Civil Trial Counsel

Archive for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials Category

Witnesses and Personal Injury Pre-Trial Conferences

Plaintiff personal injury lawyers have typically developed excellent systems for gathering and managing documents. Sometimes witnesses are an afterthought and the first time a list of witnesses is created is at […]

Continue reading

Class Actions in Ontario and Canada

The 3 goals of class proceedings aka class actions are understood to be: Judicial economy – a single class action is more efficient than potentially hundreds or thousands of individual […]

Continue reading

Class Actions and the Rules of Civil Procedure

This article gives an overview of the the Rules of Civil procedure that govern class proceedings aka class actions.  It is important to read the rules with the Class Proceedings Act, […]

Continue reading

An Overview of the Class Proceedings Act, 1992

The Class Proceedings Act, 1992 (the “Act”) sets out Ontario’s class action regime. Class actions may be started by a plaintiff or by a defendant on a motion to a […]

Continue reading

Toronto Trial Sittings Project a Huge Success

Despite a massive caseload, the Toronto Region of the Superior Court ran a hugely successful trial sittings this fall for personal injury trials. Historically, personal injury start dates were scattered […]

Continue reading

An Overview of the Juries Act

An Overview of the Juries Act

Fall civil trial sittings are about to get underway in several jurisdictions across Ontario.  This is a time of year when the Juries Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. J.3 comes into play. […]

Continue reading

Personal Injury Trials and Witnesses

Personal Injury Trials and Witnesses

Who the witnesses will be is surprisingly one of the most often overlooked issues until late in the course of litigation, usually when a pre-trial conference memorandum requires a list […]

Continue reading

Civil Trial Trends Summer 2017

The number of civil trials is on the rise. However, the resistance to civil trials is stronger than ever.  Most cases settle.  The % of cases settling is anticipated to […]

Continue reading

Small Claims Court Overview & Useful Links

While Hassell Trial Counsel’s focus is on Superior Court civil and commercial trials, we get questions about Small Claims Court trials.  Here’s an overview of the Small Claims Court process […]

Continue reading

Trial Scheduling Court

What are the purposes of trial scheduling Court and what does counsel need to do to prepare for trial scheduling Court? Purpose of Trial Scheduling Court The main purposes of […]

Continue reading

Toronto Trial Sittings Project

Toronto Trial Sittings Project

If you conduct personal injury trials in Toronto and surrounding communities, the Toronto Sittings Project is of great interest. Announced May 15, 2017, Toronto is experimenting with personal injury trial sittings for […]

Continue reading

Civil Practice Court

Civil Practice Court was introduced to replace Motions Scheduling Court in Toronto.  It’s main function is to institute a gatekeeping Judge for long and/or complex motions and applications before a […]

Continue reading

New Rule for Toronto Actions: Mediation before Trial Set Down

New Rule for Toronto Actions: Mediation before Trial Set Down

Mediation is mandatory for Toronto actions. Of course, “mandatory mediation” is an oxymoron because mediation is supposed to be a voluntary process. Prior to May 1, 2017, a party could […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Brian Cameron: Juries & Advertising

On the Record with Brian Cameron: Juries & Advertising

On the Record, Episode 19 is about Juries. Mick Hassell interviews Brian Cameron, a personal injury lawyer at Oatley Vigmond. Over half of Superior Court trials are Jury trials and MVAs make up a large […]

Continue reading

Superior Court Bankruptcy & Insolvency Statistics

Superior Court Bankruptcy & Insolvency Statistics

Bankruptcy ends more litigation and trials than it creates.  In fact, bankruptcy should be considered as a possible defence in every case. Here are some Ontario Superior Court of Justice […]

Continue reading

Litigation Portfolio Management

Litigation Portfolio Management

The concept of litigation portfolio management involves a lawyer or law firm viewing a group of litigation cases as a whole as opposed to considering cases one by one. Doing so means the lawyer […]

