Ontario Civil

Civil Procedure

Removal of counsel permitted where there was complete breakdown of solicitor-counsel relationship

Parties were involved in motor vehicle accident. There was possibility of finding of contributory negligence on part of plaintiff. There was issue about threshold and there was matter of $30,000 deductible. Defendant made offer to settle. Plaintiff’s counsel strongly urged plaintiff to accept offer. Plaintiff viewed offer as too low and wished to have his day in court. Trial was scheduled. Plaintiff’s counsel sought order to remove itself as counsel of record for plaintiff. Motion granted. Defendant consented to adjournment if plaintiff’s counsel were permitted to be removed. Trial was adjourned to permit plaintiff to retain new counsel if it chose to do so. Plaintiff’s opposition to request for removal was untenable on facts. Motion material made it clear that plaintiff no longer had confidence in his lawyers or in their ability to adequately represent him. There was no longer trust and confidence between plaintiff and counsel. There was complete breakdown of solicitor-counsel relationship.

Vaillancourt v. Sloss (Nov. 13, 2015, Ont. S.C.J., Louise L. Gauthier J., File No. C-1113-11) 260 A.C.W.S. (3d) 449.

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