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Civil Litigation - Civil procedure - Parties - Representation of - By non-lawyer

Thursday, September 01, 2016 @ 8:00 PM  


Application by Park Avenue Flooring Inc. (Park Avenue) to permit Miller to represent Park Avenue in the appeal or cross-appeal. EllisDon Construction Services Inc. (EllisDon) was retained as a construction manager for the Court Yard Infill Project (CYI Project) at the Calgary Airport. In early 2002, EllisDon accepted Park Avenue’s bid to do work on tiling and flooring for the CIY Project. By September 2002, Park Avenue claimed $550,000 in unpaid invoices. Informal mediation was unsuccessful and the relationship continued to deteriorate until EllisDon sent a termination letter to Park Avenue in April 2003. Park Avenue commenced litigation in October 2003. In 2007, a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench issued an order permitting Miller to represent Park Avenue. Miller was a Director and Officer of Park Avenue, but was not a member of the Law Society of Alberta. The trial judge awarded Park Avenue $877,582 in damages and dismissed EllisDon’s counterclaim. Park Avenue filed a Notice of Appeal and sought to appeal portions of the judgment in relation to damages. EllisDon cross-appealed and objected to Miller’s representation of Park Avenue.

HELD: Application dismissed. The law was clear that a corporation must be represented by a member of the Law Society of Alberta. The combined effect of the new Alberta Rules of Court (New Rules) and s. 106 of the Legal Professions Act (Act) was that a non-lawyer could not represent a corporation. The 2007 Order could not be read as including the Court of Appeal, as the Queen’s Bench judge did not have the authority to issue an order that bound the current court. Section 106 of the Act prevailed over an order made under the Old Rules or the court’s discretion under the transitional rules. It was an offence to contravene s. 106 of the Act. There was no evidence of impecuniosity.