Continue reading

Lawyer Considerations for MVA Trials

Lawyer Considerations for MVA Trials

Are you thinking about sending an MVA case to trial? Make sure you’ve considered the following: Client Likeability Credibility Risk tolerance and costs insurance Opposition Insurance company Law firm Lawyer Liability […]

Continue reading

Jury Trials On The Rise Across Ontario

Jury Trials On The Rise Across Ontario

Jury trials and MVA trials are on the rise across Ontario. Here are some highlights: Increase in trials overall Last year, there were 2,740 trials in Superior Court 5 years […]

Continue reading

A Chronology for Trial Preparation

A Chronology for Trial Preparation

We read a lot about trials over here and recently stumbled upon a goldmine of advocacy and trial resources, including in podcast format. John Hollander runs The Advocacy Club based […]

Continue reading

Mick Hassell to Present at the Ontario Paralegal Association on Trial Advocacy and Cross-Examination

Mick Hassell to Present at the Ontario Paralegal Association on Trial Advocacy and Cross-Examination

Mick looks forward to presenting to the Ontario Paralegal Association (OPA) at their first memberships meeting of 2017 on January 28, 2017. He will touch on two of his favourite […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Michael Giordano: Trial Preparation

On the Record with Michael Giordano: Trial Preparation

On the Record, Episode 18 is about trial preparation and attention to detail. Mick Hassell interviews Michael Giordano, a personal injury lawyer at Avanessy Giordano LLP. Michael shares a couple of stories from a 3 week personal injury […]

Continue reading

How to Select a Civil Jury

How to Select a Civil Jury

Through the Ontario Civil Trial Manual, we’ve released some practical recommendations on how to select a civil Jury, such as how to obtain the list of potential Jurors and how to reorganize the […]

Continue reading

Commercial Arbitration: On the Record with Alex Turner

Commercial Arbitration: On the Record with Alex Turner

On the Record, Episode 17 is about commercial arbitration. Mick Hassell interviews Alex Turner, a litigation lawyer at Bales Beall LLP, whose practice focuses on estate litigation, civil litigation and employment law. Alex’s interview […]

Continue reading

Evidence Act and Evidence Act Notices

Evidence Act and Evidence Act Notices

If you’re going to trial in Ontario, you need to be aware of the need for and how to complete Evidence Act notices.  These are not standard forms under the Rules […]

Continue reading

Interprovincial Summonses Act and Moving Witnesses Between Provinces

Through the Ontario Civil Trial Manual, we’ve released a detailed explanation of how to summons not only witnesses within Ontario but also witnesses across provincial boundaries using Ontario’s Interprovincial Summonses Act and […]

Continue reading

Practice Tips for Accident Benefits Cases at the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT)

Through the Ontario Civil Trial Manual, we’ve released an article on the LAT process underscoring the importance of having witnesses, documents and expert reports ready to go for the Case Conference or […]

Continue reading

The Road to Trial: a Checklist with Precedents

Through the Ontario Civil Trial Manual, we’ve released an online checklist of key things that need to be done along the road to trial, including precedents for managing witnesses, joint document briefs, […]

Continue reading

FSCO Arbitration Toolkit

ADR Chambers announced it will not be scheduling any pre-hearings beyond March 31, 2017 and it will not be scheduling any hearings beyond December 31, 2017.  For remaining hearings, here […]

Continue reading

Precedent Questions for Medical Experts to Address Threshold – Part 3 of 3

This is part 3 of a 3 part series on medical evidence to address threshold. Click here for part 1: Questions for Medical Experts to Meet the Threshold Click here […]

Continue reading

Ensuring Expert Medical Reports Address Threshold Issues – Part 2 of 3

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on medical evidence to address threshold. Click here for part 1: Questions for Medical Experts to Meet the Threshold Click here […]

Continue reading

Wrongful Dismissal Overview

Below is an overview of some basic and key issues in employment law and wrongful dismissals.   Union vs. Non-Union Union employee rights depend on the collective agreement. Union employees are obliged […]

