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Evidence - Affidavits

Chatha v. Johal (Ont CA, 2018)

Here the court dismissed a claim against a lawyer where it was alleged that he acted negligently in commissioning an affidavit:
[18] Third, are allegations that the respondent acted negligently because she failed to verify that the contents of the Affidavit were true and accurate. However, the jurisprudence establishes that a lawyer does not owe a duty to third parties to verify the accuracy of the information contained in an affidavit he or she drafts or commissions: Piccolotto v. Kanhai, 2015 ONSC 4807 (CanLII), at paras. 14-16; Gerling Global General Insurance Co. v. Siskind, Cromarty, Ivey & Dowler (2002), 2002 CanLII 49480 (ON SC), 59 O.R. (3d) 555 (S.C.), at paras. 15-16.

[19] There are good policy reasons for this, including that imposing such a duty of care could potentially place a lawyer in a conflict of interest with his or her client. In addition, as a practical matter, it would make even the routine swearing of affidavits a time consuming and prohibitively expensive proposition. In my view, this jurisprudence is persuasive and the duties of a lawyer or notary when commissioning an affidavit should not be expanded as urged upon us by the appellant.


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