Canadian Lawyer

May 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 37 "The overall justice is removed from the equation, the checks and balances are removed from the equation." James Cuming, Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers In terms of practice management, Stanley says he's been preparing for the change since 1997. Murphy Battista has diversified its practice well beyond ICBC cases. He noted, however, that many personal injury lawyers in B.C. used relatively easy ICBC cases to fill their caseload while focusing energy on a few tough cases in areas such as medical malprac- tice. Without those ICBC cases, he says, fewer lawyers will be available to take tougher, often unprofitable personal injury cases. Cumming says B.C.'s single auto insur- ance provider makes the implementation of a no-fault system easier than it would be in Alberta, where there's a free market for insurance providers. Stanley, however, sees the ICBC as a "socialist dinosaur" that won't operate the new system efficiently. Gary Mazin says the no-fault system in Ontario, which has a free market for insur- "The attorney general of B.C. has declared war on personal injury lawyers," says J. Scott Stanley, a Vancouver-based personal injury lawyer and partner at Murphy Battista LLP. "He doesn't see the value we provide to the community. [He] sees us as an exis- tential threat to the insurance industry, which is nonsense, because there are insur- ance companies all across Canada that deal with lawyers all the time that are producing record profits." Stanley cites other restrictions proposed for personal injury practice as evidence of B.C. Attorney General David Eby's "war," including a new system that will restrict expert reports and retroactive legislation that he says will deprive lawyers of fees they've already earned on files. AUTO INSURANCE SYSTEMS BY PROVINCE no-fault tort mixed no-fault system pending legislative approval British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan drivers can opt out of no-fault system Manitoba Ontario Quebec New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland & Labrador

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