UofO and Professor Joanne St. Lewis want $5,500 in Legal Fees from Student
Student’s-Eye View blogger and University of Ottawa student, Joseph Hickey brought a Motion to Intervene to the Ontario Superior Court yesterday, to argue in support of public observation of the cross-examinations of President Allan Rock and other administrators at the UofO over its funding of Professor Joanne St. Lewis’ $1-million defamation case against former Professor Denis Rancourt.
The University is paying for all of Ms. St. Lewis’ legal fees with Gowlings LLP.
The University is also paying legal fees to Bordner Ladner Gervais LLP for its own representation in the action.
Joseph Hickey’s Motion to Intervene on the sole issue of public observation of the court process was rejected by Justice Robert J. Smith. The Justice found that Mr. Hickey, who has previously attended cross-examinations and reported about the case, would not be “adversely affected” by the order barring the public because it “is a private dispute between two indivuals.”
So much for the open court principle.
Based on the judge’s decision not to allow Mr. Hickey to intervene, the University of Ottawa-payed corporate lawyers are demanding the maximum allowable charges from the student, in the amount of $5,326.98. Ms. St. Lewis’ lawyer and expert intervener for the media, Richard Dearden, claims that he and his associate required 15 hours to prepare their objection to Hickey’s intervention.
The lawyers argued that a high costs award was needed to discourage members of the public from acting as “mischief-makers” and “meddlers” by asking to intervene in Court.
It appears that President Rock doesn’t want public observation of his sworn testimony? The President has not yet responded to ongoing requests from students to permit observation.