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Scathing ruling prompts law firm to split

|Written By Tim Shufelt

A Toronto litigation boutique that was the subject of a scathing Superior Court ruling has folded.

Gardner Hodder says the ruling, which harshly criticized his former partner, prompted him to permanently end his association with Eric Polten and terminate Polten & Hodder.

“There is some obvious personal pain in having my name attached to a judgment like that,” Hodder says.

In Miksche Estate v. Miksche, Justice David Brown ruled Polten attempted a “naked cash grab” against two elderly women, who were both former clients.

Polten ran up a “scandalous” million-dollar legal tab that exceeded the value of the estate and that he tried to recover from two vulnerable clients, Brown said in the decision.

The judge criticized Polten for what he called professional misconduct and breach of professional duties.

Hodder wouldn’t comment on the ruling itself. “The decision speaks for itself. Justice Brown is a well-respected judge,” he says.

He adds that he represented the business-law arm of the firm and had no involvement in the case.

Effective last Wednesday, he moved to continue his practice as Hodder Barristers. According to the firm’s web site, Polten will continue a civil litigation practice as Polten & Associates.

“I’m hopeful this is something that is not going to affect my practice adversely,” Hodder says.

To get the full story from last week, click here.

  • Johnnybarrister
    I sincerely hope the Law Society gets involved. This is an awful stain on the profession. What a jackass.
  • mariyah
    Scary!
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