Ontario lawyer John Smith enters into a contingency arrangement with client Jane Smith, and the signed agreement between them states that she the client must pay for all 'disbursements', whether the case is won or lost. Little detail is provided to the client regarding the definition of theword disbursement. The lawyer does however speak briefly to her in general terms about disbursements, saying that disbursements are "photocopying, couriering, the cost of filing documents with the court, that kind of thing".As the case progresses John Smith outsources 'legal research' and 'briefpreparation' relating to the case to a third party (another lawyer) and he passes the other lawyer's invoices on to the client, asking her to pay for this legal research and brief preparation, labeling these items as 'disbursements'. The lawyer by the way has not received specific approval in advance from the client for such third-party outsourcing. Is this ethicaland allowable under the rules in Ontario?
Asked over 3 years ago in Ontario
Categories: Malpractice Civil Litigation Class Actions Real Estate Debt & Bankruptcy Personal Injury Wills, Estates, Trusts Corporate/Commercial Defamation, Libel, Slander Administrative General Legal Questions
Answer by Wayne P. L. Cusack
Posted over 3 years ago
Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Wayne P. L. Cusack, or search the Lawyer Directory.