Is the materiality of the legal advice required to justify disclosure of privileged information?

Ontario, Canada

The following excerpt is from Pearlman v Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA), 2017 CanLII 10517 (ON LRB):

But the materiality of the legal advice, while necessary to make questions about it relevant, is still not sufficient to justify the compelled disclosure of the legal advice. To justify a party being required to answer questions about the content of privileged communications, the party must utilize the presence or absence of legal advice as a material element of his or her claim or defence. The waiver of the privilege occurs when the party uses the receipt of legal advice as a material fact in his or her claim or defence. While the waiver is a deemed waiver, it requires the intentional act that the party makes legal advice an aspect of his or her case. In Simcoff v. Simcoff, 2009 MBCA 80, Justice Steel made the point neatly at para. 27, where he stated: 27. However, a mere reference to the receipt of legal advice does not constitute waiver. Waiver must involve something more. It requires not simply disclosing that legal advice was obtained, but pleading reliance on that advice for the resolution of an issue.

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