Reid v. Bracebridge 2021 Ont SCJ (Div Ct)
The parties, through their lawyers, had entered into a settlement of one action, leaving a second outstanding. The plaintiff then fired his lawyer, refused to sign the release that the settlement contemplated (taking the position that it was wider than it ought to be), and requested that the settlement not be enforced because it was contingent upon the release. The court noted that if it is not apparent that the wording of the release is an essential term of the settlement, then the settlement is enforceable and the parties have to then resolve the wording of the release by common sense within the framework of the settlement or by application to courts. In this case, the court held that the lawyers had agreed upon the terms of the release and that there was no indication that the plaintiff’s lawyer had acted without authority. The settlement was enforced.
Written by Jonathan Speigel, the founding partner of Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, leads the litigation and construction practices.