Warman et al. v. Law Society of Alberta, (2015) 609 A.R. 83

JudgePicard, Costigan and Wakeling, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Alberta)
Case DateOctober 09, 2015
Citations(2015), 609 A.R. 83;2015 ABCA 368

Warman v. Alta. Law Soc. (2015), 609 A.R. 83; 656 W.A.C. 83 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2015] A.R. TBEd. DE.001

Richard Warman and Amir Attaran (respondents)

(respondents in this application/applicants) v. The Law Society of Alberta (appellant)

(applicant in this application/respondent)

(1503-0124-AC; 2015 ABCA 368)

Indexed As: Warman et al. v. Law Society of Alberta

Alberta Court of Appeal

Picard, Costigan and Wakeling, JJ.A.

November 26, 2015.

Summary:

The Conduct Committee of the Law Society of Alberta discontinued discipline proceedings against a lawyer without notice to the two people who had filed the complaint in the first place (i.e., the complainants). The complainants applied for judicial review of the discontinuance. The Law Society subsequently applied for summary judgment to dismiss the judicial review application. The Law Society argued that the complainants were not parties to the Law Society's discipline process and had no standing to apply for judicial review, and that judicial review was not available to scrutinize the Conduct Committee's exercise of discretion about whether to discontinue the complaint against a member.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported [2015] A.R. Uned. 341, dismissed the Law Society's application for summary judgment. The Law Society appealed.

The Alberta Court of Appeal, Wakeling, J.A., dissenting, dismissed the appeal. The application for judicial review in its entirety should proceed to a full trial.

Administrative Law - Topic 3347

Judicial review - General - Practice - Parties (incl. standing) - [See second Practice - Topic 5702 ].

Practice - Topic 5702

Judgments and orders - Summary judgments - Jurisdiction or when available or when appropriate - The complainants complained about a lawyer's conduct - The Conduct Committee (i.e., stage three decision maker) of the Law Society of Alberta reviewed the complaints and referred the matter to the Hearing Committee - However, before the Hearing Committee was convened, the lawyer requested a discontinuance (Legal Profession Act, s. 62(1)) - The Conduct Committee granted the discontinuance without notice to the complainants or allowing them to make any submissions - The complainants applied for judicial review of the discontinuance decision - The Law Society subsequently applied to summarily dismiss the judicial review application, claiming that the complainants lacked standing and judicial review was unavailable - The applications judge refused to grant summary dismissal - The Law Society appealed - The Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - The court stated that the application of the law to the unique facts of this appeal was unsettled - The positions of both parties had sufficient merit to resist summary dismissal - The parties advanced several issues, which were intertwined - In the circumstances, it was not appropriate to consider whether some issues had more merit than others - The application for judicial review in its entirety should proceed to a full hearing.

Practice - Topic 5702

Judgments and orders - Summary judgments - Jurisdiction or when available or when appropriate - The complainant (Warman) complained about a lawyer's conduct - The Executive Director of the Law Society dismissed the complaint - Warman appealed - The Appeal Committee set aside the Executive Director's decision and referred the matter to the Conduct Committee - The Conduct Committee referred the matter to the Hearing Committee - However, before the Hearing Committee was convened, the lawyer requested a discontinuance (Legal Profession Act, s. 62(1)) - The Conduct Committee granted the discontinuance without notice to the complainant - The complainant applied for judicial review of the discontinuance decision, claiming that he had standing to seek judicial review of the fairness of the specific procedure which effectively reversed the results of his previous statutorily mandated appeal without his participation - The Law Society sought to have the application summarily dismissed - The Alberta Court of Appeal stated that "While the modern test for summary judgment is to determine, based on the record, if a disposition that is fair and just to both parties can be made without the need for a trial, the intent is not to summarily prevent novel arguments on unsettled law from going forward ... Warman's argument, although novel, is not foreclosed by any previous decision of this Court nor by the Act and is not devoid of merit. Counsel were unable to cite any authority on point and we were unable to find one. Therefore, Mr. Warman's application should not be summarily dismissed" - See paragraph 6.

Cases Noticed:

Friends of the Oldman River Society et al. v. Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists (Alta.) et al. (2001), 277 A.R. 378; 242 W.A.C. 378; 199 D.L.R.(4th) 85; 2001 ABCA 107, refd to. [para. 5].

Mitten v. College of Alberta Psychologists et al. (2010), 487 A.R. 198; 495 W.A.C. 198; 2010 ABCA 159, refd to. [para. 5].

Windsor v. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (2014), 572 A.R. 317; 609 W.A.C. 317; 371 D.L.R.(4th) 339; 2014 ABCA 108, refd to. [para. 6].

Hryniak v. Mauldin, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 87; 453 N.R. 51; 314 O.A.C. 1; 2014 SCC 7, refd to. [para. 6].

