Back in December, I made an entry about a motions decision in the Phillips v. Ontario Racquet Club case, involving a tennis pro suing in wrongful dismissal and defamation, among other things. In that motion, the ORC had challenged significant aspects of the pleadings, and won on only minor points, most of which were procedural and easily fixed.
Today, the Toronto Star is running a story about the case, summarizing the pleadings. It's not clear that there's anything new going on, though it appears that the pleadings were amended as required by the Court. (In my previous entry, I noted that the plaintiff had improperly claimed a blanket sum of two million dollars in respect of various causes of action, whereas a plaintiff should set out the causes of action independently. The Star's story refers to the action as being for five million dollars, suggesting to me that the plaintiff's response was to go high on each of the causes of action for which damages are being sought. I probably would have done the same - while there are some dangers in an overly-inflated claim in some contexts, the reality is that it's better to go too high than too low.)
I do find myself somewhat curious as to how the Star's attention was drawn to the story. Court proceedings are public record, of course - you can see the November decision on CanLII; you could sit in on any hearings; you could go down to the Courthouse and pull copies of all the filed documents. Nonetheless, this case appears to have been commenced in 2010, the motion regarding the pleadings was dealt with late last year, and at any given time there are countless proceedings moving forward in the Courts, so what made this one newsworthy now? Did a party decide to go to the press as a way of exerting negotiating pressure? Unlikely - this is the kind of case that neither party wants to get a whole lot of publicity, given that it involves egregious allegations of misconduct against both sides.
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