Garnishment of Lawyer/Paralegal Trust Account

From Caselaw.Ninja


Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Cooper, Sandler, West & Skurka, 1998 CanLII 18860 (ON SC)

Conclusion

While the relationship of solicitor and client is extant, the solicitor continues to have an interest in the retainer for services rendered. Once the relationship is terminated by either party, for whatever reason, then depending on the circumstances, the balance of the funds may be owing to the client and subject to garnishment. On termination, the balance may also be encompassed by the broad definition of exigible property. Service of the notice of garnishment and/or seizure does not operate to terminate the relationship between the solicitor and client and the funds do not become available to the judgment creditor as a result of such service only. On the other hand, moneys in a solicitor's trust account are not invariably immune from the assault of judgment creditors. Only the true retainer that will benefit both solicitor and client is protected. However, that protection is very broad and is wide enough to encompass matters within the contemplation of the parties at the time that the retainer is given.

I find no error in Dambrot J.'s reasons; the appeal is therefore dismissed.

[1]

References

  1. Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Cooper, Sandler, West & Skurka, 1998 CanLII 18860 (ON SC), <http://canlii.ca/t/g1dk9>, retrieved on 2020-08-19