Legal Wit — "The Costs Tsunami" Has a Nice Ring To It

Legal Wit —

The trial began, quite unremarkably, on a sunny summer day in July of 2011. Storm clouds were not long in arriving and we never saw the sun again. Counsel had estimated that the trial would take three weeks and so it was given a place on the docket with that in mind.

After four weeks, the first witness, … was still testifying. Six additional days were needed to complete his evidence. In total, [the first witness] sub-let the witness box for 26 days. He entered the box as an articulate professional with impressive academic credentials, displaying what appeared to be a sound and comprehensive recollection of events. When he stepped down, after more than 14 days of withering cross-examination, he was noticeably dazed, his credibility was reduced to existential confetti and he even appeared to be physically shorter than when the trial began. The case for the plaintiff was leaking oil (at one point, I thought that I saw smoke) and everyone who was paying attention realized that whatever damages were at issue in the trial would be swamped by the costs tsunami that was approaching.

After [the first witness] wobbled out of the witness box, the trial lasted another money-burning 46 days, for a total of 72 days, spread over three (yes, three years).

Hearing Clinic (Niagara Falls) Inc. v. 866073 Ontario Ltd. |
2014 CarswellOnt 13878 |
Ontario Superior Court of Justice
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