Continue reading

Questions for Medical Experts to Meet the Threshold – Part 1 of 3

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on medical evidence to address threshold. Click here for part 1: Questions for Medical Experts to Meet the Threshold Click here […]

Continue reading

Ryerson LPP Trial Advocacy Workshops

Ryerson LPP Trial Advocacy Workshops

Ryerson’s LPP teaches trial advocacy at a very high level. Recently, I was fortunate to participate as an advisor, assisting LPP candidates with cross-examination skills.  The cross-examination workshop was led by […]

Continue reading

Lions of the Trial Bar

Lions of the Trial Bar is several years old, but remains an entertaining read for trial war stories and attitudes towards trial practice.  The article looks at a number of famous […]

Continue reading

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Heavy Hitter joins Hassell Trial Counsel

Richard Howell brings over 45 years experience in bankruptcy and insolvency to his role as Of Counsel at Hassell Trial Counsel.  Richard is certified by the Law Society as a […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Justin Anisman

On the Record, Episode 16 is about the expert witnesses and leveraging the Evidence Act. Mick Hassell interviews Justin Anisman, a lawyer at Mason Caplan Dizgun Roti LLP, where his practice focuses on complex litigation files. […]

Continue reading

How To Amend a Pleading in Superior Court

How To Amend a Pleading in Superior Court

At a recent trial, I brought a motion to amend the client’s pleading day 1 in the unique situation of needing to update a claim to strictly comply with an Ontario […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Geraldine Castel-Trudel

On the Record, Episode 15 is about the differences in Ontario Courts comparing smaller jurisdictions to larger ones. Mick Hassell interviews Geraldine Castle-Trudel, an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer who defends cases across Ontario, in […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Mitchell Rose, Settlement Counsel

On the Record, Episode 14 is about the role of settlement counsel in litigation. Mick Hassell interviews Mitchell Rose, a mediator, lawyer and settlement counsel at Stancer, Gossin, Rose LLP.  The interview was conceived […]

Continue reading

Kris Bonn on the record discussing costs awards in civil jury trials

On the Record, Episode 13 is about costs awards in civil jury trials and the challenges created by the Solicitors Act in pursuing costs. Mick Hassell interviews Kris Bonn a personal injury, insurance disputes and criminal defence […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Scott Pearl and the Charter right to silence

On the Record, Episode 12 is about the right to silence, statements by the accused and voir dires. Mick Hassell interviews Scott Pearl a criminal defence lawyer at Edward H. Royle & Associates. Scott discusses […]

Continue reading

Cross-Examining Police Officers: Interview with Calvin Barry

On the Record, Episode 11 is about cross-examining Police Officers. Mick Hassell interviews Calvin Barry, an experienced criminal defence lawyer who has conducted over 60 jury trials. Calvin has a wealth of knowledge […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Chris Bentley

On the Record, Episode 10 is about one of Ontario’s most sophisticated trial advocacy programs. Mick Hassell interviews Chris Bentley who is the Executive Director of Ryerson’s Law Practice Program (LPP). Ryerson’s LPP put […]

Continue reading

Adam Wagman Interview on Trial Teamwork

On the Record, Episode 9 is about the trial teamwork required for major personal injury trials. Mick Hassell interviews Adam Wagman who is a Senior Partner at Howie Sacks & Henry LLP, one of Canada’s foremost […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Gary Farb: Litigation & Taking Fruit from a Tree

On the Record, Episode 8 is about a litigation metaphor: taking fruit from a tree. Mick Hassell interviews Gary Farb of Clark Farb Fiksel LLP.  Gary is a commercial litigator and a mediator with decades […]

Continue reading

On the Record with Trial Lawyer Jack Fireman

On the Record, Episode 7 is an interview about the strategy of trial, in particular the strategy of questions asked and the choreography of the Courtroom. Mick Hassell interviews Jack Fireman of Fireman Steinmetz […]

