Trial Counsel for Law Firms

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 is required for trials longer than 10 days.  Sometimes there is a lack of cooperation that requires an attendance.  Perhaps there is an element of strategy.

This post discusses attendances at TBST Court for civil matters before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice at Toronto.

When the parties have set the matter down for trial, the Trial Coordinator will send out a Certification Form to Set Pre-Trial and Trial Dates (aka a trial certification form) to the party who set the matter down for trial.

The trial certification form provides information to the Trial Coordinator to determine dates for pre-trial and trial, the length of pre-trial and trial (including the number of witnesses and estimated time for examinations), and also provides a reminder of when the matter will be struck off the trial list.

In Toronto, if the parties can’t agree to complete the trial certification form together, one of them must initiate To Be Spoken To Court.

To get into To Be Spoken To Court in Toronto, the unwritten procedure is as follows:

  1. Contact the appropriate Trial Coordinator (short: trials up to 10 days in length or long: longer than 10 days) and inform them of your intention to attend TBST and to check on available dates.  Dates must be cleared with the other side.
  2. In Toronto, TBST Court appearances are held on Mondays at 9:30 am for trials 10 days or less and Wednesdays at 9:30 am for trials longer than 10 days.  Usually in Courtroom 801 or 802 on the 8th floor of 393 University Ave.
  3. You must advise the other party of the date, time, location and Courtroom. In addition, when emailing the opposing party with this information, you must include a copy of the trial certification form filled out as much as possible.
  4. The Trial Coordinator must be copied on correspondence to the opposing party with the information listed in No. 3 above. This allows the Trial Coordinator to see the opposing party has been notified.  The Trial Coordinator will schedule you into TBST Court.

The lawyer attending TBST Court must be familiar with the case to the point that they are able to complete the trial certification form and work out a timetable to complete remaining steps in the case, if any.  Furthermore, the lawyer must have access to the trial lawyer’s calendar for scheduling purposes.  Note: you are no longer required to be gowned for a TBST Court appearance in Toronto.

If you have any questions about To Be Spoken To Court, please call Mick Hassell at (416) 944-2274 or email

And if you need assistance with any trial, take a look at our trial counsel services for law firms




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

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