-14, 2002.
  • Putting Your Best Case Forward – Using Evidence Effectively at Trial, Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development Program, December 6, 2001, Chair of the Program and Presenter.
  • Commercial Arbitration, “Conducting the Commercial Arbitration”, Law Society of Upper Canada Continuing Legal Education Conference, October 31, 2001.
  • Changing Times Bring a New Approach: The Supreme Court of Canada and Class Proceedings (Part Two), Canadian Corporate Counsel, October, 2001.
  • Changing Times Bring a New Approach: The Supreme Court of Canada and Class Proceedings (Part One), Canadian Corporate Counsel, September, 2001.
  • Privilege: An overview for In-House and Corporate Counsel, Canadian Bar Association 2001, Annual Institute of Continuing Legal Education, February 2, 2001.
  • Product Liability in Canada: Principles and Practice North of the Border, William Mitchell Law Review (U.S.A.), Vol. 27, 2000, No. 1, p. 177 (with Sonia Bjorkquist).
  • Corporations: Fighting Back Against Fraud, Commercial Litigation, Federated Press, Vol. VII, No 2.
  • Defending an Accountants’ Liability Case, Insight Conference on “Accountants Liability – How to Minimize Firm and Personal Liability”, June 15-16, 2000.
  • Strategic Considerations for Effective Commercial Arbitrations, Federated Press, Commercial Litigation, Vol. VI, No. 1.