Rocco Galati is seen outside the Federal Court Building in Winnipeg in 2012. (Photo: Trevor Hagan/CP)"I do not understand how one could hope to protect the right to a fair and independent judiciary by accusing courts of colluding with the government if they don't give the applicant its solicitor-client costs," Judge Denis Pelletier wrote for the court. "This is reminiscent of the gonzo logic of the Vietnam War era in which entire villages had to be destroyed in order to save them from the enemy." In 2013, then-prime minister Stephen Harper appointed Nadon to the country's top court. Galati challenged the eligibility of the Federal Court of Appeal judge to fill one of three seats reserved for Quebec. He put his challenge on hold when the government referred the issue to the Supreme Court, which then scuttled Nadon's appointment.
"This is reminiscent of the gonzo logic of the Vietnam War era."
Justice Marc Nadon arrives with then-justice minister Peter MacKay to appear before a parliamentary committee in 2013. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)"It may make them successful politically or in the popular press, but that is a different matter." The Appeal Court called it surprising the lawyers would claim $800 an hour — more than they normally charge their clients — saying the amount was excessive. While Galati maintained nothing prevents a self-represented litigant from claiming legal costs, Pelletier called the concept an "oxymoron." "A self-represented litigant, by definition, has no counsel and therefore no out-of-pocket expenses for which full indemnity is appropriate." Judge David Stratas also took issue with Galati's assertion that because the government pays judges, their failure to order the government to pay private-sector lawyers would indicate judicial bias. "An officer of the court should never make such a submission," Stratas said in separate comments. "There are many cases where judges, paid by government, have condemned government misconduct and have ordered government to do something against its will." The court ordered the lawyers to pay $1,000 in costs, with Stratas saying he would have awarded more if the government had asked for more. Neither Galati nor Slansky responded immediately to a request for comment.
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