Ridout Barron


Do I have to have a lawyer in my appeal to the Supreme Court?

When you lose your court case, there is sometimes the possibility to appeal the decision to a higher court. Alternatively, if you win your court case, there is a possibility that the opposing side will choose to appeal the decision. Regardless which side of the appeal you are on, you might be tempted to go it alone and handle the appeal process without a lawyer. Can you do that?

It is certainly a legal option for parties to represent themselves during a Court of Appeal matter in Alberta. However, you should remember that the the appeals process -- and the law -- are very complicated. Therefore, the recommended course of action is to secure the services of a legal counselor to represent you.

Not only can a lawyer help when it comes to analyzing the chance that you will succeed in your Court of Appeal matter, but a lawyer may also be able to offer you a limited scope retainer -- in cases where you only want to use him or her during a specific part of the appeal. For example, you might only want to use your lawyer to help you determine the best course to take during litigation. Or, you might simply use a lawyer to write up your factum, or to prepare your documentation for a special chambers application.

Remember, Registry clerks are required by law to stay neutral. They are not permitted to offer legal advice. Therefore, Alberta parties should not discount how much a lawyer can help them in their claims. It is always advisable to have a professional on your side when so much is at stake.

Source: Alberta Courts, "FAQs - Court of Appeal," accessed April 08, 2016

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Ridout Barron

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