EDIT: OH MY GOD it's not Aikins MacCaulay, it's Darcy and Deacon! Aikins are the lawyers for the schoolteachers, and Darcy are the lawyers for the university. The little fight I describe below is between me and Mr. Meronek of Darcy and Deacon! Apologies to the people at Aikins for the confusion.
Back in January, the lawyers for the University slipped something passed me that I didn't think was quite right. They amended one paragraph of their Statement of Defence. Originally, the paragraph read as follows:
24. In further answer to paragraph 34 of the Statement of Claim, these Defendants deny that they, amongst themselves, or with the other Defendants, conspired or combined to injure the Plaintiff as alleged or at all; and, state further that the Plaintiff was properly suspended from his couses at the Faculty of Education, one of the consequences of which was the Plaintiff's removal from his teaching practicum.
For some reason, the lawyers decided they wanted to argue this point a bit differently, so on January 14th they filed an Amended Statement of Claim, reading as follows:
24. In further answer to paragraph 34 of the Statement of
Claim, these Defendants deny that they, amongst themselves, or with the
other Defendants, conspired or combined to injure the Plaintiff as
alleged or at all; and, state further that the Plaintiff was properly
suspended from his couses at the Faculty of Education. The Plaintiff's removal from his teaching
practicum occurred independently and prior to his suspension from the Faculty of Education.
At the time they didn't notify me, and I didn't find out until a month later. I checked with the Queen's Bench Rules, and as far as I can see, they are allowed to make unannounced changes only for clerical errors. For substantial changes, they need written consent from me; or failing that, if I choose to be a hardass, they can go to the court and file a motion for leave to amend. Of course, there's a downside for me being a hardass...if the court decides there was no reason why I shouldn't have given them written consent, they can assess costs against me for the motion.
Either way, they didn't ask for consent, and they didn't file a motion. So I filed a motion calling on the Court to strike their amendment as having been done in contravention of the Queen's Bench Rules.
I'm not sure I care how Paragraph 24 of the Statement of Defence reads, and if they had bothered to ask me I'm not sure whether I would have opposed it or not. The thing is: there are rules for these things, and I want to know if the Courts are going to enforce the rules or not? Hence, my motion.
A motion of this kind normally goes on the Master's Uncontested List. The idea is that the other side might not choose to oppose the motion. Certainly in this case they've made an amendment and they want it to stand. But to accomplish that goal there is no need to oppose the motion. They can simply agree to the motion, and then go back to Square One and ask me for consent. That's more or less what I was expecting.
But when we appeared in court this morning, opposing counsel announced (to my surprise) that they would indeed be opposing the motion. I'm not sure what grounds they're going to argue. I would have thought I have them dead to rights. But you never know. Anything can happen in court. So now we're going to be filing affidavits and briefs, and eventually we're going to argue the motion before a Master.
We'll see how that works out. If you'd like to read my Notice of Motion, you can find it here.