A multi-million greenback wrongful dismissal and defamation trial collapsed due to the conduct of the lawyer representing former Edmonton Northlands cashiers, court docket paperwork present.
This week, CBC Information opposed an utility to completely seal affidavits plaintiffs had filed about Glenda Pidde, who represented 19 fired Northlands parking providers cashiers for greater than six years, and a publication ban on a mistrial utility.
“The general public has a proper to know concerning the causes for the result of the case,” stated CBC lawyer Tess Layton throughout oral arguments Wednesday.
Six sworn affidavits have been ready. The plaintiffs’ new lawyer requested Court docket of Queen’s Bench Justice Tom Rothwell to completely seal the paperwork and to order a publication ban on their mistrial utility.
Arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs, lawyer Philip Prowse stated the affidavits may embarrass Pidde. He described her habits as “atrocious” and “nothing even near skilled.”
On Friday, Justice Rothwell determined in favor of the CBC, dismissing the plaintiff’s request for a publication ban and sealing order.
“Sustaining the open court docket doesn’t pose a critical threat to her privateness or endanger her bodily or psychological well being,” Rothwell stated.
No trial preparation
The plaintiffs claimed of their sworn affidavits that they have been by no means correctly ready for trial.
They described assembly with Pidde on March 6 on the Edmonton Inn. The lawyer demanded the group act as cheerleaders by repeatedly chanting, “We’re gonna win.”
On March 17, the group met on the Victoria golf course. Angela Pegg, in her affidavit, claimed the lawyer offered no trial preparation.
“[Pidde] wished us to face in a circle round her whereas stomping our ft. She wished the plaintiffs to name her ‘The Common,'” Pegg stated.
Plaintiff Janet Roberts claimed in her affidavit that Pidde “danced to music for many of the assembly.”
At 11:29 pm the night time earlier than the trial started, Pidde despatched Pegg an e mail saying she was taking marijuana capsules and requested Pegg to provide her a wake-up name the following morning.
Round midnight, Pidde despatched one other e mail, saying he had began ingesting wine.
“If I scent of alcohol or seem stoned, inform me. Deliver gum or mouthwash for those who assume it’ll assist,” she stated.
On the primary full day of the trial, Pidde made a wide-ranging opening assertion that included accusations that Northlands had destroyed proof, and lied to its staff and the general public about what occurred.
The decide persistently reminded him to deal with the lawyer representing Northlands with skilled respect.
If I scent of alcohol or seem stoned, inform me.– Glenda Pidde in an e-mail
After the court docket ended for the day, Pegg drove Pidde house.
She claimed Pidde requested to cease at a liquor retailer, the place she purchased a bottle of wine, and a marijuana dispensary, the place she bought 20 packs of edibles and three cans of marijuana-infused drinks.
Plaintiffs fed up with lawyer’s conduct
By Day 3 of the trial, the plaintiffs had had sufficient.
A lot of them determined to put in writing a be aware to the decide, asking him to talk to him about their lawyer’s conduct.
“Ms. Pidde didn’t wish to converse to us and I didn’t know what to do,” Roberts stated.
Afterward, exterior the courtroom, Pidde tried intimidating her by bumping her chest twice into that of Roberts, she stated.
“Ms. Pidde was erratic and offended,” Roberts stated.
She stated Pidde snatched the primary be aware Roberts tried at hand to the clerk and crumpled it up, however Roberts wrote one other be aware that was handed alongside to the decide.
In her affidavit, Pegg connected a duplicate of an e mail Pidde despatched her on March 31.
“I might be asking the Justice to withdraw me as your counsel at 1:30…You’ve got harm me, abused and embarrassed me in a court docket of legislation. I’m performed,” Pidde stated within the e mail.
When the decide gave Pidde time to talk to her purchasers exterior the courtroom, Roberts stated Pidde instructed her purchasers to “F—ok off,” then entered the court docket and instructed Justice Rothwell that she wished off the case.
“Ms. Pidde quitting in the midst of trial made me really feel anxious, confused and scared. I didn’t know whether or not I, together with the opposite plaintiffs, could be given a good trial,” wrote Roberts.
After the trial collapsed, Pidde continued to ship Roberts “weird, racist, threatening textual content messages.”
The Legislation Society of Alberta was unable to say if it has obtained any complaints about Pidde or if her conduct is being investigated.
Civil lawsuit is now on maintain
On Friday afternoon, the lawyer representing Northlands urged Justice Rothwell to declare an adjournment.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer desires a mistrial and a brand new decide.
Rothwell stated he’ll challenge a written choice, seemingly in July.