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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Collect a Judgment

It is important for both plaintiffs and defendants to know about how to enforce a judgment. This article will detail some of the most common methods. The starting point for collection is to have the final order or judgment issued and entered by the Court, which enables it to be enforced. The Courts do not […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Who Can Represent Me in Court?

This article addresses who can represent someone in Court or before a Tribunal in Ontario. The foundational law is Ontario’s Law Society Act which at sections 1(6), 1(7) and 1(8) defines what providing legal services are. The by-laws under the Law Society Act and in particular by-law 4 provides further information. You – any party […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Adjourn a Trial

Trials can generally be adjourned on consent. Adjournment requests get more complicated where the other side does not agree. Adjournments on Consent For a variety of reasons, parties may agreed to adjourn a trial on consent. One side will usually request the other side’s consent by email or letter, setting out the reason for an […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Draft an Affidavit of Service

In this article we discuss how to prepare an affidavit of service and provide a link to purchase a user-friendly affidavit of service. The Rules of Civil Procedure call for documents to be “delivered” and the words “deliver” or “delivery” mean to serve and file with proof of service. Proof of service is demonstrated by […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Trials Across Canada

Canada has one of the world’s greatest justice systems. 2020 saw my involvement in a number of business and real estate trials, including a shareholder arbitration about a commercial property, a private mortgage contract trial and a real estate joint venture trial.  Although Jury trials ground to a halt, I continue to be consulted on […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Limitation Periods and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

This article discussed provincial limitation periods in Ontario (not federal limitation periods) and how many limitation periods were paused due to the covid-19 pandemic. It is generally good practice to move forwards on the basis that limitation periods did not pause, taking any necessary steps on the assumption that limitation periods did not pause. But […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Draft a Reply

This article is an abbreviated version of a chapter in Civil Litigation D.I.Y., a litigation book on how to value, assemble and settle lawsuits. The book does a deep dive into how to draft a reply. The book and this article are legal information, not legal advice. A reply is not a mandatory pleading. All […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Draft a Statement of Defence

This article is an abbreviated version of a chapter in Civil Litigation D.I.Y., a litigation book on how to value, assemble and settle lawsuits. The book does a deep dive into the 6 steps outlined below, discussing each of the steps in some detail. The book and this article are legal information, not legal advice. […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Top 10 Tips for Pre-Trial Conferences

This list is based on our firm’s extensive pre-trial conference experience both conducting and consulting on pre-trial conferences. Persuasion. The goal of the pre-trial conference is to persuade the Judge to see the case your way and to express a judicial impression to the other parties. Concise. Judges are extremely busy, often with multiple pre-trials, […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

The Future of Civil Jury Trials in Ontario

On January 1, 2020, the maximum claim for simplified procedure actions (lawsuits) was increased from $100,000 to $200,000. At the same time, the use of Juries in simplified procedure was abolished, with the exception of defamation (libel and slander), malicious arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment cases. Covid-19 has presented massive challenges to Jury trials […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Outsourcing Trial Work

Mick Hassell was recently quoted in a Canadian Bar Association article talking about law firms outsourcing, including outsourcing trial work. Mick is quoted as saying Most law firms retain me for trials because they could use someone with more trial experience and/or they are too busy litigating other files. Click here for the full article. […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Draft a Statement of Claim

This article is an abbreviated version of a chapter in Civil Litigation D.I.Y., a litigation book on how to value, assemble and settle lawsuits. The book does a deep dive into the 6 steps outlined below, discussing each of the steps in some detail. The book and this article are legal information, not legal advice. […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Legal Fee Disagreements

Lawyer-client retainer agreements are contracts and there are duties beyond the contract imposed upon the lawyer. Most legal fee disagreements can be avoided or resolved through good communication. This article touches upon four options to sort out legal fee disagreements that cannot be resolved. 1. Negotiation & Mediation First, there is negotiation and mediation. This […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

How to Bring a Motion for Removal as Lawyer of Record

Rule 15.04 of the Rules of Civil Procedure sets out the rules on motions for removal from the record in Ontario. The rule was updated January 1, 2019. This blog post will look at removing a lawyer of record from both the lawyer and client perspectives. Note the distinction between a client who is an […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Self-Representation of Corporations in Superior Court

Rule 15.01(2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure states that: A party to a proceeding that is a corporation shall be represented by a lawyer, except with leave of the Court. This means that for a company to to be represented by an owner or executive in Superior Court (claims over $35,000 as of January […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Trial Management Plan for Simplified Procedure Rule 76 Trials

Starting January 2020, the simplified procedure increases to $200,000, Juries are removed for most cases and trials are restricted to 5 days. To actually get trials completed in 5 days, parties must agree on a Trial Management Plan, have it approved at the pre-trial conference and incorporate it into the trial record. Click here for […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Simplified Procedure Trials increase to $200,000

On January 1, 2020, the simplified procedure limit increases to $200,000. There are a number of changes that go with the increase. Claims Started after January 1, 2020 There are two important changes for claims started on or after January 1, 2020. First, the right to a trial by Jury is eliminated for many types […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

Discontinuance or Dismissal?

Before you settle a case, you might want to take a look at our litigation book called Civil Litigation D.I.Y. which discusses how to value, assemble and settle lawsuits. Dismissal A common term of settlement is that the case will be dismissed on consent and without costs. This is a formality to close off the […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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 a pre-trial conference. It is good practice to build and maintain a list of witness during the course of an action, but where a list […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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 cases; Access to justice – many claims are too complex or expensive for an individual claimant to be feasible; and Behaviour modification – class actions […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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, 1992 (the “Act”) in mind. Rule 12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12 deals with class proceedings. Pursuant to rule 12.02, the title […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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 Judge for certification (section 2).  Plaintiffs must do so within 90 days of the last defence or time for last defence.  Defendants may do so […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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 throughout the fall and spring months, with jury panels being rounded up multiple times throughout those months. For fall 2017, Toronto scheduled roughly 150 personal […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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. The key section of interest to lawyers is section 20, which says that a lawyer can get a copy of the jury panel list 10 […]

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice Trials

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 of witnesses. Lawyers should start working on their list of witnesses the day they open the file, just as an affidavit of documents is contemplated […]