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Focus online - Don Seal, pioneer of the notion of good faith in Quebec civil law

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Published: 15 Apr 2012

In 1959, a Dr. J.R. Groulx signed a letter of guarantee promising to pay Banque Nationale for all present and future loans made to his son-in-law, Maurice Robitaille.

The guarantee contained a clause that it would be binding on the estate and heirs until cancelled.

After Dr. Groulx died in 1963, Robitaille continued to borrow from the bank and a few years later, the bank sued Dr. Groulx’s widow and two daughters for repayment of money which had been borrowed after Dr. Groulx’s death.

However, the succession had not been informed of the existence of this guarantee, as the Bank had the only copy in its possession.

Donald Seal, QC, BCL’54, later assisted by Leonard Seidman, BCL’72, took on the case on behalf of Dr. Groulx’s widow, Florence Soucisse, and argued the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, in National Bank v. Soucisse et al., [1981] 2 S.C.R. 339.

In this interview with Focus online, Me Seal shares his thoughts about this precedent-setting case.

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