C. A. v. Aya Lasers, 2018 BCSC 2458
Martin Sheard prevented a further delay of his client’s trial in the above-noted matter when he successfully resisted an adjournment application by the defendant.
The defendant terminated its counsel and hired new counsel in June 2018, again in August 2018, and again in November 2018. Each termination of counsel and hiring of new counsel resulted in an adjournment of a pre-scheduled trial date to accommodate the new counsel’s availability.
In December 2018, after switching counsel for a third time, the defendant attempted to argue that a fourth adjournment was necessary, as he needed time to find a fourth lawyer to argue his case. Such an adjournment would result in the plaintiff having to wait to see her trial date, further delaying a decision on her wrongful termination and damages.
The trial judge applied the test for whether they ought to allow an adjournment, and balanced the following factors:
- The prejudice to the plaintiff if the matter is adjourned; and
- The prejudice to the defendant if the trial proceeds and the defendant is unrepresented.
The trial judge stated that “the plaintiff has done everything she can do to move the action forward” and that she “should [not] be subjected to another significant adjournment” (paras 6 – 7)”. The defendant was allowed one day to try and retain counsel, or to prepare for trial alone.
The trial went forward as usual the next day, and resulted in a win for the plaintiff.