Posts Tagged ‘Contractual law’

Signing on to silence: Confidentiality agreements in sexual assault cases

January 29th, 2018 by Michael Hackl

This article was first published on

The case of Larry Nassar, who for years was a doctor for Michigan State University and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic team, and who has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, is truly disturbing. In the sentencing phase of the trial, 156 victims made statements to the court about the impact of his acts on their lives.

This case also drew attention to situations where an attempt is made to silence victims through a non disclosure or confidentiality agreement. One of Nassar’s victims, McKayla Maroney, reached a settlement with USA Gymnastics (USAG) in December, 2016, which included such an agreement, prohibiting her from speaking about any abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar. The confidentiality agreement also contained a provision that if Maroney violated the agreement, USAG could “fine” her US$100,000. This raised the question of whether she would, or could, make a victim impact statement at Nassar’s sentencing hearing. Ultimately, USAG confirmed that it would not seek to enforce those provisions if Maroney made a victim impact statement.

As a result of USAG’s decision, in this case the confidentiality agreement will not have prevented Maroney from speaking out. But what about other victims who have signed confidentiality agreements in the course of settling sexual assault claims, in cases when the other party to the settlement agreement will not agree to waive the confidentiality agreement? Are those persons free to speak without any repercussions? Unfortunately, in Canada, the answer is not clear. Continue reading “Signing on to silence: Confidentiality agreements in sexual assault cases”

Client Profile: Project Bookmark

June 12th, 2013 by Iler Campbell
Michael Ondaatje and Mayor David Miller at the unveiling of the first Bookmark in 2009.

Michael Ondaatje and Mayor David Miller at the unveiling of the first Bookmark in 2009.

Project Bookmark Canada marks the places where the real and imagined landscapes meet by placing text from imagined stories and poems in the exact, physical locations where literary scenes take place. The charity envisions a network of hundreds of Bookmarks around the country so that residents and visitors can read their way right across Canada.

Iler Campbell LLP has been with Project Bookmark Canada from the beginning. Its founder, author Miranda Hill, engaged us in 2006 to help incorporate the organization and achieve charitable status. And in 2009, we proudly attended the unveiling of the first Bookmark at the Bloor Street Viaduct: a passage from Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion.

We continue to provide Project Bookmark Canada with ongoing legal service primarily in the areas of corporate and contractual law. Recently, Project Bookmark Canada created installations in Vancouver, BC and Gros Morne National Park in NL and has just completed an extensive fundraising initiative spearheaded by literary luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Terry Fallis and Shelagh Rogers.

We encourage you to find out more about this dynamic organization at