Case #2

« Back to Actual Cases Summary complaint # 772673 The Law Society of British Columbia

This case begins with a lawsuit for alleged misrepresentation against a lady who, years earlier, suffered brain damage in an accident. The two lawyers hired to defend her, upon learning the particulars of the case and her disability, assured her a conviction was extremely unlikely. But at trial the defense lawyers proved themselves inept, with insufficient knowledge of the legal issues involved, sloppy trial preparation and disregarding written client instructions from her advocate. THEY FAILED TO PRESENT THEIR CLIENT’S IMPAIRMENT TO THE COURT, THEY FAILED TO PROVIDE A GUARDIAN FOR HER AS IS HER RIGHT, and they failed to cross examine one of the plaintiff’s witnesses who was a known liar. Even more seriously, they failed to question the plaintiffs on the existence of TWO versions of a document that was heavily relied upon by the judge.

The outcome was obvious…guilty as charged!

But how, you might ask, is a person with short term memory problems, with difficulty in understanding and processing information and making reasoned decisions and in particular with problems in dealing with numbers – how is such a person supposedly able to plan and execute financial deception? The simple answer is she is NOT capable of doing what she was accused of. Her negligent lawyers walked away with their fees paid, she lost her assets and reputation.

The story, so far, is not that unusual or that uncommon. But wait, there is more.

It is now years later and this brain injured lady is seeking redress from the questionable verdict by trying to sue her earlier defense lawyers for negligence. With help from others, evidence is on file with the Court, detailing errors, omissions, negligence and stupidity by her erstwhile lawyers. Not only that but shortcomings in points of law are documented. The learned judge hearing this lawsuit finds this lady still in need of a litigation guardian and therefore STAYS the action. His decision is based on her mental capacities.

So, what we have here is a case where a person got convicted of something she later was held to be incapable of doing. Her defense lawyers had failed to make her disability known to the Court. Then we have the follow-up, where this person is denied access to the law because she must act through a litigation guardian (but is unable to find one). Yet previously, the Court found it proper to convict her without a guardian. Her defense lawyers had again failed to plead for one as was her right. And finally, we had her accused of acting with planning and intent when now she is ruled to be under disability and not capable of understanding the legal process or instructing a lawyer. How is that for judicial irrationality? Her impairment did not change but the application of justice certainly does.

For the record, it is very difficult to obtain a litigation guardian for an adult in BC, for one, they become responsible for all costs incurred, for another, how does a brain injured person properly present their case to a prospective guardian? Incidentally, the BC Human Rights Tribunal refused to seize this as an opportunity to help the disadvantaged. And the Public Guardian and Trustee found this case to be “outside” their mandate.

Some lawyers and their custodian of ethics, the Law Society, remain as the most detested “public servants” in the province. Only the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may be able to challenge for that honour!

Take heed! This can happen to YOU!

Friends of the Disabled.

« Back to Actual Cases Summary

Back to Top