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Upcoming Changes to Ontario’s Simplified Actions

Effective January 1, 2020, significant changes are being made to Rule 76 Simplified Procedure, of the Rules of Civil Procedure, for Ontario’s simplified actions.

As it is widely known, litigation can be tedious, costly, and drawn out. To reduce the costs of litigation, a number of changes have been made. First, the monetary jurisdiction will be increased from $100,00.000 to $200,000.00, which allows more claims to be captured under Rule 76.

Also, jury trials will no longer be permitted. While they will be available for actions below $200,000.00, they are only for slander, libel, malicious arrest or prosecution, and false imprisonment claims. These must continue as ordinary actions and only when the jury notice is struck, will the action be able to continue under Rule 76.

Trial lengths are not to exceed 5 days. If they do, it will only be for cost consequences. Parties cannot recover over $50,000.00 in costs or over $25,000.00 in disbursements.

Due to the increase of monetary jurisdiction, oral discovery is now increased from 2 to 3 hours.

Regarding trial, parties need to agree on a trial management plan at least 30 days before the pre-trail conference. This must contain a list of witnesses, opening statements, evidence in chief through an Affidavit or discovery transcript, cross- examination, re-examination and oral argument.

Pre-trial conferences must comply to rule 50.02. They must be scheduled 180 days after the action is set down for trial. The parties must file a copy of the proposed trial management plan, expert reports, three-page statement of the issues and party’s position, at least 5 days in advance of the pre-trial conference.

Also, there will not be a distinction between ordinary and summary trials. All Rule 76 simplified action trials will proceed as summary trials.

What does that mean for employers and employees?

If there are lengthy changes to Rule 76 for simplified actions, parties should take advantage of them.

Both employers and employees will be able to navigate their matters in a shortened time frame.

A shortened litigation process provides employers and employees with a cost-conscious solution to their legal problems. Achkar Law offers candid advice that is tailored to the needs of our clients. We are respectful of our client’s finances and take the utmost care to ensure that your legal needs are met at a price they can afford.

If you are an employer who is facing a litigation in Ontario’s Superior Court and wants to understand how these changes may affect them, or if you are an employee who wants to discuss their rights and options in the face of these changes, our team of experienced employment and human rights lawyers at Achkar Law would be happy to help you further navigate the topic.

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Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to serve as, or should be construed as legal advice, and is only to provide general information. It is in no way particular to your case and should not be relied on in any way. No portion or use of this blog will establish a lawyer-client relationship with the author or any related party. Should you require legal advice for your particular situation, fill out the contact form, call (800)771-7882, or email [email protected].