What is the reasonable competence standard for a lawyer in a personal injury action?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Ronald Gunraj v. Chris Cyr, 2012 ONSC 1609 (CanLII):

In Folland v. Reardon,[12] Doherty J.A. explained that standard of reasonable competence. This standard must permit for errors in judgment. It is not a standard of perfection. He put the proposition as follows: In accepting the reasonably competent lawyer standard, I do not detract from the often repeated caution against characterizing errors in judgment as negligence. Lawyers make many decisions in the course of a lawsuit. Those decisions require the exercise of judgment. Inevitably, some of those decisions, when viewed with the benefit of hindsight, will be seen as unwise. The reasonable lawyer standard does not call for an assessment of the sagacity of the decisions made by the lawyer. The standard demands that the lawyer bring to the exercise of his or her judgment the effort, knowledge and insight of the reasonably competent lawyer. If the lawyer has met that standard, his or her duty to the client is discharged, even if the decision proves to be disastrous.

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