Karpenko v Paroian, Courey, Cohen and Houston: 1981

(Ontario High Court) Andersen J said: ‘What is relevant and material to the public interest is that an industrious and competent practitioner should not be unduly inhibited in making a decision to settle a case by the apprehension that some Judge, viewing the matter subsequently, with all the acuity of vision given by hindsight, and from the calm security of the Bench, may tell him that he should have done otherwise. To the decision to settle a lawyer brings all his talents and experience both recollected and existing somewhere below the level of the conscious mind, all his knowledge of the law and its processes. Not least he brings to it his hard-earned knowledge that the trial of a law-suit is costly, time-consuming and taxing for everyone involved and attended by a host of contingencies, foreseen and unforeseen. Upon all of this he must decide whether he should take what is available by way of settlement, or press on. I can think of few areas where the difficult question of what constitutes negligence, which gives rise to liability, and what at worst constitutes an error of judgment, which does not, is harder to answer. In my view it would be only in the case of some egregious error . . that negligence would be found.’


Andersen J


(1981) 117 DLR (3d) 383


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMoy v Pettman Smith (a firm) and another HL 3-Feb-2005
Damages were claimed against a barrister for advice on a settlement given at the door of the court. After substantial litigation, made considerably more difficult by the negligence of the solicitors, the barrister had not advised the claimant at the . .
CitedWebb v Macdonald and Another ChD 29-Jan-2010
Defendant barrister and solicitors applied to have the claims against them for professional negligence struck out. They had advised on a settlement of a dispute, which settlement the claimant now said was negligently wrong.
Held: The advice . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Professional Negligence, Commonwealth

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.222552