News & Views

To Our Friends and Colleagues
April 20, 2020

To Our Friends and Colleagues

Written by the FIJ Team

We wanted to reach out to you at this time for two reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, to wish you continued good health and fortitude during these unprecedented times. Secondly, to reassure you that FIJ continues to be fully operational during this period of upheaval. Though our physical operations have been modified to protect our staff and to maintain social distancing protocols, our full complement of lawyers and clerks are working remotely to continue to provide you with the level of service that you have come to expect and rely on from FIJ.

As the economic effects of Covid-19 continue to evolve, we imagine that many of you have questions or are contemplating alternative business strategies or credit solutions to help weather this storm.  FIJ is here to support you in these endeavors – we are but a phone call away should you need to “brainstorm” about new and creative approaches. Similarly, we have adapted ourselves to the new reality of how business is being conducted in the current climate - through the use of tools such as videoconferencing and electronic signatures, we are able to complete transactions as quickly and efficiently as before.  Also, while the courts are currently limiting hearings to urgent matters only, we are still able to issue and serve new claims as usual.

Over the years, FIJ has had the privilege of becoming a trusted business advisor to our clients – rest assured that we continue to take this role very seriously and have taken all measures to ensure that our responsiveness and quality of service have not been compromised.

We look forward to seeing you all again when things return to “normal” and until then, please stay safe and healthy.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Leslie Fluxgold directly at l[email protected] or at 905 763 3770 x 210. 

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind.


About the Author:

Les Fluxgold is a respected advisor to the business community, with a focus on commercial real estate and commercial lending. Having served as counsel for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, practiced privately for over 20 years and having spent over 15 years acting for many of Canada's leading commercial lenders, Les has the expertise and hands-on experience to guide clients through complicated real estate matters and commercial loan transactions. He identifies their objectives, assesses their options and gets them to the finish line.

Making Litigation Quicker and Cheaper: Changes to the Simplified Procedure
February 28, 2020

Making Litigation Quicker and Cheaper: Changes to the Simplified Procedure

Written by Liliana Ferreira

When it comes to starting a lawsuit, there is at first glance, two options: Small Claims Court or Superior Court*, with the primary difference being the amount that can be claimed by a plaintiff in the action**. Claims commenced in the Small Claims Court are, as of January 1, 2020, limited to $35,000, while there is no limit on the amount that can be claimed in Superior Court.

There is however another option built into the Superior Court process known as the Simplified Procedure. Simplified Procedure is governed by Rule 76 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and aims to streamline or shorten the litigation process, thereby freeing up Court resources and reducing the overall costs of litigation. It achieves this purpose by setting limits or requirements for certain procedural steps, such as eliminating cross-examinations, limiting discovery to 2 hours for each party, and setting shorter timelines for moving the matter forward. Simplified Procedure is however limited in its application to claims for real property, personal property, and until recently, payment of money not exceeding $100,000.

As of January 1, 2020, changes have been made to the Simplified Procedure in an effort to further reduce the back log of cases before the Courts and reduce litigation costs. Some of these changes include:

  1. An increase on the limit of a claim from $100,000 to $200,000 or less;
  2. Trials are now limited to 5 days in length, and jury trials are no longer available for actions commenced after January 1, 2020;
  3. Duration of examinations for discovery have been increased to 3 hours per party;
  4. Parties intending to call expert evidence are now required to serve a copy of the expert’s report in advance of the trial;
  5. Summary trials, which had set time limits (ie. how long a deponent could be examined for) are no longer available in Simplified Procedure actions. The new trial process is detailed in the updated Rule 76.12; and
  6. There is now a limit on the costs that can be recovered in an action commenced under Simplified Procedure.  Costs are limited to $50,000, and disbursements are limited to $25,000, however this rule only applies if the action was commenced after January 1, 2020.

Overall, the changes to the Simplified Procedure are designed to apply pressure on parties to exchange information early on, narrow the issues in dispute, and move litigation forward expeditiously by imposing condensed timelines. Despite how appealing Simplified Procedure may be, it will not be appropriate in all cases that fit within its parameters. If a matter is complicated, requires a significant number of witnesses and/or experts, or is expected to be costly, it may be worthwhile to reconsider proceeding by way of Simplified Procedure in favour of the more expansive Superior Court process. Otherwise, for straightforward matters, the revamped Simplified Procedure should decrease the amount of time and money required to litigate, while making the entire process less frustrating for litigants and lawyers alike.

If you have any questions regarding the matter, please do not hesitate to contact Liliana Ferreira directly at [email protected] or at 905 763 3770 x 242. 

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind.

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*For a more detailed analysis about the differences between the Small Claims Court and the Superior Court, please see Robert Izsak’s October 15, 2018 blog post.

**For a summary on the recent changes to the Small Claims Court Rules, please see Amanda Maio’s October 30, 2019 blog post.

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About the Author:

Liliana’s practice encompasses commercial and estate litigation. She advises individual and corporate clients on a range of legal issues such as employment and contract disputes, construction matters and debt recovery claims. Prior to joining FIJ Law LLP in 2013, Liliana focused her practice on estate litigation at a boutique firm and gained experience in will challenges, dependant support claims, power of attorney disputes and fiduciary issues. Her unique expertise allows her to take a balanced approach to litigation with a sharp focus on advocacy and dispute resolution while assisting her clients in making informed business decisions.