Steele v. RBC

CASE OVERVIEW

In this particular case, the Applicant, Bradley Steele, suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident on March 24, 2012. A claim was- then made by him against RBC General Insurance Company. During mediation, many uncertainties came up and the parties could not reach a decision. Bradley Steele followed by filing for arbitration.

ISSUES

Pappas Romero, of Pappas Romero Law Firm Professional Corporation has filed a motion record on June 23, 2014 to have his firm and himself removed from record for Mr. Bradley Steele and for costs of bringing forth the motion.
Mr. Frustaglia who represented Mr. Romero was heard at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario as well as Mr. Steele on July 4, 2014. RBC had no objections on this matter.

According to a sworn affidavit of a Mr. Lorne Weinstock, a lawyer at Pappas Romero on June 23, 2014, Mr. Steele had been verbally abusive to the staff at Pappas Romero, as well as non-compliant in regards to advice from Mr. Pappas. He was also noted to have been having secret negotiations with RBC without proper representation or notification to his solicitors.
Mr. Steele said the reason for denying the advice of his representatives was that he felt the relationship between them was “off again, on again”. He also alleged that the financial agreement was not honoured to his liking and that his file was not being handled to its utmost manner. Another issue Mr. Steele presented the lack of response time from his law firm.

It became unclear over time to Mr. Steele as to whether he could trust Mr. Romero, and that the lawyer-client relationship wasn’t really there. There had been an increasing amount of ambiguity between the two that caused the breakdown in communications.

A pre-hearing is scheduled on December 2, 2014. This allows Mr. Steele sufficient time to seek independent legal counsel, if he insists. ¬By withdrawing at this stage in the arbitration, this doesn’t prejudice Mr. Steele in any way.
In accordance with Rule 9.8 of the Dispute Resolution Practice Code, an order was made to have the Law Offices of Pappas Romero removed as Mr. Steele’ representative, no terms were included.

COSTS

Pappas Romero’ representative, Mr. Frustaglia requested costs in bringing the motion. Mr. Frustaglia pleaded that had Mr. Steele¬ could have just agreed to have Mr. Romero withdraw and avoid this unnecessary cost. Mr. Steele admitted to having no knowledge in regards to legal dealings as a client, in a lawyer-client relationship. The arbitrator goes on to say that -he doesn’t feel that Mr. Steele knew enough about the process and his rights and obligations of both parties. Also to be noted, the arbitrator states that he doesn’t believe that Mr. Steele was slowing down the process by not allowing Mr. P-appas to withdraw. An award for expenses was not recommended.

ORDER

There was no order for costs and the Law Offices of Pappas Romero was allowed to withdraw as legal representatives for Mr. Steele.

Tamir Salomon is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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