Areas of Expertise
A litigator for almost 30 years, Mr Desforges represents the business community as well as public bodies, before all common law courts and many administrative tribunals. He assumes, in this respect, the management of the
administrative law department.
He has been called upon to represent a prestigious clientele in the field of entertainment law, in cases involving the law of copyright, contractual relations between producers and screenwriters as well as litigation opposing screenwriters. The cases entrusted to him largely contributed to the advancement of entertainment law in Quebec. In 2001, he set about establishing the entertainment law department.
- Consultations on the subject of defamation and liability in connection with broadcasting.
- Representation before the courts.
- Opinions and implementation of business strategies.
Typical Interventions in the Entertainment Industry
- Advise and represent a producer before the Quebec Superior Court and subsequently before the Quebec Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada in order to obtain that the broadcast of a
movie on video appropriating the characters of “La Petite Vie” be stopped. The Court of Appeal, in a final judgment, recognized for the first time in Canada the protection of characters.
- Advise and represent before the Court a producer in proceedings in damages introduced by a screenwriter who asserted that our client had ill-managed a television series that he participated in as a screenwriter and did not take the required steps to ensure a second season of the series. The Quebec Superior Court rejected this lawsuit for damages as well as the claim regarding an alleged rewriting of the scenario.
- Advise and represent Imavision for the termination of an agreement binding this producer to Mr. Gilles Carle concerning the television series, “Une révolution tranquille”.
- Advise and represent before the Quebec Superior Court Mr. Jacques Cossette-Trudel against Mr. Gilles Carle concerning the allocation of screenwriting rights to the benefit of Mr. Cossette-Trudel.
- Advise and represent two morning men in two distinct cases pertaining to the cancellation of their contracts with the radio station CKMF. The two cases were settled out of court.
- Advise and represent an artist following the termination of a contract as a spokesman for a multinational company for unpaid fees. A court settlement was reached.
- Advise and represent the producers of the series, “Le Masque”, concerning the foreseeable proceedings with regard to a possible conflict with known characters.
- Advise and act on behalf of the insurers of the producers of “Tout le monde en parle”, in proceedings for damages to his reputation brought by Mr. Jean Djoufo. These proceedings, brought in the district of Gatineau, are linked to the words that Dr. Pierre Mailloux uttered on the set. This case is still pending. In the same context, advise and represent the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) et al following the filing of a request for the authorization of a class action suit in the amount of $24.5 million concerning the same events.
- Advise and represent Avanti before the Quebec Superior Court against the J.Walter Thompson advertising agency in order to prevent the broadcast of the series, “Love Bites”, an illegal adaptation of the work, “Un gars, une fille”. The court handed down the injunction order sought by our client and the case was subsequently settled out of court.
- Advise the producers for the purposes of maintaining their insurance coverage with respect to various television series, such as “La Petite Vie”, “Un gars, une fille”, “Catherine”, “Radio”, “Olivier”, “Les Mecs
comiques”, “Tout le monde en parle”.
University of Montreal, Bachelor in Law (LLL) (1975).
Advanced Studies at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Civil Law (1976-1977).
- Member of the Quebec Bar and the Canadian Bar Association since 1977.
- Chairman of the board of “24 Images”, a magazine devoted to cinema.
- Member of the board of “La Salle Jean-Grimaldi”.
- Member of the board of the Quebec Bar Continuing Education Service from 1993 to 2008, and Director of this committee from 2003 to 2008.
Mr. Desforges has delivered a great number of conferences and organized several seminars. In this respect, he was instrumental for the setting-up of seminars pertaining to entertainment law and has assumed an undisputed leadership in public law.
On numerous occasions, Me Desforges has acted as guest speaker within the scope of educational activities recommended by the Quebec Bar Service of Continuing Education and also published several articles. Furthermore, he has frequently addressed various professional organizations as guest speaker.
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