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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99954
Experience:  Lawyer
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I'm hoping to self-defend in an action taken against me. In

Customer Question

I'm hoping to self-defend in an action taken against me. In a nutshell, I worked for a company in Hamilton for 15 months as a serviceman ONLY. Plaintiff is owed monies by the company, and has also named me as a defendant.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for requesting me. How much are you being sued for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

first see if the post updated a minute ago. If it didn't, I just lost 30 minutes of typing...

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
Oh dear. Nothing more has posted. I am sorry about that. Please try again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yeah lost it all.
Here's the skinny: Plaintiff is an "Industrial Supply House" (supplier to building trades) who is seeking recovery of >30k owed (outstanding payment for equipment received by the Company) plus punitive damages (>40k). Named as the 7 defendants:
I can't speak for my 4 colleagues, but to the best of my knowledge their duties/responsibilities/limitations are close - if not almost identical - to mine in this matter.
I never held any position in The Co. other than Technician. That said, here are some facts:
I never had any control over any facet of how the Co. was operated.
I never had access to any Co. funds (could not write checks, could not make any withdrawals).
I never had any access to any of the Co.'s financial records/books/accounts.Comments/thoughts?...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry this chuck fell out of that message. Please insert, "Named as the 7 defendants"Named as the 7 defendants:
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Named as the 7 defendants:
1. The name of The Company
2. The name of the sole owner/operator of The Company
3. Me
4 - 7 Four other technicians similar to me, named individually
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So if you haven't guessed by now, I'd like to get my name off that list of defendants because I'm not liable for what my employer did, and, if possible, establish this fact in the public record so I can fend off future similar claims (I have to assume today's claim is only the first of what may be many).
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
You will first need to put in a statement of defense. In this statement you would deny the allegation, and then state that you are only an employee of the defendant corporation, and are not liable for any of its acts or omissions. You would then state that if you are found liable then the corporation is liable to you for any damages you incur, and you would also then have to bring a cross-claim against the corporation and essentially you would be suing them to indemnify you if you were held liable. Then, you can bring an application for summary judgement to have the application dismissed against you, as there is no legal cause of action against you. As you can see this is very complex and if you lose a summary judgement application you will be stuck with all of the other parties' costs. For this reason, and especially because you feel that this is likely the first of many claims, it is prudent and actually I would say vital for you to retain a lawyer to at least draft all of these pleadings for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thank you for making yourself available to field my question today, but in fact today's chat didn't provide me any new information or new advice (I've already drafted the Form 18A I mentioned having in my first post, and many people have already suggested I seek a lawyer). Not to offend, but is payment for today's consult expected?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
These are complex issues that cannot fairly and honestly be addressed online in a way that will help you. Most lawyers do not self represent because the law is very complex. While there is no doubt that you can self represent it is very unlikely that you will succeed in getting the action dismissed without going to trial without a lawyer. Your goal is to get out of the lawsuit. You will not likely be able to do so on your own. You will be able to defend yourself and most likely succeed if this goes to trial, but your hope from what I gathe,r is to avoid the trial, and it is unlikely that you will be able to avoid it without having a lawyer acting for you, or at least drafting the summary judgement application materials. While anyone can download a form and fill it in, pleadings are extremely important and it is very important that they be done correctly, because an error could cause you to lose your case. So I could easily have simply told you that you had a strong case and that you can just put in your defence and show that you are just an employee. That may work at the end of the day but that is not what you seem to want. You want out now and you are correct in that you should not be dragged to court like this.But you won't be able to avoid a trial on your own, in my view. I am a senior practicing lawyer and so I tend to answer questions that others won't take. I took yours for this reason. No one wants to tell a customer he should see a lawyer. It is the last thing you wanted to hear. But I have to be honest so you are not hurt.This is why I went beyond just dealing with the statement of defence an issues relating to your being a lawyer.Of course I hope to be paid but that is completely your call as that is how the site works.

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