Pentelechuk J

4.22: Considerations for security for costs order
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Respondents, Warman and Attaran, were complainants in disciplinary proceedings of the Law Society of Alberta against a member lawyer. After the Law Society Conduct Committee issued nine citations against the member, and directed the matter to proceed to a hearing, the member successfully applied to a second Conduct Committee to have the proceedings against him discontinued. That Application was supported by the Law Society’s counsel, who was of the view that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction. The Respondents sought Judicial Review of the Law Society’s Decision, alleging in part that the process was unfair and an abuse.

The Law Society applied for Summary Dismissal of the Respondents’ Originating Application. The Law Society sought Security for Costs in the event that Summary Dismissal was not granted. Justice Pentelechuk stated that Rule 7.3(1) provides that Summary Judgment may be granted when there is no defence, or no merit to all or part of a Claim. Justice Pentelechuk concluded that the issues related to the Respondents’ standing were unsettled and could not fairly be determined on the record. As such, a full hearing on the merits regarding those issues was required. Accordingly, Pentelechuk J. declined to grant Summary Judgment and considered the alternative Application for Security for Costs.

Pentelechuk J. noted that the factors the Court may consider in deciding whether to grant an Order for Security for Costs are enumerated in Rule 4.22. Both Respondents were resident outside of Alberta, but there was no evidence about any of the factors outlined in Rule 4.22, and the Application for Judicial Review raised issues not yet fully canvassed by the Court. In the circumstances, Justice Pentelechuk declined to grant an Order for Security for Costs.

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