Documentation showed negligence on part of lawyer but not deliberate or intentional

Ontario civil | Contempt of Court

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Documentation showed negligence on part of lawyer but not deliberate or intentional

Show cause hearing determining whether or not lawyer should be found in contempt of court. Lawyer was counsel for someone charged with sexual assault. Matter was set for full day preliminary inquiry. Lawyer nor his client appeared. Lawyer had history of mismanaging his court schedule. Lawyer was advised that he would be required to attend before court and show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt. Lawyer was not found to be in contempt. Evidence did not establish basis for contempt finding. Both testimony and documentation showed great deal of disorganization and confusion, inattention to obligations to both court and client, and negligence on part of lawyer. However, documentation did not support any inference that conduct was deliberate or intentional.
R. v. Watkins (June 26, 2012, Ont. C.J., McKay J.) 218 A.C.W.S. (3d) 74 (6 pp.).

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