Trial Counsel for Law Firms

Archive for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials Category

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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Trialbot: Artificial Intelligence Trial Robot

Trialbot: Artificial Intelligence Trial Robot

Artificial intelligence has been getting serious traction in the legal industry. Leveraging existing technology, notably optical character recognition and voice recognition software, “Trialbot”, an artificial intelligence trial robot is able […]

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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 […]

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Trial is Not a Good Idea for Most Personal Injury Cases

Trial is Not a Good Idea for Most Personal Injury Cases

I’ve reviewed a ton of personal injury cases over the past while for trial potential. Unfortunately, the reality is that most personal injury cases are not well-suited for trial.  A […]

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When Push Comes to Shove: Settle or Go to Trial?

When Push Comes to Shove: Settle or Go to Trial?

Should I settle or go to trial? Lawyers routinely ask me this question when a pre-trial conference or trial is on the horizon. I can usually get a sense of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Business / Commercial Trial Intake Process

Our intake process for business / commercial trials involves the following: Briefs: please email or courier us an electronic copy of the mediation briefs or pre-trial conference briefs.  If no mediation or pre-trial […]

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Contingency Fees and Trial

Contingency Fees and Trial

How well are contingency fee retainer agreements equipped to deal with trial? This question may be a matter of perspective.  When cases are viewed in isolation, contingency fee retainer agreements […]

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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 […]

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How to Select a Civil Jury

How to Select a Civil Jury

Through Mick’s 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 list of potential […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Interprovincial Summonses Act and Moving Witnesses Between Provinces

Through Mick’s 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 corresponding legislation in […]

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

Through Mick’s 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 possibly when an […]

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The Road to Trial: a Checklist with Precedents

Through Mick’s 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, Evidence Act notices […]

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Introducing Mick’s Trial Manual

Introducing Mick’s Trial Manual

I love going to trial. I understand why cases settle, but I always find settlement a bit disappointing and I’m left imaging what would have happened at trial. My enjoyment […]

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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 […]

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On the Record with Ari Comert of Legal Cafe

On the Record, Episode F is about exchanging legal knowledge and information. Mick Hassell interviews Ari Comert of Legal Cafe. Legal Cafe is not a law firm in a coffee shop.  It’s an online […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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On the Record with Derek Hopfner of Law Scout

On the Record, Episode E is about accessing legal services online. Mick Hassell interviews Derek Hopfner of Law Scout. Derek Hopfner and Shane Murphy are two lawyers who teamed up with developer Travis Houlette to […]

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Provincial Offences Process Overview

Provincial offences are not criminal proceedings, but they are quasi-criminal in nature as fines and imprisonment are possible. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Defendants have the right to […]

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Criminal Defence Process Overview

Accused persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Accused have the right to a fair trial and counsel of their choice. Below is an outline of the main stages in […]

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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 […]

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On the Record with Barbara Hendrickson of the Toronto Business Lawyers Association

On the Record, Episode D is about the Toronto Business Lawyers Association. Mick Hassell interviews Barbara Hendrickson who is the CEO and Founder of BAX Securities Law. Barbara is also the founder of the Toronto […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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On the Record with Jason Leung: Legal Networking

On the Record, Episode C is about legal networking. Mick Hassell interviews Jason Leung who is a business and intellectual property lawyer at Leung Law, where he divides his time primarily between patents and trademarks. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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On the Record with Hersh Perlis of the Legal Innovation Zone

On the Record, Episode B is about legal innovation. Mick Hassell interviews Hersh Perlis who is the Director of the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University. The Legal Innovation Zone’s goal is to foster, support and […]

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Employment Law Intake Process

Our intake process for employment law trials involves the following: Briefs: please email or courier us an electronic copy of the mediation briefs or pre-trial conference briefs.  If no mediation ore […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Power of a Formal Legal Network: Interview with Ashleigh Frankel

On the Record, Episode A is an interview about the power of a formal legal network.  This is a great service for sole practitioners and small firms who want to punch above their […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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Mechanics of an Action: Steps in a Lawsuit

