02 Apr Do I Need a Lawyer?
Luckily, most people come to a law office to clarify what their friends and family have told them about their case. Others, however, take their friend’s advice to heart and proceed with litigation on their own or with the help of a friend. As described in the following case, getting the assistance of a friend or family member that is not a lawyer could have serious consequences to your claim.
In Ardon Bay Industries Inc. v. Pavlovic, 2015 BCPC 15, Mate Pavlovic suffered a laceration to his left hand and his kitchen was damaged when a grinder he purchased at a local Canadian Tire store exploded during use. With the assistance of his “non-lawyer” friend, Ms. Jobbagy, Mr. Pavlovic started a lawsuit against Canadian Tire but not against the manufacturer of the grinder. Luckily for Mr. Pavlovic, Canadian Tire’s lawyer added the manufacturer of the grinder as a Defendant and the claim settled.
Later Ms. Jobbagy tried to bill Mr. Pavlovic for her services. A judge found that Ms. Jobbagy was improperly practicing law without a licence and that she had exposed Mr. Pavlovic to significant risk of losing his case by failing to name the manufacturer as a Defendant. Her claim for fees was dismissed.
There are lots of pitfalls in litigation and sometimes you need a lawyer to get it right from the start.