Press Release: Mussio Goodman Expands to Vancouver Island

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Mussio Goodman Opens a New Office Location in Nanaimo

Mussio Goodman Injury and Estate Lawyers, with offices in Downtown Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna and Vernon, is now proud to announce its expansion to Vancouver Island.

With a full service office located in Nanaimo at #203 – 335 Wesley St., Mussio Goodman can now offer its premier legal services and record of success to injured clients across Vancouver Island.

Managing Partner Wes Mussio, who has been practicing exclusively in personal injury for over 25 years, and who recently purchased the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL, stated “since my other business and personal interests have expanded to the island, it only seemed fitting that we open a law office in Nanaimo as well.”

Wes’ partner, Eric Goodman notes that “while our existing infrastructure of 12 lawyers and students, as well as 22 staff across four offices, already allowed us to represent clients all over the province, having a location in Nanaimo gives us a stronger ability to connect with the local community and our clients.”

Wes adds: “I especially look forward to spending more time on the island and serving its residents who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own.”

For more information or a free consultation, please call 250 824 5027 or toll free at 1 855 MUSSIO1, or visit us at

Mussio Goodman Obtains Court Costs For Client After Successful Verdict at Trial

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In what may be the final instalment of the Sharma estate litigation matter, Wes Mussio and Anthony Eden recently appeared before Madame Justice Griffin to argue our clients’ entitlement to costs in the recent successful decision. In the trial decision, which can be found here, Madame Justice Griffin ordered a variation of the Deceased’s will in favour of our clients, totalling 67% of the residue of the estate. The lawsuit was vigorously defended by Victor Sharma, the youngest brother of our clients.

Typically, costs are ordered by the Court from the unsuccessful party to the successful party. However, Victor Sharma argued that the Plaintiffs’ cost should come from the whole of the estate, and not from him personally, because he was only following his mother’s wishes in defending the lawsuit. To the contrary, we argued that the normal costs rule should apply, given that the lawsuit was defended so vigorously defended by Victor Sharma, and did not benefit the estate in the traditional sense.

Madame Justice Griffin agreed with our rationale. She noted that if costs were awarded from the estate in such a proceeding, they would essentially come from the plaintiffs’ entitlement. This would be most unfair, given that Victor Sharma was the party who defended the action all the way to an 11 day trial. Therefore, Madame Justice Griffin decided in our clients’ favour, awarding costs to our clients from the Defendant, personally.

 Any litigation is a daunting task that requires a skilled team. Estate litigation can be even more nuanced. Mussio Goodman has the skill and experience to handle all varieties of Estate issues. If you have, or think you may have a potential estate dispute, give Mussio Goodman a call or submit an online inquiry for a free consultation.

Mussio Goodman Obtains Another Successful Result in Court

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Mussio Goodman is pleased to announce our success in the British Columbia Supreme Court case of Ciarniello v. James, 2016 BCSC 1699. The case involved a BC wills variation claim by the Plaintiff, who was the second wife of a Vancouver dentist and businessman. 

The Plaintiff sued her husband’s estate, claiming that he did not adequately provide for her in his will. The deceased had five children, two with the Plaintiff and three from a previous marriage. The will split the estate equally between his five children but left out the Plaintiff.

In this case, Wesley Mussio and Anthony Eden of Mussio Goodman represented the Defendants, the three children from the first family.

British Columbia Wills and Estate law is very unique when compared to other jurisdictions, as it features legislation which allows adult children or spouses to apply to the Court to vary the will of a deceased person. 

A Court will overturn a will of a deceased person and vary it with terms it deems to be “just, adequate, or equitable”, if a variety of criteria are met. However, the criteria which warrants variation of a will is routinely a point of contention between the parties, especially when there are millions of dollars at stake.  

The BC wills variation regime often pits family members against each other in lengthy and contested litigation. A particularly common family dynamic in BC wills variation claims involve blended families. Where the deceased has multiple children with different spouses, there is typically an increased possibility for animosity between family members. This age-old problem can lead to some fairly complex litigation. The lawyers at Mussio Goodman are well versed in the legal and practical aspects of such situations and the impact on Wills and Estate law in British Columbia.

The first family disagreed that the deceased’s will ought to be varied in the Plaintiff’s favour, mainly because their father had transferred significant assets to the Plaintiff before his death. Furthermore, they argued that their father relied on complicated tax planning reasons for leaving the Plaintiff out of his will.  

