The Toronto Sittings Project
May 17, 2017
Posted by: Sandra Porter
An important update for Personal Injury and Insurance Defence Litigators
In the recent notice concerning the Toronto Sittings Project it was indicated that the dates selected for the sittings were done on the basis that they do not conflict with trial sittings in Central East or Central West. There are no conflicts with Central West, nor are there conflicts with Central East with respect to the June, 2018 sittings. It has been determined, however, that there is a two week overlap with respect to the November 2017 sittings with Central East. Namely, the weeks of November 27 and December 4. Inquiries have been made of the Civil Team in Toronto. We have been advised that, if there is a legitimate conflict between cases called in Central East and Toronto, counsel can make submissions during the sittings and time will be set aside in Toronto, in early 2018, to ensure that the cases can be reached.
Commencing in the fall of 2017 in the Toronto Region, all two to three week personal injury jury cases (excluding medical malpractice actions) will only be scheduled for month-long jury trial sittings. All such cases with fixed trial dates will automatically be moved into the trial sittings.
The sittings will take place two times per year: November and June.
In 2017, the four week sittings will commence on November 27. In 2018, the four week sittings will commence on June 4. Further trial sittings for the fall of 2018 and beyond will be considered depending upon the success of this project.
These months have been chosen because they do not conflict with sittings in Central West and Central East. The sittings are designed to reduce the times out to trials in Toronto. Two to three week personal injury cases have been chosen for this project because most two to three week jury trials involve personal injury matters and they have a very high settlement rate. During the sittings, several courtrooms will be available. Given historic settlement rates it is anticipated that all scheduled cases that do not settle will be reached during the sittings.
All two to three week jury trials that are currently scheduled for September-December 2017 will be moved into the November sittings. Similarly, all two to three week jury trials presently scheduled for January-June 2018 will be moved into the June sittings. Pre-trials that have already been scheduled for these cases in 2017/2018 will remain as scheduled. There will also be a pre-trial blitz prior to each sitting.
The Toronto trial office will soon be in touch with the lawyers involved in the affected two to three week personal injury jury trials to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
Any questions concerning the sittings can be directed to the project coordinator Theodora Apostolopoulos.
Alternatively, you can direct them to Margaret Waddell, who is the TLA's representative on the Toronto Civil Bench and Bar Committee.