10.2: Payment for lawyer’s services and contents of lawyer’s account
14.36: Case management officers
14.39: Case management officers
14.5: Appeals only with permission

Case Summary

The Applicant applied for permission to appeal the decision of Poelman J. The Poelman decision dismissed the Applicant’s application for extension of the time to appeal and to allow the appeal, from the decision of Review Officer related to the Respondent’s “Lawyer Charges.”

The Appellate Court noted that it needed to determine whether or not permission to appeal was required. His Lordship noted that Rule 14.5(1)(g) provides that permission is required for an Appeal where the controversy in the Appeal could be quantified and did not exceed $25,000 exclusive of costs; in this case, it did.

Initially, the Application for permission to Appeal went before a Case Management Officer (the “CMO”). The CMO provided written reasons stating the Applicant was required to seek permission to Appeal under Rule 14.5(1)(e) on the basis that the proposed Appeal was as to a “decision as to costs only” under that subrule.

Watson J noted that the CMO had made an administrative direction which appeared to be grounded in Rule 14.39. The direction was to set the matter down before a single Appeal Judge, as it had been. Accordingly, this was not an Application under Rule 14.36(3) to rescind, confirm, amend or enforce the CMO’s decision. Regardless, the opinion of the CMO as to whether the proposed Appeal was governed by Rule 14.5 was an opinion on a question of law and was therefore reviewable for correctness.

Watson J noted that “costs” are distinguished from “charges” in the Rules of Court. Further, the factors under Rule 10.2 could be distinguished from the factors related to assessing costs in legal proceedings. Additionally, “lawyer’s charges” and “costs awards” are defined separately in the Appendix to the Rules. Ultimately, His Lordship concluded that the Applicant has an appeal as of right to the Alberta Court of Appeal from the decision of Poelman J.

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