ICBC Changing Counsel at “11th Hour” Not an “Emergent Circumstance” Justifying Short Leave
Reasons for judgement were recently published by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, dismissing short leave for three ‘last minute‘ applications.
In the recent case (Agelakis v. Xu) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision and sued for damages. One month before trial ICBC brought in a new defence lawyer. Two weeks before trial that lawyer sought short leave for three applications, namely for document disclosure; a further examination for discovery of the plaintiff; and removal of the proceedings from fast track litigation.
The Court held that these applications may have been dismissed on the merits however short leave was simply not appropriate as these last minute request would unfairly cause ‘dramatic upheaval‘ to the Plaintiff’s trial preparation efforts. In dismissing the request for short leave Master Muir provided the following reasons: