Most people who consider litigation express concern over the cost of it. In British Columbia, a successful party is typically awarded costs against the other side. Our system of costs is designed partly to promote settling disputes (rather than litigating), and partly for the successful party to recover some of their Lawyer’s charges for the litigation.
Last month, reasons for judgement were released in a case called McMain v. Leblanc, in which the Plaintiff, a child of the deceased, was disinherited under the deceased’s Will. The Plaintiff launched Wills Variation proceedings and was successful. He then sought his costs.
The defendant opposed him on the novel grounds that the deceased person chose to prepare his Will, disinheriting the Plaintiff for reasons the defendant could never be taken to have known. Thus, it would be unfair to the defendant if the Plaintiff were awarded his costs.
The Court disagreed, however, saying that the defendant learned the circumstances through the litigation and, by not being able to negotiate a settlement, had to proceed to Trial. The successful Plaintiff therefore was entitled to costs. The lesson here is clear!
This ad ran in the Richmond News on July 12, 2013.