Loparco j

3.62: Amending pleading
3.65: Permission of Court to amendment before or after close of pleadings
3.74: Adding, removing or substituting parties after close of pleadings

Case Summary

The Plaintiff claimed against his former lawyer alleging professional negligence, and later applied to add the Law Society of Alberta (“LSA”) and Alberta Lawyers’ Insurance Association (“ALIA”) as Defendants to the Action and to amend his Statement of Claim to add further particulars against them. The Plaintiff’s Application was dismissed by a Master in Chambers, and the Plaintiff appealed.

Justice Loparco noted that a party may amend his or her pleadings after the close of pleadings with the Court’s permission, pursuant to Rule 3.62 and 3.65. Additionally, Rule 3.74 governs the addition of new parties to an Action. Her Ladyship then explained that in general, pleadings may be amended “no matter how careless or late”, subject to limited exceptions. One of those exceptions is where the proposed amendments are “hopeless, such that the plea would have been struck if originally pled”. Additionally, to add a party in accordance with Rule 3.74, a link should exist between the facts originally pled and the proposed new Defendant(s). Although the evidentiary bar for allowing amendments is low, “an amendment that alleges new facts must be supported by evidence”.

Justice Loparco reviewed the proposed amendments and determined that the Plaintiff’s proposed claims against the LSA and ALIA were hopeless. As such, Her Ladyship found that the Master made no reviewable errors, and dismissed the Appeal.

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