CDAS intervened at the Supreme Court of Canada in Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada, a case considering the limits of a lawyer's ability to zealously advocate for their clients.
This decision enshrines the principle that the standards of civility cannot compromise a lawyer's duty for resolute advocacy. During a heated trial, Mr. Groia, the lawyer for a man accused of insider trading, had alleged misconduct against the prosecutors with the Ontario Securities Commission. Mr. Groia had an honest but mistaken belief of the prosecutors' professional obligations. His client was acquitted, but the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) launched a professional misconduct allegation. The LSUC found him guilty of professional misconduct. The SCC held that the LSUC's finding of professional misconduct was unreasonable. Mr. Groia's actions, based on a sincerely held, but mistaken belief, did not amount to uncivil conduct, particularly since he adjusted his behaviour once the trial judge expressed concerns.
Click here for a copy of CDAS's factum to the SCC.
Click here to read the final judgment.