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

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Wayne P. L. Cusack

Answer by Wayne P. L. Cusack

VerifiedOntario lawyer

Law students ought to do their own homework.

Wayne Cusack

Posted over 3 years ago

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