FITZPATRICK v COLLEGE OF PHYSICAL THERAPISTS OF ALBERTA, 2020 ABCA 88
2.22: Self-represented litigants
2.31: Withdrawal after trial date scheduled
14.2: Application of general rules
The Plaintiffs, being an individual and her corporation, appealed the Summary Dismissal of their Action. Approximately two months prior to the hearing before the Court of Appeal, Plaintiffs’ counsel sought to withdraw for non-payment of fees, seeking the permission of the Court required post-Judgment under Rule 2.31, arguing that Rule 2.31 applied to appellate practice by operation of Rule 14.2.
Drawing on the Supreme Court of Canada’s pronouncement in R v Cunningham, 2010 SCC 10, Justice Hughes set out to consider several factors, as well as the standards enunciated in the Law Society of Alberta’s Code of Conduct. The Court ultimately found in favour of withdrawal, notwithstanding the harm to the administration of justice which would be caused upon adjournment of the Appeal Hearing, in the likely event that the allotted time could not be otherwise used by the Court on short notice.
Given that the withdrawal was granted, and given that case law interpreting Rule 2.22 has found that an individual is prohibited from acting on behalf of a corporation, the Court proactively ordered that the corporate Plaintiff’s Appeal would be deemed abandoned unless the corporate Plaintiff retained counsel three months before the rescheduled Appeal hearing.View CanLII Details