The Lawyer Loses !!!!!

“Comeuppence” – getting one’s just desserts.


Lawyers always say, “Get it in writing”, or “a verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written one.”

Awhile back had the pleasure of acting for a lady who was being sued by her adult son’s lawyer for the fees owed by the adult son to the lawyer.  The lawyer claimed that Mom verbally agreed to guarantee the payment of fees should sonny not be able to.

The son was charged criminally as a result of allegations made by his estranged spouse.  Sonny hires a criminal defence lawyer who, after about $80,000.00 in legal fees successfully obtains an acquittal.

The son entered into a written retainer agreement with the lawyer.  The son signed a written promissory note in favor of the lawyer.  The lawyer sent all accounts in writing to only the son.  Not one piece of paper, not an agreement, not a letter, was ever signed or received by Mom.

Time passes, and out of the blue Mom gets a letter demanding payment.  Mom comes and sees me, and I write back telling the lawyer to (albeit in a professional way) to in effect, “go pound salt”.  I assume that is the end of it.  What self-respecting lawyer would try to sue someone on a verbal agreement.  It’s not worth the paper it’s written on!

Well so much for my powers of prediction.  The lawyer sues!

Just to be clear, as problematic as verbal agreements are, they are enforceable.  The problem is proving them.  However, in certain cases, certain types of agreements must be in writing.  This has been the law for well over 300 years dating back to merry old England, and continued here ever since Confederation.  The primary examples are agreements involving land, and guarantees.

So we bring the matter to court.  We argue the case and the Judge tosses the lawyers action.  The bottom line – and to quote the Judge – “he should have known better”.

And as the final kicker, the lawyer had to pay my client $8,000.00 for the hassle.



John Barzo
205-60 Collier Street,
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
L4M 1G8

#: 705-733-6245

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  • Sherri at 3:25 pm

    Great Case – and I’m very happy to hear that she/you won the battle.