Jun 20, 2019
Adam Black speaks to the Law Times about the challenges self-represented litigants face
Self-represented litigants are typically able to expect some flexibility from the judicial process, but there are risks when they try to manage a case without a lawyer, illustrated by a significant costs award in a recent family law case, some family lawyers observe.
While access to justice has become an issue of great concern in family courts, some who venture into a courtroom without legal representation do it as a matter of strategy, says Adam Black, a Torkin Manes LLP partner in Toronto.
In Kirby v. Kirby, Katherine Kirby made the decision to proceed on her own, without the assistance of a lawyer. But that approach ended up backfiring, costing her $150,000 in costs.
“The litigant has been found, consequently liable for costs. I guess that's the warning signal for those who make this strategic decision,” says Black. “The message I would take away is deciding to represent yourself for strategic reasons and then prolonging a case unnecessarily may give rise to some cost exposure.”
This article originally appeared in the Law Times. Visit the Law Times online to read the complete interview.
In the News
Adam Black was featured in the May issue of the Ontario Family Law Reporter.
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Adam Black was featured in the April issue of the Ontario Family Law Reporter newsletter. To read his original article which was featured, click here.
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