Courts and Tribunals Chastise City of Hamilton Lawyers

Ontario’s courts and tribunals are directly criticizing the City of Hamilton’s lawyers in recent rulings for wasting time and increasing costs in legal hearings.

In a Human Rights Tribunal ruling, Vice-Chair Karen Dawson wrote the City made submissions “not directly on point” in a motion the City made attempting to argue Pride Hamilton did not have the standing to represent the LGBTQ community due to Pride Hamilton being incorporated.

“Not directly on point” is legalese for wasting the time of the Tribunal.

At the Red Hill Valley Parkway Inquiry this week, Justice Herman J. Wilton-Siegel, noted that if the City’s lawyers wanted to introduce new evidence and have new experts testify, the City bares responsibility for the “cost and possible delay in the Inquiry’s process.”

In a costs decision following the Superior Court’s dismissal of a civil suit against the City by non-unionized employees regarding the mandatory COVID vaccination policy, Superior Court Justice Joseph Henderson wrote:

“The City’s costs outline shows that two senior lawyers were involved in this case at almost every stage of the motion. In my opinion, two senior lawyers were not necessary for this motion. The use of two counsel created a duplication of services and increased the overall costs. I accept that the City may choose to have two lawyers involved at each stage, and the City has the right to make that decision for itself, but the losing party should not reasonably be expected to pay for two lawyers at every stage. Therefore, the partial indemnity costs of the City should be reduced by approximately one-third.”

Ultimately, the costs in all these cases are borne by taxpayers.


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Published: December 15, 2022
Last edited: December 15, 2022
Author: Joey Coleman
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