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Judge Says a Person who is his Own Lawyer has a Fool for a Client

LEGAL SKILLS

In this  ICBC injury case the Judge had sympathy for the ICBC lawyer and the members of his law firm in having to deal with a claimant without a lawyer. The judge was of the view that if the claimant hired a lawyer to deal with the case, or even just seek some legal advice, the court and all the parties, including the claimant would be far better served.  The court reiterated the the old adage that “a person who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client” (Jordan v. Stewart, 2009 BCSC 641).

The court however refused to dismiss the claim stating:

[4]  You had issues with regard to the interrogatories with[the ICBC lawyer] but you failed to come to court.  You had issues with regard to the discoveries, but you failed to come to court.  You had issues with regard to the failure to properly disclose documents, and yet you failed to come to court.

[5] We are here now on the eve of trial and [ the ICBC lawyer] has no discoveries, he has had very little discovery of any evidence from you in terms of your documents.  He has had to go to third parties to get that information, and he has worked very hard, as we can see from all the documents filed, to try and deal with your requests.

[6] Nevertheless, I am not going to grant his application to dismiss your statement of claim for one reason, and that is even though you have dillydallied about with all of your correspondence and telephone calls, there is one item in your requests that I think he has been mistaken in. There is some authority for the proposition that when you claim litigation privilege with respect to documents, you have to list the documents and describe them sufficiently so that the person who is receiving that list can understand the nature of the document and decide whether or not they are going to make an objection and come to court to contest that non-disclosure.  I do not think, in reading the list of documents provided, that you have done that correctly.

[7]   It is not up to [the ICBC lawyer] to take out redacted portions of documents received as a result of a Freedom of Information request.  If there are documents in the possession of ICBC that should be disclosed, they will be disclosed in their entirety.  However, if there are documents that are not disclosed because they are privileged, then he will have to describe them sufficiently, but briefly, so you understand what they are. Then you will have a chance to come to court to argue about that.

[8] But my order is going to be conditional. I do not think that it is appropriate that I postpone your examination for discovery until such time as all of those documents have been produced and litigated because I do not think any of that is going to be relevant to your discover..”

 Find out about getting legal advice to help a personal injury case: Hire a lawyer for an ICBC injury claim.

Tags: Hire an Injury Lawyer, hire personal injury lawyer, Legal advice, Personal Injury Lawyers

One responseJudge Says a Person who is his Own Lawyer has a Fool for a Client

  • Max Jones

    April 25, 2017 4:14pm

    I haven't ever heard that quote about self representation, but I'm sure its true! I really like the idea of having a personal injury attorney to help represent me, because I am very unfamiliar with the legal system. I think I'll have to start my search for a good personal injury attorney! Thanks for helping me realize I need one!

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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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