In Ontario Superior Court at Perth, Justice Patrick Hurley today reserved his decision about awarding costs and/or damages to Mr Steve Maynard for the Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation launched against him by Mayor Shaun McLaughlin and Councillor John Edwards. In a closed session, the rest of Council voted to fund their personal lawsuit with municipal money (municipalities cannot sue directly for defamation).
For the many people wondering how much this has been costing you, the costs hearing today provided some significant information.
The legal fees incurred by McLaughlin and Edwards, including today, appear to total $13,572 (52.20 hours at $260 per hour) as revealed in a plaintiffs’ document apparently used to argue that Mr Maynard’s costs claim was excessive in the number of hours he submitted. In addition to the $13,572, the plaintiffs also noted that they spent $1,161.50 on disbursements (filing fees, photocopies etc), bringing the total expenses to date to $14,733.50 excluding HST.
The Municipality has refused to disclose the exact amount you paid so far for this failed SLAPP, citing solicitor-client privilege. One is left with no alternative but to assume that you are paying all of their expenses, plus any further costs and damages yet to be awarded.
See the detailed comparison by clicking here.