What is the consequence of a lack of timely response from a law firm in a lateral transfer application?

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

The following excerpt is from Rich v. The Queen, 2001 NLCA 39 (CanLII):

However, it was an error to have dismissed the lack of timely response as being of no consequence in the circumstances of this case. That error can be traced to the judge’s conclusion that nowhere in Martin v. Gray was notice required. While that authority does not explicitly state such notice is indispensable, the decision under appeal overlooks that Martin v. Gray does not purport to categorize all factors bearing upon disqualifying conflicts in lateral transfers which may affect the eligibility of a firm employing a transferee from continuing to act. The impugned decision overlooks that even air-tight measures adequate to rebut the risk of disclosure are not held up in Martin v. Gray as absolute answers to claims of disqualifying conflicts of interest presented by lateral transfers. That case clearly instructs that all circumstances be objectively weighed to assess whether they adversely impact upon public confidence in the justice system’s integrity to the extent that they override the right to counsel of choice and concerns over mobility in the legal profession.

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