Litigation

How will Ontario’s increase in small claims court limits affect access to justice?

October 31st, 2019 by Claudia Pedrero

This article was first published on rabble.ca

As of January 1, 2020, Ontario will increase the value of claims that can be brought before the province’s small claims court. Soon, the maximum claim that can be filed will increase from $25,000 to $35,000.

Small claims court is a branch of the Superior Court of Justice that hears civil disputes. If a person has a claim that exceeds the maximum limit for small claims court, they need to pursue the case through the Superior Court of Justice or go through small claims court and limit the amount of the claim.

Ontario’s intent is to make it “faster, easier, and more affordable to settle claims,” while trying to alleviate some of the backlog at the provincial Superior Court of Justice, which the province notes is one of the busiest courts in Canada.

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Court fees increase again. Who should bear the cost of accessing justice?

April 10th, 2019 by Brynn Leger

As of April 1, 2019, the Ontario government has introduced significant changes to court fees for Small Claims Court as well as Civil and Family proceedings at Superior Court. Court fees are the costs that come up from time to time as a case moves through the court system and includes fees for filing a claim, setting a date for a trial, and a range of other court steps. These fees are not new and they have had significant increases in the past, but the most recent changes raise questions about access to justice for people and organizations with less money trying to pursue a claim in court.

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Think your waiver has you covered? It might not.

May 18th, 2018 by Elliot Fonarev

Chances are your organization has dealt with waivers if your services have the potential to create injury or liability to your clients or customers – for example, if you operate sports facilities or provide access to a physical space with potential hazards. If so, a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on the topic of waivers may interest you. It highlights that documents that release liability should be drafted very specifically to make it clear which legal rights are being waived.

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Construction project? Make sure you know the risks involved. Join us for a free workshop November 2.

October 24th, 2016 by Iler Campbell

construction

Join us at at our offices 9 am on Wednesday November 2 for this free workshop led by Safia Lakhani. Spaces are very limited! Email info@ilercampbell.com to save your spot.

Getting it Done: How to Reduce Risk with your Construction Project
Whether you are completing building maintenance and upgrades or conducting larger-scale renovations, there are multiple risks associated with construction jobs. This session will explore ways for co-ops, condominium corporations, non-profit housing organizations, and others embarking on small or large-scale construction to mitigate risks, including: a. knowing the parties to the contract; b. properly reviewing your contract documents; and, for larger scale jobs, c. ensuring there is a bond in place from your general contractor.  We will also review  owners’ obligations under the Construction Lien Act, the provincial statute that outlines the rights and obligations of owners, landlords, contractors, and sub-contractors with respect to construction. There will be time set aside for questions.

This session is also a great opportunity for participants/attendees to get to know one another! We look forward to seeing you.

Access to justice crisis: 15 years too long to wait for solutions

March 26th, 2015 by Celia Chandler

We have all heard about Canada’s increasingly underfunded legal aid programs, escalating private market legal costs, and the scarcity of lawyers, especially in smaller, rural and remote communities. This has resulted in what many have termed an access to justice crisis. Indeed, the Canadian Bar Association has set targets for 2030 to equalize access to civil justice, as reported in this column in August 2013. The Toronto Star recently reported on programs in New York City, Windsor, and England and Wales where Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) get support from students and other advisers who are not lawyers but have some training to find their way through the system — significant in those jurisdictions. But 2030 is 15 years down the road and a long wait for large‑scale system change; in the meantime, we have to live with the significant negative consequences to the legal system.

Read more on rabble.ca

Fighting it out on the ice: Canadian Bar Association skates into (and then out of) huge Chevron vs Ecuadorian villagers court battle

October 30th, 2014 by Kirsten Iler

A storm of controversy erupted amongst Canadian lawyers when the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) decided to intervene in Chevron’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The appeal is part of Chevron’s battle against Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples who seek to enforce a massive court judgment against the company for environmental damage in Ecuador. Amid increasing pressure, the CBA ultimately decided not to intervene. However, the event speaks to an apparent divide within the legal profession: around the relationship and importance of corporate law principles (such as the corporate veil), corporate accountability, and access to and the administration of justice.

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