Mechanics of an Action: Steps in a Lawsuit

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Personal Injury Trial Intake Process

Our intake process for personal injury trials involves the following: Briefs: please email or courier us an electronic copy of the mediation briefs or pre-trial conference briefs.  If no mediation or pre-trial […]

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Family Law Trials and Counsel Services

Hassell Trial Counsel is pleased to extend its trial and counsel services to family law firms. If you have a potential family law trial on the horizon, then you should […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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To Be Spoken To Court in Toronto – the unwritten rules

To Be Spoken To Court in Toronto – the unwritten rules

To be or not to be spoken to Court. Why do parties wind up at To Be Spoken To (TBST) Court? The main reason to attend is for trial scheduling, which […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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% […]

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Mechanics of Settlement: Form and Content

Mechanics of Settlement: Form and Content

The art of settlement and the mechanics of settlement are two very different things.  This article will focus on the mechanics, but I can’t help comment on the art.  Settlement […]

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Preparing Your Client to Testify

What do you do to prepare your client to testify? When an examination, trial or hearing is imminent, there’s usually a long to do list and limited time. Preparing the client […]

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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 […]

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Calculating Damages in Business Disputes

Calculating special damages in business disputes is a fairly mechanical exercise but can be daunting and time-consuming and slow down business / commercial litigation. This post and the article linked at […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Self Service Litigation Garage

Self Service Litigation Garage

Attention Self-Reps: You can get as much legal information online as you like, but sometimes a quick call, document review or meeting can make a big difference to your case. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Beer Laws on Trial

Gerard Comeau was tried for “importing” beer when he brought some beer from Quebec to New Brunswick. I had the pleasure to discuss unconstitutional beer laws on CP24’s Live at Noon with […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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Reducing Trial Risk for a Trial on the Merits

A few reasons why parties may not want to participate in a civil trial include: 1. Legal fees and the financial commitment of trial; 2. The risk of having to pay the other side’s legal […]

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Counsel Terminology

General practitioners have a tremendous breadth of knowledge, but as the law becomes more and more specialised, clients are demanding the specialist. Many people think of specialties as being about an area […]

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The Value of a Trial Lawyer

What value does a trial lawyer bring to the table? I previously wrote about why your law firm should hire a trial lawyer here and how your law firm can hire a trial […]

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The billable hour is not just dead, it died years ago

Everyone knows that billing by the hour is flawed, including Ontario’s Court of Appeal. Billing by the hour as opposed to billing by the job borders on an admission that you […]

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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 […]

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Trial Lawyer Podcast “On the Record” with Mick Hassell Launches

We’ve released the first 3 episodes of our podcast “On the Record” where we post raw, unedited recordings of commentary and interviews on how to prepare for trials and how […]

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Go to Trial or Settle?

We discussed civil trial economics and criminal trial economics to explore why cases go to trial or settle.  The analyses are based on the assumption that cases have probabilities and people […]

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Criminal Trial Economics

We previously wrote about civil trial economics and the decision about whether to settle or go to trial (which is a fundament client decision). We can apply a similar economic […]

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Rocky Balboa advice on Litigation

Inspirational words from Rocky on litigation:   Let me tell you something you already know. Litigation ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I […]

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Civil Trial Economics

Basic economics suggests that a decision of whether or not to go for trial is a simple analysis of whether it is better to settle or go to trial. In […]

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How to Control the Costs of Trial

We’re outraged by the costs of trial reported by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, which you can review here. Notice the differences between civil and criminal.  A major factor is this discrepancy […]

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How much does it cost to go to trial?

A lot.  So much that we’re outraged.  Pre-trial procedure is overly complicated for civil matters.  Trial preparation requires 2-5 days of prep for each day of trial in order to […]

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Arbitration Checklist

We’re pleased to release our arbitration checklist.  If you are a self-represented party, paralegal or lawyer getting ready for an arbitration, the checklist will be helpful to you. You’ll note […]

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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 […]

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