Tottrup et al. v. Clearwater No. 99 (Municipal District) (2006), 401 A.R. 88; 391 W.A.C. 88; 2006 ABCA 380, refd to. [para. 6].

Dreco Energy Services Ltd. et al. v. Wenzel Downhole Tools Ltd. (2008), 429 A.R. 51; 421 W.A.C. 51; 2008 ABCA 36, refd to. [para. 26, footnote 11].

Access Mortgage Corp. (2004) Ltd. v. Arres Capital Inc. (2014), 584 A.R. 68; 623 W.A.C. 68; 2014 ABCA 280, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 14].

Stout v. Track (2015), 599 A.R. 98; 643 W.A.C. 98; 62 C.P.C.(7th) 260; 2015 ABCA 10, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 14].

Can v. Calgary Chief of Police et al. (2014), 584 A.R. 147; 623 W.A.C. 147; 315 C.C.C.(3d) 337; 2014 ABCA 322, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 14].

Beier et al. v. Proper Cat Construction Ltd. et al. (2013), 564 A.R. 357; 2013 ABQB 351, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 15].

O'Hanlon Paving Ltd. v. Serengetti Developments Ltd. et al. (2013), 567 A.R. 140; 18 B.L.R.(5th) 73; 2013 ABQB 428, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 15].

Orr v. Fort McKay First Nation (2014), 587 A.R. 16; 2014 ABQB 111, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 15].

Greenbuilt Group of Companies Ltd. v. RMD Engineering Inc., [2013] 11 W.W.R. 156; 563 A.R. 1; 2013 ABQB 297, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 15].

Lameman et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., [2008] 1 S.C.R. 372; 372 N.R. 239; 429 A.R. 26; 421 W.A.C. 26; 2008 SCC 14, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 16].

Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. et al. v. Flesch et al. (2011), 286 O.A.C. 3; 108 O.R.(3d) 1; 2011 ONCA 764, refd to. [para. 28, footnote 16].

Apsley v. Boeing Co. (2010), 722 F. Supp.2d 1218 (D. Kan.), refd to. [para. 28, footnote 16].

British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. et al., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 45; 419 N.R. 1; 308 B.C.A.C. 1; 521 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 42, refd to. [para. 30, footnote 19].

W.P. et al. v. Alberta et al. (2014), 588 A.R. 110; 626 W.A.C. 110; 378 D.L.R.(4th) 629; 2014 ABCA 404, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Ostrowercha et al. v. 776826 Alberta Ltd. et al. (2015), 593 A.R. 391; 637 W.A.C. 391; 2015 ABCA 49, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Hari et al. v. Bariana, [2015] A.R. TBEd. SE.101; 2015 ABQB 605 (Master), refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Quinney v. 1075398 Alberta Ltd. et al., [2015] A.R. TBEd. JL.090; 2015 ABQB 452, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Rohit Land Inc. et al. v. Cambrian Strathcona Properties Corp. et al., [2015] A.R. TBEd. JN.085; 2015 ABQB 375, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Makey et al. v. Squair et al., [2015] A.R. TBEd. MY.125; 2015 ABQB 329, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Attila Dogan Construction and Installation Co. v. AMEC Americas Ltd. et al. (2015), 605 A.R. 303; 2015 ABQB 120, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Rai v. 1294477 Alberta Ltd. et al., [2015] A.R. TBEd. JN.033; 2015 ABQB 349, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Nipshank v. Trimble, [2014] A.R. Uned. 165; 8 Alta. L.R.(6th) 152; 2014 ABQB 120, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Deguire v. Burnett (2013), 568 A.R. 341; 2013 ABQB 488, refd to. [para. 31, footnote 20].

Pioneer Exploration Inc. Estate (Bankrupt) v. Euro-Am Pacific Enterprises Ltd. (2003), 339 A.R. 165; 312 W.A.C. 165 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 34, footnote 25].

German v. Major (1985), 62 A.R. 2 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 34, footnote 25].

Tucson Properties Ltd. v. Sentry Resources Ltd. and Fournel (1982), 39 A.R. 341; 22 Alta. L.R.(2d) 44 (Q.B. Master), refd to. [para. 34, footnote 25].

Davidoff v. Law Society of Alberta et al. (2014), 592 A.R. 47; 2014 ABQB 370, refd to. [para. 35, footnote 27].

Richter v. Chemerinski et al., [2010] A.R. Uned. 364; 2010 ABQB 302, refd to. [para. 36, footnote 29].

Beatty v. Best Theratronics Ltd., [2015] O.A.C. Uned. 227; 2015 ONCA 247, refd to. [para. 36, footnote 29].

Griffon LLC v. 11 East 36th (2011), 934 N.Y.S.2d 472 (App. Div.), refd to. [para. 36, footnote 29].

