In its recent decision in Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 27, the Supreme Court of Canada considered lawyers’ duties of civility and resolute advocacy, and when incivility may give rise to professional misconduct. The court’s decision is important not just for counsel who appear before courts or tribunals, but also for business lawyers who communicate in advisory or transactional settings, who select and instruct litigation counsel and who must deal with the consequences when the opposing party’s counsel behaves intemperately.
In this session, we will:
- Consider the limits of the duty of resolute advocacy after Groia
- Ask whether Groia creates a mistake of law defence to allegations of professional misconduct
- Examine how the Groia principles apply to business lawyers
- Discuss how to respond when opposing counsel engages in intemperate personal attacks or uncivil behaviour
- Explore the costs of incivility to clients and the legal system