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Pre-Trial Conference Checklist

This pre-trial conference checklist is created with lawyers in mind, but businesses and individuals with cases before the Courts can also use it.

Long Range

  • Schedule the pre-trial conference through the Trial Coordinator’s office or at Trial Scheduling Court (aka To Be Spoken To Court in Toronto).
  • Ensure the appropriate expert reports are complete (90 days before the pre-trial for reports at the first instance and 60 days before the pre-trial for responding expert reports).
  • If the pre-trial conference is shortly before trial, then you need to have trial preparation well underway. Key trial resources we offer include trial book HOW TO WINg A TRIAL and the Ontario Civil Trial Checklist.

Preparing the Client

  • Notify the client of the date, time, location and meeting spot (since Courtroom numbers are assigned last minute.
  • Provide the client with a copy of all pre-trial conference briefs.
  • Have a frank discussion with the client about the strengths and weaknesses of the case, appropriate case valuation and what to expect at a pre-trial conference.

Drafting the Pre-Trial Conference Brief

  • Use a professionally-formatted template, such as those available here.
  • Ensure you have a pre-trial conference memorandum, together with a copy of the pleadings (plaintiff), witness list, key documents and expert reports.
  • Use any mediation brief as a starting point, if it accurately identifies the issues. Consider any developments since mediation. Do not re-use a mediation brief unless it is concise – Masters and Judges do not have as much time as mediators.
  • If you focus on a particular practice area, it is a good idea to develop a precedent pre-trial conference brief for your practice area.
  • For simplified procedure matters, complete a Trial Management Plan and Trial Management Checklist.

Serve and File the Pre-Trial Conference Brief

  • Print, bind, serve and file the pre-trial conference brief. The deadline is 5 business days before the pre-trial conference (not including statutory holidays).
  • For paperless offices and electronic filing, create a pdf version of the pre-trial conference brief that is easy to navigate, with an index and bookmarks for each of the tabs.

Day of the Pre-Trial Conference

  • Take an extra copy of your witness list, which may be attached to the Trial Management Report to the Trial Judge.
  • Be ready to give a 2 minute executive summary of the claim orally to supplement the brief.
  • Take an extra copy of your rule 49 offer and disbursements list.
  • Client must attend with authority to settle and be ready to make quick decisions about settlement (time is limited).
  • Be alert to trial management issues that may be discussed.

More on Pre-Trials

For more information on pre-trial conferences, please take a look at How to Conduct a Pre-Trial Conference and our Top 10 Tips for Pre-Trial Conferences.

For pre-trial services, please take a look at our Pre-trial Conference Package.

Ontario Civil Trial Manual

Trial Book Trial Manual Trial Checklist Trial Forms

This manual is trial information, not trial legal advice.

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The Ontario Civil Trial Manual is copyright © 2020.  For permission to reproduce part of the trial manual please call (416) 944-2274 or email info@trialcounsel.ca.  Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome.  Thank you.

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