Continue reading

Read the Judgment: Interview with Barrister Darryl Singer

On the Record, Episode 6 is an interview about the the justice system and the importance of reading the Court’s decision in order to be able to make informed commentary about the outcome. […]

Continue reading

Steps in a Superior Court Lawsuit in Ontario

Civil litigation refers to legal disputes between private parties. In a civil action, the plaintiff claims a sum of money from the defendant. In a civil application, the applicant requests […]

Continue reading

Interview with Trial Lawyer Karen McArthur

On the Record, Episode 5 is an interview about the intangible skills necessary for success at trial and beyond: creativity, confidence and courageousness. Mick Hassell has the honour of interviewing legendary Criminal […]

Continue reading

Family Law Trial Statistics: 7.33% Likelihood of Trial

Over the past 5 years, an average of  77,537  Ontarians begin family law proceedings each year and since there is an applicant and respondent, that’s an average 155,074 people getting involved […]

Continue reading

Mick Hassell to speak at CBA / OBA program on Solicitors’ Liens

Peter Carey of Loopstra Nixon LLP and Tanya Walker of Walker Law Professional Corporation are chairing the program on March 1, 2016 from 9 am – 11 am. Mick Hassell will join Charles […]

Continue reading

The 3 Steps in Every Case and Trial

The 3 Steps in Every Case and Trial

Litigation is a war of information. I don’t intend to over-simplify, but there are 3 steps in every case and trial: Gather information Process information Present information The gathering of information […]

Continue reading

The Importance of Witness Statements

At trial, documents are generally considered to be accurate and reliable. Conversely, at trial, witnesses are generally considered to be subject to perception, memory and communication problems.  Oral testimony in the […]

Continue reading

To Be Spoken To Court in Toronto – the unwritten rules

To Be Spoken To Court in Toronto – the unwritten rules

This post outlines what you need to know about To Be Spoken To (TBST) Court in Toronto for civil matters. The main reason to attend is for trial scheduling, which is required for […]

Continue reading

Mechanics of Setting Cases Down for Trial

Mechanics of Setting Cases Down for Trial

2016 is a big year to set cases down for trial due to January 1, 2017 being a significant limitation date for plaintiffs with pre-2012 cases. Below are some comments on […]

Continue reading

What are people going to trial for in Ontario?

Canada is a litigious country, 1 out of every 100 Canadians starts a civil legal proceeding each year (excluding family law).  3.6 out of every 10,000 Canadians will have a […]

Continue reading

Trial Occurs in 9.7% of Small Claims Court Cases

Here are some interesting Small Claims Court statistics from the Ministry of the Attorney General over the past 5 years: 66,000 claims are started each year in Small Claims Court […]

Continue reading

How to Prepare a Witness to Testify

How to Prepare a Witness to Testify

Lawyers are often too busy getting themselves ready for trials and hearings to spend an adequate amount of time preparing their witnesses.  While not ideal, this is understandable given the […]

Continue reading

53% of Civil Litigation Cases Settle around the Pre-Trial Conference

The odds of your next pre-trial conference settling the case is roughly a coin toss. This is according to statistics from the Ministry of the Attorney General over the past 5 years. 53% […]

Continue reading

Employment Law Trials

Just over 5% of employment law cases get to trial (click here for some stats). But if you’re heading into an employment law pre-trial conference, the odds of you getting […]

Continue reading

Big Wave of Trials Could Swamp Ontario’s Civil Trial Courts

Big Wave of Trials Could Swamp Ontario’s Civil Trial Courts

A big wave of civil trials has begun rolling into Ontario, propelled by changes to the rules concerning dismissal for delay.  We’re positioning our surfboard at the moment and we’ll be […]

Continue reading

Personal Injury Trials in Ontario

Over the past 5 years, 59.26% or roughly 60% of all trials before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice civil trials have been personal injury-related. 45% of all civil trials […]

