CAT Applications – We’re Ready to Help at Reasonable Cost
The CAT’s Rules of Procedure state that:
“the CAT will not order a User to pay to another User any fees charged by that User’s lawyer or paralegal, unless there are exceptional reasons to do so”.
Furthermore, recent CAT decisions seem to indicate that the CAT won’t award such costs (to a condominium corporation) simply based upon an indemnification provision in the condominium’s governing documents stating that the owner is responsible for such costs.
The CAT Rules also say that a party can be represented (at CAT) by a lawyer or a paralegal or by:
“a person who is exempt from the Law Society’s licensing requirements. This includes a friend or family member who is helping without receiving any fee; or a person who is a licensed condominium manager.”
This means that essentially anyone can act as “advocate” on behalf of a party involved in a CAT application.
The above Rule respecting costs only refers to costs charged by a lawyer or paralegal so it’s not clear if that Rule applies to costs charged by another advocate. But the intention seems to be that in general (except in exceptional circumstances), parties won’t be able to recover costs that they pay to an advocate that helps them with a CAT application.
In our view, it follows that condominium corporations (and other parties) will be looking to keep costs for CAT applications down as much as possible.
At DHA, we have two tremendously capable paralegals that we have lined up, and are training, to handle CAT applications at very economical rates. In more complex cases, or whenever requested, our lawyers can also provide guidance or assistance.
We know that condominium corporations involved in a CAT process have lots of other options (in terms of representation). For instance, your manager, a Director, an Officer or an Owner may be willing to handle the application for you, and the costs (for those other alternatives) may well be lower than we can offer.
However, if you would like our assistance, we simply want you to know that we are available and have employees in place who can handle such applications at our lowest possible cost.
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on CAT Applications!