1.9: Conflicts and inconsistencies with enactments
2.23: Assistance before the Court
15.1: Definitions
15.2: New rules apply to existing proceedings
15.6: Resolution of difficulty or doubt

Case Summary

Following the Plaintiff’s Appeal being struck, the Plaintiff applied to the Court of Appeal to: (i) permit a non-lawyer to represent the corporation; (ii) restore its Appeal; and (iii) to strike portions of an Affidavit filed by the Defendant.

When the Action commenced in 2007, the Court of Queen’s Bench granted an Order to permit a non-lawyer to represent the Plaintiff. Justice Rowbotham noted that the former Rule provided that the Court may permit an agent, other than a solicitor, to represent a person. The combined effect of the new Rules of Court and the Legal Professions Act, RSA 2000, c L-8 (“LPA”), is that a non-lawyer cannot represent a corporation. Rule 2.23 allows someone to offer limited assistance to a party, but section 106 of the LPA prohibits a person who is not an active member of the Law Society of Alberta from representing a corporate entity.

The Plaintiff relied on transitional Rules 15.1 and 15.2 in support of its argument that Orders made under the old Rules remain valid and of the same effect under the new Rules. The Plaintiff argued further that Rule 15.6 gives the Court discretion to modify the new Rules or choose to apply the old Rules where difficulty arises in applying the new Rules to an Application commenced under the old Rules. However, Rowbotham J.A. noted that Rule 1.9 governs the application of the transitional Rules. Because section 106 of the LPA conflicts with the Order made under the old Rules, the LPA must prevail over that Order and the Court’s discretion under the transitional Rules. Rowbotham J.A. noted that the lower Court Order did not bind the Court of Appeal. Justice Rowbotham held that the proposed non-lawyer could not represent the Plaintiff corporation. Because of this ruling, Her Ladyship held that the remaining Applications did not require consideration.

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