• FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education

The Lawyers

Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers v. Verlaan-Cole, 2019 ONSC 6648 (CanLII)

Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers v. Verlaan-Cole, 2019 ONSC 6648 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/j3fdf 

[26]       Further, Rule 3.7-2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct states, “Subject to the rules about criminal proceedings and the direction of the tribunal, where there has been a serious loss of confidence between the lawyer and the client, the lawyer may withdraw.” Commentary [1] of Rule 3.7-2 states:

A lawyer may have a justifiable cause for withdrawal in circumstances indicating a loss of confidence, for example, if a lawyer is deceived by their client, the client refuses to accept and act upon the lawyer’s advice on a significant point, a client is persistently unreasonable or uncooperative in a material respect, there is a material breakdown in communications, or the lawyer is facing difficulty in obtaining adequate instructions from the client. However, the lawyer should not use the threat of withdrawal as a device to force a hasty decision by the client on a difficult question.

[27]       I have reviewed the record provided by both parties. There is ample evidence that the Client was critical of the Gluckstein firm and did not believe they were adequately representing her. It is clear that she had lost confidence in their ability to represent her to the standards that she demanded. She did not agree with their advice and would not accept the perceived deficiencies with her case. Accordingly, I find that Gluckstein had good cause to terminate the CFA.

[45]       The Client has not yet been awarded any damages or entered into a settlement agreement. Therefore, it is premature for Gluckstein to advance a claim for its fees, in violation of its own CFA and of s. 7 of the Contingency Fee AgreementsAccordingly, I find that Gluckstein is not entitled to seek its fees at the forthcoming assessment, as the issue is premature.

[46]       Given my reasons, the assessment may proceed with respect of the disbursements, but is premature with respect to the fees to be charged. At this juncture, there has been no determination of what damages the Client will receive. Once that is determined, then the assessment of fees can proceed on the understanding that s. 7 of the Contingency Fee Agreements must be adhered to.

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