Court Basics

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I offer private, in-person, tutorials on court procedures and lawsuits for a fee. These sessions are intended to be general legal education. They should not be considered to be legal advice that is specific to your situation, and should NOT be considered to be a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. They are designed to help you understand more about the court process, so that you can make informed decisions about your own case.

I also offer trial and motion hearing preparation tutorials in collaboration with other senior lawyers. These sessions would be tailored to your needs. I would need at least 3 weeks notice in advance.

For more information, please contact me at heather@litigation-help.com

 

(1)  Overview of the Court Process  (Ontario Superior Court only)

Duration: 2.5 – 3.0 hours

Fee: $150

(For a tutorial on Small Claims procedure, see #7 below.)

In this tutorial, you will be introduced to a summary of the entire process, beginning with pleadings, the various procedures and deadlines that occur before trial, trial itself and enforcement, and a very brief introduction to what appeals involve.

You will learn the following:

-the fundamental concepts behind the “common law” system

-how to access court forms and rules of procedure

-samples of completed documents

-explanation of the concepts behind each step of procedure

-common risks of litigation, including costs consequences related to offers to settle

-what available legal service options there are for self-represented litigants, including limited scope or discrete task services

-alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and arbitration.

 

(2) Motions

Duration: 2 hours

Fee: $150

In most lawsuits, there will be court hearings called “motions” before trial occurs. A party may “bring a motion” to ask the court to force the other side to comply with a certain rule, such as the production of certain documents. Many self-represented litigants are blindsided by represented opponents because they do not realize what is involved in these procedures. In this session, I will explain motion procedures, and give examples of the most common motions that occur in lawsuits.

 

(3) Legal Research

Duration: 2 hours

Fee: $150

This session will introduce you to the basics of legal research. You will be guided on how to use the  free database CanLII, how to use “Boolean” operators to conduct a more efficient search. A brief discussion on the concept of “common law” will also be included. We will go through in detail how to read judge’s decisions, as well as how case law is applied in real cases. We will also go to the Toronto Reference library to access their litigation online resources, including Westlaw.

 

(4) Legal Writing: What are affidavits? What is a factum?

Duration: 2 hours

Fee: $150

A litigant will often need to file written documents to the judge before a hearing. Many litigants do not understand what is required in these documents, from the basic format, to what relevant content should include.  This session will introduce you to the basics of legal writing. Examples of good and bad writing will be provided.

This session does not include proof reading of documents for your litigation. For such services, a referral to a legal advice lawyer will be provided.