Continue reading

Top 10 Business Disputes Going to Trial in Ontario

These numbers will be of interest to commercial litigators in Ontario and across Canada. What are the top 10 areas for business disputes?  Which business disputes go to trial? In 2014, 66,783 […]

Continue reading

Motor Vehicle Accident Trials Commonplace in Ontario

Motor vehicle accident claims account for roughly 30% of all claims issued in Ontario.  Not surprisingly, a majority of claims issued fall into the ordinary procedure: claims over $100,000.  In […]

Continue reading

Employment Law Trials On The Rise – Over 5% Go To Trial

Just over 5% of all employment cases started before the Ontario Superior Court end up at trial. And the number of employment law trials has grown in recent years.  According to the Ministry […]

Continue reading

What are people suing about in Ontario and Canada?

Canada is a litigious country.  1 out of every 100 Canadians starts a legal proceeding each year. Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see what […]

Continue reading

Cross-Examination CPD for law firms

Hassell Trial Counsel is delighted to offer cross-examination CPD seminars to law firms. Join trial lawyer Mick Hassell for an interactive seminar on how to take a systematic approach to rigorously prepare […]

Continue reading

The Power of Trial Judges

The Supreme Court of Canada is giving more and more deference to Trial Judges and the result is that Trial Judges have enhanced power not only within the legal system […]

Continue reading

Trial Lawyer Podcast: Opening Statements with Jim Hassell

On the Record, Episode 4 is our first interview and we kick the interviews off talking about opening statements. Michael Hassell has the honour of interviewing his father Jim Hassell. […]

Continue reading

Fundamentals of Direct Examination

While cross-examination may be more exciting, direct examination is still very important. A good direct examiner remains quietly in the backdrop, helping the witness tell the story.  Witness preparation for […]

Continue reading

Small Claims Court Trials

Some key considerations in preparing for and conducting trials in Small Claims Court, from the perspective of a trial lawyer: Settlement Conference Rule 13.05 presents a lot of opportunity to seek […]

Continue reading

Fundamentals of Cross-Examination

Cross-examination is the most important thing a trial lawyer does. Judges and Juries love cross-examination, it is where things get interesting. Cross-examination gives the trial lawyer the opportunity to advance their […]

Continue reading

Common Objections

How objectionable should you be at trial? As in life, as unobjectionable as possible.  Yet there are times when lines are being crossed, certain evidence needs to be excluded and the record […]

Continue reading

Law of Evidence Fundamentals

If you’re going to trial, beyond knowing your case, Courtroom procedure and the law that applies to your case, you need to know the law of evidence in order to make […]

Continue reading

Ontario Evidence Act Notices

If you’re going to trial in Ontario, you need to be aware of the need for and how to complete Evidence Act notices. For information on Evidence Act notices for business […]

Continue reading

Getting your Witnesses to Trial: Summons or Subpoena, Attendance Money, Logistics

Sometimes you need to track down your eyewitnesses.  The good samaritan leaves a business card or cell number, but many disappear.  Get on top of this fast. Even if you […]

Continue reading

Exhibit Lists

As your trial or hearing progresses, what info should you track as exhibits are entered? The exhibit number/letter, date if it’s a document (or note it is undated), description of […]

Continue reading

Speeding Ticket Trials

If you’re a lawyer, you’ve probably had family and friends tell you they’ve got a speeding ticket and what should they do. If you’re a family member or friend of […]

Continue reading

Crime, Sin and Damn Good Fun

“Journal of a Country Lawyer: Crime, Sin and Damn Good Fun” by E.C. (Ted) Burton. What a great title for a law book. And on the cover is Ted driving […]

Continue reading

The Best Text on Cross-Examination

I’ve been recommending this book to a number of lawyers lately. By far, the best text on cross-examination is: Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques By Larry Pozner and Roger Dodd The […]

Continue reading

Hassell Trial Counsel
111 Greensides Ave
Toronto, Ontario M6G 3P8


© 2018 Hassell Trial Counsel. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Disclaimer