Update: Nearly $19,000 in Costs Awarded Against Lawyer Who Accepts Settlement Offer Without Instructions
Back in October, I wrote about a case where the plaintiff’s lawyer accepted an offer to settle from the defendant, knowing full well they had no instructions to do so, in the hopes that they could in turn convince their client to accept the (already accepted) offer.
When the plaintiff refused to accept the offer, the defendant brought a motion to enforce the settlement. Justice Price held, correctly, that it would not be fair in the circumstances to bind the plaintiff to an offer that her lawyer accepted without her instructions and dismissed the motion. In doing so, Justice Price held that the plaintiff’s lawyer would bear the substantial indemnity costs of both parties on the motion. As it turns out, those costs were not cheap.
In a decision released last week, Justice Price has now put a figure on those costs, and they total nearly $19,000.
For those interested in litigation practice, the decision is also noteworthy for Justice Price’s discussion of the factors that inform the court’s decision making when determining the quantum of costs to award at the conclusion of a motion or proceeding.