A British Columbia Supreme Court judge refused to disqualify a lawyer from a case this week even though the lawyer was previously in-house counsel for the company his current client is suing.
Although Fishman worked at Manulife for 10 years, the company did not argue he had anything to do with the plaintiff’s case during his time there. In fact, the plaintiff did not submit an application for long-term disability benefits until 13 months after Fishman’s departure from Manulife.
“Manulife’s application hinges on Mr. Fishman having insight into the personalities and practices of the company. Whether confidential or otherwise, some or all of them would not be known by someone who had not worked at Manulife. The case therefore depends on a nuanced analysis of the potential use of confidential information,” Justice Elliott Myers said in McMyn v. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co.