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BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS - Compensation - Taxation or assessment of accounts

Monday, November 04, 2019 @ 9:06 AM  

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Appeal by Temedio from a decision refusing to order that all legal bills from the respondent were to be assessed. Cross-appeal by the respondent on the basis that no assessment should have been ordered. The appellant purchased a condominium unit for her disabled grandson and his mother. Noise complaints by other tenants resulted in numerous proceedings, including an unsuccessful eviction application by the Condominium Corporation. The Corporation then advised the appellant that she was responsible for the Corporation’s actual costs in pursing the legal proceedings and that the costs amount would be added to the amounts secured by the lien against her unit. The application judge held that the appellant did not establish special circumstances with respect to all the bills.

HELD: Appeal allowed. Cross-appeal dismissed. An order enjoining the Corporation from enforcing its lien until the assessment had been completed was granted. The application judge erred in finding that special circumstances did not exist warranting assessment of all bills. In considering whether special circumstances had been shown, a more generous approach was to be taken when the person applying for the assessment was a person liable to pay the bill but was not the client. A third party should be given more favourable consideration than the client who received and paid the account. There were sufficient special circumstances to warrant a review of the eviction proceeding bills at an assessment at the request of a third party like the appellant, given that her request was entitled in law to favourable consideration.

Temedio v. Niagara North Condominium Corp. No. 6, [2019] O.J. No. 4907, Ontario Court of Appeal, D. Paciocco, A.L. Harvison Young and B. Zarnett JJ.A., September 30, 2019. Digest No. TLD-November42019003