Robichaud v. College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (2011), 308 N.S.R.(2d) 292; 976 A.P.R. 292; 2011 NSSC 379, refd to. [para. 45, footnote 45].

Statutes Noticed:

Rules of Court (Alta.), rule 7.3 [para. 26].

Counsel:

A.M. Tardif, for the respondents;

D.P. Jones, Q.C., and V.A. Jones, for the appellant.

This appeal was heard on October 9, 2015, at Edmonton, Alberta, by Picard, Costigan and Wakeling, JJ.A., of the Alberta Court of Appeal. On November 26, 2015, the court's memorandum of judgment was filed, including the following opinions:

Picard, and Costigan, JJ.A. - see paragraphs 1 to 9.

Wakeling, J.A., dissenting - see paragraphs 10 to 53.

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13 practice notes
  • Annapolis Group Inc. v. Halifax Regional Municipality, 2022 SCC 36
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 21, 2022
    ...2016 NSCA 89, 58 C.L.R. (4th) 1; R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2011 SCC 42, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 45; Warman v. Law Society of Alberta, 2015 ABCA 368, 609 A.R. 83; Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. Cuthbert, 2016 ABCA 46, 612 A.R. 284; Rudichuk v. Genesis Land Development Corp., 2020 AB......
  • Wall v. Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses et al., 2016 ABCA 255
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • September 8, 2016
    ...Id. 174. 48. D. Jones & A. deVillars, Principles of Administrative Law 3 (6th ed. 2014). 49. E.g. Warman v. Law Society of Alberta , 2015 ABCA 368; 81 C.P.C. 7th 64. 50. [1989] 1 S.C.R. 591. 51. Canada Act 1982 , c. 11, sch. B (U.K.). 52. Bruker v. Marcovitz , 2007 SCC 54, ¶ 47; [2007] ......
  • Goodswimmer v Canada (Attorney General),, 2016 ABQB 384
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • July 8, 2016
    ...reasons. Only five of those 16 decisions deal with summary judgment or applications to strike: Warman v Law Society of Alberta , 2015 ABCA 368; HOOPP Realty Inc v Guarantee Co of North America , 2015 ABCA 336; Abbey Lane Homes, a division of B&R Development Corp v Cheema , 2015 ABCA 173......
  • CAMERON v. THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS OF SASKATCHEWAN, 2021 SKQB 318
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan (Canada)
    • December 14, 2021
    ...[Friends]; Mitten v. College of Psychologists (Alberta), 2010 ABCA 159 , 487 A.R. 198 [Mitten]; and Warman v. Law Society of Alberta, 2015 ABCA 368, 609 A.R. 83 18 In Friends, the Court of Appeal commented on the role of a complainant at paras 41-42: The Act makes it clear that the dis......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Annapolis Group Inc. v. Halifax Regional Municipality, 2022 SCC 36
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 21, 2022
    ...2016 NSCA 89, 58 C.L.R. (4th) 1; R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., 2011 SCC 42, [2011] 3 S.C.R. 45; Warman v. Law Society of Alberta, 2015 ABCA 368, 609 A.R. 83; Condominium Corp. No. 0321365 v. Cuthbert, 2016 ABCA 46, 612 A.R. 284; Rudichuk v. Genesis Land Development Corp., 2020 AB......
  • Wall v. Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses et al., 2016 ABCA 255
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • September 8, 2016
    ...Id. 174. 48. D. Jones & A. deVillars, Principles of Administrative Law 3 (6th ed. 2014). 49. E.g. Warman v. Law Society of Alberta , 2015 ABCA 368; 81 C.P.C. 7th 64. 50. [1989] 1 S.C.R. 591. 51. Canada Act 1982 , c. 11, sch. B (U.K.). 52. Bruker v. Marcovitz , 2007 SCC 54, ¶ 47; [2007] ......
  • Goodswimmer v Canada (Attorney General),, 2016 ABQB 384
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • July 8, 2016
    ...reasons. Only five of those 16 decisions deal with summary judgment or applications to strike: Warman v Law Society of Alberta , 2015 ABCA 368; HOOPP Realty Inc v Guarantee Co of North America , 2015 ABCA 336; Abbey Lane Homes, a division of B&R Development Corp v Cheema , 2015 ABCA 173......
  • CAMERON v. THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS OF SASKATCHEWAN, 2021 SKQB 318
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan (Canada)
    • December 14, 2021
    ...[Friends]; Mitten v. College of Psychologists (Alberta), 2010 ABCA 159 , 487 A.R. 198 [Mitten]; and Warman v. Law Society of Alberta, 2015 ABCA 368, 609 A.R. 83 18 In Friends, the Court of Appeal commented on the role of a complainant at paras 41-42: The Act makes it clear that the dis......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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