Can a lawyer be ordered to pay costs in a personal injury action?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Sgrignuoli v Sgrignuoli, 2015 ONSC 5537 (CanLII):

The applicants cite Young v. Young 1993 CanLII 34 (SCC), [1993] 4 S.C.R. 3 for the proposition that costs are compensatory and not punitive in nature. That case established that any member of the legal profession might be subject to a compensatory order for costs if it is shown that repetitive and irrelevant material, and excessive motions and applications characterized the proceedings in which they were involved, and that the lawyer acted in bad faith by encouraging this abuse and delay. It is clear that the courts possess jurisdiction to make such an award, under statute, and, in any event, as part of their inherent jurisdiction to control abuse of process and contempt of court. Courts must be extremely cautious in awarding costs personally against a lawyer, given the duties upon a lawyer to guard confidentiality of instructions and to bring forward, with courage, even unpopular causes. A lawyer should not be placed in a situation where his or her fear of an adverse order of costs may conflict with these fundamental duties of his or her calling. Running Up Costs and Gatekeeping

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