► Justice Frank Edwards of Nova Scotia, CAN; one of the Good Guys Print E-mail

Justice Frank Edwards of Nova Scotia, CAN; one of the Good Guys


The Law Society of Nova Scotia presented Frank Edwards with a law license in 1984 after he graduated from Dalhousie University University School of Law.


In one matter, Justice Edwards presided over a case involving Anthony Angione a single father whose young children were badly injured after being hit by a vehicle in a cross walk.


The father and his children were represented by a greedy and unethical attorney by the name of Duncan MacEachern. Mr. Angione signed a contingency fee letter with MacEachern that stated the lawyer would get 35 per cent of any award or his billed hours at $300 per hour, whichever figure was higher.


After MacEachern settled one child’s case for $95,000 and took a fee of $33,250 he then attempted to collect the same fee for the same amount regarding the second child despite the fact that he did not in actuality perform any additional services to obtain the second settlement. This greedy conduct led Justice Edwards to issue the following statements about MacEachern’s conduct.

  • "This case is disturbing on a number of levels.”
  • “Mr. MacEachern demonstrates no contrition. In fact, he appears to be indignant about being questioned about his work and, in particular, about his account.”
  • “MacEachern’s 35-per-cent contingency fee was excessive and unfair.”
  • “The fee agreement did not comply with the court's policies.”
  • "This was a contingency agreement without an actual contingency. Win or lose, the lawyer would still get paid. That is not the way it is supposed to be.”
  • "The lawyer's premium is only justified when he shares the litigation risks with the client. No win (equals) no fee is the standard."

Justice Edwards went on to say the following regarding MacEachern’s professional responsibilities.

  • “MacEachern had a profession obligation not to take advance (or appear to take advantage) of the other party.”
  • "Despite the father's stated satisfaction with the agreement, I [Justice Edwards] was not satisfied that Mr. MacEachern had treated him fairly.”
  • "This is not an unqualified commercial transaction where it may be fair game for one party to maximize his profit if he can get the other party to agree. This is an agreement between a professional and an inexperienced trusting individual."

Justice Edwards completed his public spanking of MacEachern by stating:

  • "Most disturbing, and perhaps of most far reaching consequence, is his attempt to veil his self-serving engagement letter as a noble attempt to give the poor access to justice."
  • "The public must understand that this is not a typical contingency fee agreement. This agreement would not be acceptable to the vast majority of practicing lawyers."
  • “I’m concerned that this may not be the first time MacEachern has employed such a contingency letter, and may represent ‘business as usual’ for the lawyer.’”
  • "Most lawyers in this line of work accept the litigation risks along with their clients. Sometimes they win big and sometimes they take heavy losses.”
  • "Regrettably, Mr. MacEachern’s conduct of this case may reflect badly and unfairly upon others in the profession."

Kudos to Justice Edwards for having the courage and fortitude to out Mr. MacEachern for the greedy and unethical attorney he obviously is.


As we speak (ca. March 2019), Justice Edwards continues to sit at Judge for Cape Breton & Victoria Counties in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.


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