Widow, daughter of crab fisherman sue judge, lawyer for $13M in estate dispute

·1 min read
Raymond Noël's boat, Régine Diane, and fishing licence are at the centre of a family dispute now before the Court of Queen's Bench. (Alix Villeneuve/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Raymond Noël's boat, Régine Diane, and fishing licence are at the centre of a family dispute now before the Court of Queen's Bench. (Alix Villeneuve/Radio-Canada - image credit)

A woman and her daughter on the Acadian Peninsula are suing a judge and a lawyer for $13 million for alleged negligence and misrepresentation in handling a family dispute involving the estate of her late husband, a crab fisherman.

Rita and Corinne Noël of Lamèque recently filed the lawsuit against New Brunswick Court of Appeal Justice Charles A. LeBlond and Jocelyne Moreau-Bérubé with the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench in Bathurst.

But their legal battle dates back to 2013, when Raymond Noël died. The inheritance and will caused a split in the extended family that stretched over six years and involved at least six lawyers.

At the heart of the conflict is his fishing licence and boat, the Régine Diane, according to the court documents.

In June 2019, the family signed an agreement. His widow and daughter claim they realized a few months later, however, it was not what they thought.

In addition to losing all of her inheritance from her husband, Rita Noël was dispossessed of all her assets.

LeBlond, who was still a lawyer at the time, and Moreau-Bérubé, who was a judge in the 1990s, but returned to practise, represented them.

In documents filed with the court by their new lawyer, Jacques Gauthier, the Noëls allege LeBlond and Moreau-Bérubé ignored several facts and arguments that would have helped their case.

They also claim their lawyers told them the 2019 agreement could be changed, which is not the case.

They are seeking $13 million, the value of Noël's inheritance as well as compensation.

LeBlond's office said he had no knowledge of the lawsuit and regardless, would not be able to comment on a matter before the courts.

Moreau-Bérubé could not be reached for comment.

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