Amicus role in civil suits expanded

Pro Bono Law Ontario says it’s looking to expand its amicus curiae services in civil lawsuits.

In fact, Superior Court Justice Eva Frank reached out to PBLO about perhaps getting amicus counsel recently when faced with an unrepresented defendant in a complex civil sexual assault case.

Sure enough, PBLO was able to find lawyers at Lerners LLP who agreed to take up the role of amicus curiae.

“There are lawyers there who are experts at this who can really provide the court with a very strong piece of work in precisely the area that the court would be missing,” says Cohen of the involvement by Lerners lawyers.

The case before Frank involves a historic sexual assault allegation where the plaintiff is claiming abuse as a teenager, says Anna Matas, one of the lawyers at Lerners who took on the role of amicus curiae. The plaintiff will call two expert witnesses at trial, says Matas, who notes it’s important to have proper cross-examination.

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