2.14: Self-appointed litigation representatives
2.22: Self-represented litigants

Case Summary

The Applicant, Mr. Oommen, was a co-executor of the deceased Mr. Chapman’s will, which had received neither probate nor administration. Prior to Mr. Chapman’s death, he obtained Judgment in a civil Action against the Respondent. The Applicant sought to enforce the Judgment on behalf of the estate against the Respondent. The Applicant appointed himself the estate’s Litigation Representative pursuant to Rule 2.14.

Justice Veldhuis noted that any individual may represent themselves in an Action pursuant to Rule 2.22. Her Ladyship went on to note, however, that an estate is not an individual in the context of Rule 2.14, as it is a separate legal entity. Justice Velhuis noted that Rule 2.14(1) expressly refers to an “individual or estate”, which reinforces that the two concepts are distinct.

The Court held that an estate requires legal representation to appear in Court and, under Section 106(1) of the Legal Profession Act, RSA 2000, c L-8, only a member of the Law Society of Alberta can act as a Litigation Representative on behalf of an estate before the Court. The Applicant was authorized to direct the litigation or retain Counsel on behalf of the estate, but the Applicant could not appear in Court on behalf of the estate. Justice Veldhuis dismissed the Applicant’s motion to represent the estate.

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