Mr. Justice Sigurdson heard arguments from all the parties over four days of trial. The evidence revealed that the estate was over $11M in total, and that the Plaintiff had been transferred significant assets prior to the death of the Deceased. In spite of this, the Plaintiff argued that she should have received half of the marital assets on the death of the Deceased, as would have been required on a divorce. Furthermore, the Plaintiff argued that she had not been maintained by the deceased to continue a standard of living to which she had grown accustomed.

On the other hand, we argued on behalf of our clients that the court should give due consideration to the considerable assets already transferred to the Plaintiff, and the taxes paid by the estate for which the Plaintiff was not responsible.

Of importance, it was revealed through the course of litigation that a company transferred to the Plaintiff before the death of the deceased owed debts of close to $1.5M dollars to the deceased’s estate. This key evidence was uncovered through the discovery process of the litigation by the efforts of the Mussio Goodman team. 

After reviewing all the evidence, Mr. Justice Sigurdson ordered that the will be varied so that the Plaintiff is entitled to 25% of the Estate. In making his decision, Mr. Justice Sigurdson placed a great deal of weight on the fact that without a variation of the will, the Plaintiff would be unable to re-pay the debt to the Estate. So while the Plaintiff will receive an increased share from the estate, the practical consequence is that the she must use her increased share to satisfy the debt owing to the estate. 

This case demonstrates how complicated BC Wills and Estate litigation can be. There are often significant investigations in the course of litigation as well as complicated practical issues to take into account, such as tax planning consequences. Litigation can be a very risky endeavour and there are very rarely “slam dunk” cases. At Mussio Goodman, we provide our BC Wills and Estate litigation clients with the experience, knowledge, and expertise to deal with any situation that may arise throughout the course of a lawsuit.

Mussio Goodman Successful at Trial in Overturning Will For Disinherited Clients

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We are pleased to announce that reasons for judgement were just released in our case Sharma v. Sharma Estate, 2016 BCSC 1397. The case centered on the Estate our clients’ mother, and her Will that disinherited three children in favour of one son.

In the Will, the defendant stood to inherit the entire Estate. The Estate was valued at upwards of $2 million and consisted of real estate in Canada as well as Fiji and other sizeable investments.

At trial, Wes Mussio, assisted by associate Anthony Eden, argued that the Will of the deceased did not make a morally adequate provision for our disinherited clients (Rani and Ranjan). We argued that our clients had not been given any significant assets from their mother during their lifetime, while the defendant brother (Victor) was in receipt of financial support from his mother in the form of rent-free accommodation, a monthly stipend, and payment of various expenses for the duration of his entire adult life when he was not serving time in prison for attempted murder and other serious criminal activities.

Madam Justice Griffin agreed and accordingly varied the Will ordering 34% of the residue of the Estate to the Deceased’s daughter and 33% to each son.

[430] Judging Victor by contemporary standards would mean that he should not necessarily be disinherited simply because of his criminal activity, as he should be given a chance at rehabilitation. Similarly, the fact that there was some distance between Rani, Ranjan and the Testatrix later in her life can be understood by the circumstances which led to that distance, for which Rani and Ranjan ought not to be unduly criticized.

 [431] Viewed objectively in light of current societal norms, when I compare and contrast the circumstances of Rani, Ranjan and Victor, I conclude that each sibling is morally deserving of a share of the Testatrix’s estate and that a judicious parent would share her estate amongst them.

This case underscores the legal and moral constraints that can affect the binding nature of one’s Last Will and Testament. If you have been disinherited and suspect that the decision was made by way of undue influence, mental incapacity, or believe there are moral reasons why you should still be entitled to a portion of an estate, contact us to review your rights.


Take Five Magazine Reports on Wes Mussio’s Court of Appeal Victory

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As reported in the August issue of Take Five by OnPoint Legal Research, the BC Court of Appeal has rejected ICBC’s attempt to shut down, a free informational website for those dealing with ICBC claims, owned by Wes Mussio’s wife. This was ICBC’s second attempt to remove the website – the first attempt was rejected by the BC Supreme Court in 2012. ICBC claimed that the website unlawfully infringed on the company’s copyright license of the term “ICBC” and, therefore, violated the Trade-Marks Act. However, the Court of Appeal sided with Wes Mussio, counsel for the Respondant, confirming that was not in violation of the Act.

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