Further Update on Joseph Groia Appeal before the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) and Leave to Appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal
To obtain any of the following court documents, contact the Divisional Court – File No. 162-14 or Court of Appeal – File No. M44759
- January 8 and 9, 2015 - Appeal and Cross-Appeal are argued before Justices Sachs, Nordheimer, and Harvison - Young at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Divisional Court.
- February 2, 2015 – The Divisional Court releases its decision on the Appeal and Cross-Appeal with costs to be decided following further submissions in writing, which can be found here.
The Divisional Court dismissed both the Appeal and Cross-Appeal. The Court upheld the Law Society Appeal Division's findings of professional misconduct, the imposition of a one month suspension and the award of $200,000 in costs. The Divisional Court reaffirmed the important role of the Law Society in regulating in-court conduct and found that this did not infringe on any independence of the judiciary, which has its own authority and remedies to control the courtroom.
The reasons of the Divisional Court confirm the importance of both civility and zealous advocacy. The Divisional Court found that the Law Society Appeal Division had correctly applied the elements of the appropriate test to determine if incivility had occurred. First, the conduct must be uncivil – that is rude, demeaning or abusive conduct for which there is either no good faith basis or where the good faith belief is not objectively reasonable – Second, the conduct must bring the administration of justice into disrepute or tend to do so. The administration of justice can be brought into disrepute by conduct including stopping other counsel from presenting their case, questioning the integrity of the Court process or those involved in it, delaying the case, or causing a miscarriage of justice.
- February 17, 2015 – The Law Society files its cost submissions with the Divisional Court.
- February 17, 2015 – Mr. Groia serves a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
- February 25, 2015 - The parties consent to an order at the Court of Appeal for a stay of the penalty against Mr. Groia, pending the disposition of the motion for leave to appeal or if leave is granted then a stay until the disposition of the appeal or further order of the Court.
- March 4, 2015 – Mr. Groia files his costs submissions on the Appeal and Cross-Appeal with the Divisional Court.
- March 11, 2015 – With leave, the Law Society files reply costs submissions.
- March 16, 2015 - The Divisional Court releases its decision on costs for the Appeal and Cross-Appeal which can be found here. Mr. Groia was ordered to pay $30,000 in costs to the Law Society within 30 days.
- March 18, 2015 – Mr. Groia serves an Amended Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal which seeks leave to also appeal the Divisional Court's decision on costs.
- May 21, 2015 – Justices MacPherson, Gillese, and van Rensburg of the Court of Appeal grant the Amended Motion for Leave to Appeal. Costs of the motion are reserved to the panel of the Court of Appeal actually hearing the appeal. The parties will begin preparing and exchanging the materials for the appeal.