Best v. Ranking et al., 2016 ONCA 492

JudgeBlair, Pardu and D. Brown, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ontario)
Case DateJune 21, 2016
JurisdictionOntario
Citations2016 ONCA 492;(2016), 351 O.A.C. 132 (CA)

Best v. Ranking (2016), 351 O.A.C. 132 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2016] O.A.C. TBEd. JN.029

Donald Best (plaintiff) v. Gerald Lancaster Rex Ranking, Sebastien Jean Kwidzinski, Lorne Stephen Silver, Colin David Pendrith, Paul Barker Schabas, Andrew John Roman, Ma'anit Tzipora Zemel, Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP, Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Miller Thomson LLP, Kingsland Estates Limited, Richard Ivan Cox , Eric Iain Stewart Deane, Marcus Andrew Hatch , Philip St. Eval Atkinson , PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean ( formerly 'PricewaterhouseCoopers '), Ontario Provincial Police, Peel Regional Police Service a.k.a. Peel Regional Police, Durham Regional Police Service, Marty Kearns, Jeffery R. Vibert, George Dmytruk, Laurie Rushbrook, James (Jim) Arthur Van Allen, Behavioural Science Solutions Group Inc., Tamara Jean Williamson, Investigative Solutions Network Inc., Toronto Police Association, Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2, Jane Doe #3, Jane Doe #4, Jane Doe #5, John Doe #1, John Doe #2, John Doe #3, John Doe #4, John Doe #5 ( defendants/respondents )

(C61271; 2016 ONCA 492)

Indexed As: Best v. Ranking et al.

Ontario Court of Appeal

Blair, Pardu and D. Brown, JJ.A.

June 21, 2016.

Summary:

The plaintiff commenced an action for damages alleging various torts arising out of prior proceedings in which he was jailed for 60 days for contempt. The defendants, already owed $375,000 in costs awarded against the plaintiff in prior proceedings, gave notice that they intended to contest jurisdiction without first filing a defence and requested that the plaintiff's lawyer (Slansky) not note the defendants in default. Slansky declined and noted the defendants in default. Slansky did not agree to set aside the noting in default, so the defendants filed a motion to set it aside. Slansky's motion to examine witnesses was dismissed as the witnesses had nothing to add to the narrow issue to be determined on the motion. When Slansky finally consented to setting aside the noting in default, after motion materials were prepared, the defendants gave notice that they intended to seek costs against him personally. A motions judge found the noting in default to be entirely unnecessary and unreasonable. Costs of the motion were awarded against the plaintiff, who unsuccessfully appealed the costs order. Slansky was again given notice respecting personal liability for costs. The plaintiff's action was dismissed as an abuse of process. It was found to have no "scintilla of merit". The defendants moved under rule 57.07(1)(c) for an order that Slansky be personally liable for costs. Slansky was ordered to pay $84,000 in costs on a joint and several basis with the plaintiff. The judge held that Slansky caused costs to be incurred unnecessarily and that, after applying the extreme caution principle, the imposition of costs against a lawyer personally was warranted. Slansky drafted a claim that was an abuse of process, issued and served it, based his legal rationale on a theory that had no chance of success, failed to plead a cause of action with a factual basis, advanced baseless serious and scandalous allegations of fraud, dishonesty, criminal conduct, etc., against various professionals, and either acted on unreasonable instructions from the plaintiff or provided unreasonable advice to his client respecting the jurisdiction motion. Slansky appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The judge did not err in awarding costs personally against Slansky.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 842

Duty to court - Liability for costs - For improper conduct - See paragraphs 32 to 59.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 849

Duty to court - Liability for costs - For conduct of proceedings - See paragraphs 32 to 59.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 851

Duty to court - Liability for costs - For conduct of trial - See paragraphs 32 to 59.

Barristers and Solicitors - Topic 852

Duty to court - Liability for costs - For causing delay or costs to be incurred without reasonable cause - See paragraphs 32 to 59.

Counsel:

Paul J. Pape and Justin H. Nasseri, for the appellant, Paul Slansky;

Mark Polley and Eric Brousseau, for the respondents.

This appeal was heard on May 24, 2016, before Blair, Pardu and D. Brown, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

On June 21, 2016, Pardu, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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4 practice notes
  • Top 5 Civil Appeals from the Court of Appeal (July 2016)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 26, 2016
    ...2016 3. Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 471 (MacPherson, Cronk and Brown JJ.A.), June 14, 2016 4. Best v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 (Blair, Pardu and Brown JJ.A.), June 21, 2016 5. Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 (MacPherson,......
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (June 20-24, 2016)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 5, 2016
    ...why. Her reasoning is not so deficient that the parties are unable to know why the judge reached the conclusions she did Best v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 [Blair, Pardu and Brown Counsel: Paul J. Pape and Justin H. Nasseri, for the appellant, Paul Slansky Mark Polley and Eric Brousseau, for th......
  • 10313033 Canada Inc. v. Kechichian et al., 2020 ONSC 1990
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • April 2, 2020
    ...Frivolous, Vexatious, or an Abuse of Process [59] In Best v. Ranking, Healey J. reviewed the purposes of pleadings: 2015 ONSC 6269, aff’d 2016 ONCA 492, 351 O.A.C. 132, leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused, 37175 (February 2, 2017). At para. 59, he summarized the purposes of pleadings as follo......
  • Gefen v. Gefen et al., 2022 ONSC 6259
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • November 4, 2022
    ...allows him to take positions as he pleases. Given this latitude, Mr. Moldaver has taken some unreasonable positions. Best v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 quotes the motions judge as finding that the lawyer “wasted costs unnecessarily by acting on unreasonable instructions from or providing......
2 cases
  • 10313033 Canada Inc. v. Kechichian et al., 2020 ONSC 1990
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • April 2, 2020
    ...Frivolous, Vexatious, or an Abuse of Process [59] In Best v. Ranking, Healey J. reviewed the purposes of pleadings: 2015 ONSC 6269, aff’d 2016 ONCA 492, 351 O.A.C. 132, leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused, 37175 (February 2, 2017). At para. 59, he summarized the purposes of pleadings as follo......
  • Gefen v. Gefen et al.,
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • November 4, 2022
    ...allows him to take positions as he pleases. Given this latitude, Mr. Moldaver has taken some unreasonable positions. Best v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 quotes the motions judge as finding that the lawyer “wasted costs unnecessarily by acting on unreasonable instructions from or providing......
2 firm's commentaries
  • Top 5 Civil Appeals from the Court of Appeal (July 2016)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 26, 2016
    ...2016 3. Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 471 (MacPherson, Cronk and Brown JJ.A.), June 14, 2016 4. Best v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 (Blair, Pardu and Brown JJ.A.), June 21, 2016 5. Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 (MacPherson,......
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (June 20-24, 2016)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 5, 2016
    ...why. Her reasoning is not so deficient that the parties are unable to know why the judge reached the conclusions she did Best v. Ranking, 2016 ONCA 492 [Blair, Pardu and Brown Counsel: Paul J. Pape and Justin H. Nasseri, for the appellant, Paul Slansky Mark Polley and Eric Brousseau, for th......

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