Trial Counsel for Law Firms

How Trial Sittings Work

The Trial Coordinator is your friend.  They have an incredible role in getting your case heard by juggling long trial lists with many cases at various stages of last minute settlement discussions.

Some jurisdictions will fix a start date for trials and you’ll generally get reached.  In many smaller jurisdictions there are 2 trial sittings a year for civil trials: spring sittings (usually 3 weeks starting in May) and fall sittings (usually 3 weeks starting in November).  Jury trials go first, followed by non-Jury trials.  There is a practical explanation for this: prospective Jurors tend to show up on day 1 of the sittings for Jury selection.

At the time of trial sittings, the Trial Coordinator is generally looking at a fairly daunting list of trials that need to be dealt with.  Settlements will carve lots of trials off the list.  Those going ahead are prioritised and quite often by the end of the week before the trial sittings start, the Trial Coordinator will be able to give a sense of where your matter stands on the list and the likelihood of it getting reached.

If your case settles, you must immediately notify the Trial Coordinator so they can remove you from the list and make way for other trials.

Trials can go on standby, even after Jury selection.  This makes witness scheduling all the more difficult.  Insight from the Trial Coordinator will ease scheduling.

Thank you Trial Coordinators!

This article is courtesy of the Ontario Civil Trial Manual

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This manual is trial information, not trial legal advice.

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