Law Times

September 4, 2017

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Law Times • sepTember 4, 2017 Page 3 90-day sentence cut to 45 days OCA upholds contempt finding against lawyer BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times T he Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a contempt finding against a lawyer for failing to produce documents ordered by a judge. In Business Development Bank of Canada v. Cavalon Inc., the court dismissed an ap- peal of the finding against law- yer Robyrt Regan, but it slashed a 90-day jail sentence down to 45 days. Ontario Superior Court Jus- tice Douglas Gray had found Regan in contempt of court for failing to produce documents concerning a dispute involving his former client, Robert Bor- tolon, that another judge had ordered him to provide. "As lawyers, we're officers of the court, and when a court makes an order, we have to com- ply with them," says Benjamin Frydenberg, the lawyer who represented Business Develop- ment Bank of Canada, the party that brought the contempt mo- tion against Regan. "We're the gatekeepers of the system, and when the gatekeep- ers of the system don't do their job, the system itself is threat- ened and I think that's why the court had to make a serious or- der as it did in this case." In the underlying matter, Business Development Bank of Canada brought an action against Cavalon Inc., of which Bortolon is a principal, after the company defaulted on a $100,000 loan. BDC obtained a judgment in its favour in 2011. After a fire occurred at Cava- lon's premises in 2013, an insurer valued the assets lost at approxi- mately $98,000. Another of Bortolon's com- panies asserted it was entitled to the insurance proceeds. BDC then brought another action claiming it was entitled to the proceeds. Regan acted as counsel for Bortolon and some of his com- panies from 2007 until early 2013, when a dispute arose be- tween the two over unpaid legal fees. In 2015, Justice William Le- May granted an order that Bor- tolon and his companies had waived solicitor-client privilege with respect to their relation- ship with Regan, that the lawyer could be examined and must produce documents related to BDC's oppression claim. Regan had sworn an affida- vit that he had condensed the files into 14 boxes and delivered them to his former client. Bortolon's affidavit in the contempt motion, however, stat- ed he received only five boxes of documents. So BDC brought a motion for contempt. "We thought that the con- tempt proceeding would be the appropriate way to resolve the dispute because, with critical documents having been essen- tially disposed of in this fashion, the bank wouldn't ever really have an opportunity to have a fair hearing on the merits of its application," says Frydenberg. After being found in con- tempt, Regan brought an appeal arguing that the judge had failed to apply the correct legal frame- work. He contended that BDC had failed to prove beyond a reason- able doubt that he was in con- tempt of the judge's order. Bortolon also appealed a finding that he was liable in contempt. Lawyers say it's very rare for a lawyer to be found in contempt of court. Frydenberg says the only other civil contempt case he is aware of involving a lawyer was Carey v. Laiken, on which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2015. In that case, which was cited in the decision, the lawyer had argued that one of the elements of civil contempt had to be an intention to interfere in the ad- ministration of justice. The court, however, found that was not an element of the offence. The Court of Appeal decided to cut the penalty of Regan and his former client in half, saying the judge erred with respect to the proportionality of the sen- tence. Regan has since been granted a stay on the sentence while a possible appeal plays out. Alfred Esterbauer, the lawyer who represented Regan in the matter, says Regan intends to seek leave to the Supreme Court. "The dust may not have set- tled," he says. A Law Society of Upper Can- ada tribunal has issued an in- terlocutory suspension against Regan, which shuts down his ability to practise on an interim basis. In an interview after the LSUC tribunal decision, but before the Court of Appeal heard the case, Esterbauer said it would have been more fair from the lawyer's perspective to have at least allowed a final determination on the contempt issue before making the interim suspension order. "It seems a little bit precipi- tous in a case like this where there is still a live issue about what the facts were and the find- ings are to levy an interim sus- pension," he said. Doug LaFramboise, the law- yer who represented Bortolon in the matter, declined to com- ment other than to say his client also intends to seek leave to ap- peal the decision to the Supreme Court. Bortolon was issued the same penalty, but the court also stayed his sentence during the leave application and potential appeal. LT NEWS The Court of Appeal has upheld a contempt finding against a lawyer, but it cut his jail sentence down. JUDICIAL VACANCY ONTARIO COURT OF JUSTICE