[22] It is not just the duty of judges to ensure that all parties receive a fair hearing. Lawyers are required to do so as well. Counsel are not required to assist parties opposite on matters of substance. Nor do they need to make or even to ensure that the parties opposite understand the strategic choices that might be available to them. But, they are required to assist on scheduling and similar matters to ensure that the other side has an opportunity to present his or her evidence fairly. It is the fairness of the process that differentiates the justice system from a street fight or trial by battle. Lawyers are not just hired guns. They are professionals who advance our system of civil justice that is premised upon fairness, efficiency, affordability, and proportionality. To ensure a just outcome, all parties are entitled to a fair opportunity to present their cases in a fair hearing. It is the responsibility of all of the participants in the legal system, lawyers, judges, and court administration to strive to ensure a fair outcome. I have no doubt that the defendants’ counsel will fulfill their roles as advocates in accordance with the best traditions of the bar.

via CanLII – 2015 ONSC 7670 (CanLII).

Advertisements