veldhuis ja

2.23: Assistance before the Court

Case Summary

Mr. Oommen was the co-executor and co-beneficiary under the deceased, Mr. Chapman’s, Will. Mr. Chapman was successful in a Civil Action prior to his death, and Mr. Oommen had a Power of Attorney and was in control of that litigation as the self-appointed Litigation Representative. Following Mr. Chapman’s death, Mr. Oommen continued to appear in Court on behalf of the Estate in an attempt to enforce the Judgment.

The Court of Queen’s Bench held that the Legal Profession Act, RSA 2000, c L-8 prevented Mr. Oommen from appearing in Court on behalf of the estate and issued an Order to that effect. Mr. Oommen appealed the Order, and appeared before Veldhuis J.A. seeking the right to appear on behalf of the estate in the Court of Appeal. Veldhuis J.A. dismissed the Application: Oommen v Ramjohn, 2015 ABCA 34 (CanLII). Mr. Oommen applied for permission to Appeal the Decision to a Panel of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Veldhuis reviewed the applicable legislation and concluded that there was no authority for the proposition that Mr. Oommen could act for the estate in Court. Veldhuis J.A. noted that “Rule 2.23 of the Rules of Court allows a court to grant permission to a person to assist a litigant, but this appointment cannot conflict with s. 106(1) of the Legal Profession Act” and concluded that “[t]he law is clear that Mr. Oommen cannot act for this estate in court.” Veldhuis J.A. dismissed Mr. Oommen’s Application.

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