HAMILTON The Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee advises the Attorney General of Ontario on the appointment of Judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, and invites applications for a judicial position in Hamilton. This appointment involves presiding over criminal law matters and also involves travel within the regional boundaries as assigned by the Regional Senior Justice and/or the Chief Justice. The minimum requirement to apply to be a Judge in the Ontario Court of Justice is ten years completed membership as a barrister and solicitor at the Bar of one of the Provinces or Territories of Canada. All candidates must apply either by submitting 14 copies of the current (July 2017) completed Judicial Candidate Information Form in the first instance or by a short letter (14 copies) if the form has been submitted within the previous 12 months. Should you wish to change any information in your application, you must send in 14 copies of a fully revised Judicial Candidate Information Form. If you wish to apply and need a current Judicial Candidate Information Form, or if you would like further information, please contact: Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee Tel: (416) 326-4060 Fax: (416) 212-7316 Website: All applications, either sent by courier, mail or hand delivery, must be sent to: Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee c/o Ministry of Government Services Mail Delivery 77 Wellesley Street West, Room M2B-88 Macdonald Block, Queen's Park Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1N3 Applications must be on the current prescribed form and must be TYPEWRITTEN or COMPUTER GENERATED and RECEIVED BY 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 22, 2017. CANDIDATES ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE 14 COPIES OF THEIR APPLICATION FORM OR LETTER. A Fax copy will be accepted only if 14 copies of the application or letter are sent concurrently by overnight courier. Applications received after this date WILL NOT be considered. The Judiciary of the Ontario Court of Justice should reasonably reflect the diversity of the population it serves. Applications from members of equality- seeking groups are encouraged. POSTE À POURVOIR AU SEIN DE LA MAGISTRATURE COUR DE JUSTICE DE L'ONTARIO HAMILTON Le Comité consultatif sur les nominations à la magistrature conseille le Procureur général de l'Ontario sur les nominations de juges à la Cour de justice de l'Ontario et invite les personnes intéressées à présenter leur demande au poste de juge à Hamilton. Cette nomination consiste à présider des causes criminelles et nécessite également des déplacements à l'intérieur des limites régionales, selon les assignations du juge principal régional ou du juge en chef. Pour pouvoir poser sa candidature à un poste de juge à la Cour de justice de l'Ontario, il faut, comme condition minimale, avoir été inscrit comme avocat-plaidant et procureur au barreau de l'une des provinces ou de l'un des territoires du Canada pendant au moins dix ans. Tous les candidats et candidates doivent poser leur candidature soit, dans le premier cas, en présentant le Formulaire de renseignements sur le candidat/la candidate à la magistrature courant (juillet 2017), soit en envoyant une courte lettre (en 14 exemplaires) si le formulaire a été présenté au cours des 12 mois précédents. En cas de changements à apporter à un formulaire déjà envoyé, le candidat ou la candidate doit envoyer à nouveau 14 exemplaires du formulaire de renseignements corrigé. Si vous voulez poser votre candidature et que vous avez besoin d'un Formulaire de renseignements sur le candidat/la candidate à la magistrature courant, ou encore si vous souhaitez obtenir de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec : Comité consultatif sur les nominations à la magistrature Téléphone : (416) 326-4060 Télécopieur : (416) 212-7316 Site Web : Toutes les demandes envoyées par service de messagerie, par la poste ou en main propre doivent être soumises à l'adresse suivante : Comité consultatif sur les nominations à la magistrature a/s Ministère des Services gouvernementaux - Services de distribution du courrier 77, rue Wellesley Ouest, salle M2B-88 Édifice Macdonald, Queen's Park Toronto (Ontario) M7A 1N3 Les demandes de candidature doivent être déposées par l'entremise du formulaire prescrit courant et DACTYLOGRAPHIÉES ou CRÉÉES PAR ORDINATEUR et reçues au plus tard à 16 h 30 le vendredi 22 septembre 2017. LES CANDIDATS ET CANDIDATES DOIVENT FOURNIR 14 EXEMPLAIRES DE LEUR FORMULAIRE OU DE LEUR LETTRE DE CANDIDATURE. Une télécopie ne sera acceptée que si 14 exemplaires du formulaire ou de la lettre de candidature sont également envoyés par service de messagerie de 24 heures. On n'accordera AUCUNE considération aux candidatures reçues après cette date. La magistrature provinciale doit refléter raisonnablement la diversité de la population qu'elle sert. Nous encourageons les membres de groupes de promotion de l'égalité à présenter une demande. Untitled-2 1 2017-08-29 1:15 PM

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