Malcolm Zoraik has been immersed in professional discipline and misconduct proceedings since 2010. He has recently obtained a precedent-setting ruling from the Appeal Division of the Law Society of Ontario in which a five-panel member has unanimously endorsed his legal and evidentiary arguments. Malcolm will passionately pursue all available legal remedies to assist professionals facing serious and severe consequences for alleged misconduct. Malcolm has extensive legal research background to tackle the most difficult disciplinary issues in order to achieve the best results possible under the law.
If you are a professional faced with serious allegations of professional misconduct which may lead to the loss of your livelihood and reputation, you will need legal counsel who has firsthand experience in dealing with matters of professional discipline. Our lawyers will be happy to assist in all manners possible so that you may achieve the best possible outcome for your professional dilemma.
New Simplified Civil Procedure Enhances Access to Justice
-By Malcolm H. Zoraik
A new dawn for litigants in the Ontario civil court was heralded on January 1, 2020. On that day amendments were made to Rule 76 of the Ontario Rules of Civil procedure whereby the monetary jurisdiction under this rule was increased from $100,000 to $200,000. In addition these amendments will see major changes to how litigation is conducted for many actions, particularly personal injury matters not involving threshold issues. Related amendments to section 108 of the Courts of Justice Act came into force earlier this year.
In an effort to streamline and reduce the costs of litigation, jury trials will no longer be permitted in Rule 76 actions. Jury trials will be permitted for actions below $200,000 only for slander, libel, malicious arrest or prosecution, and false imprisonment, but they must proceed or continue as an ordinary action. If the jury notice is subsequently struck out, then the action is to be continued under Rule 76.
Pursuant to the amendments, Rule 76 trials are not to exceed 5 days and, except for the costs consequences of rule 76.13 or another Act, no party may recover costs exceeding $50,000 or disbursements exceeding $25,000, exclusive of HST.
As a result of the increase in monetary jurisdiction, the time limit for oral discovery by any party is increased from two to three hours. Pre-trial conferences are to be scheduled within 180 days after the action is set down for trial (the action is to be set down for trial no later than 180 days from the first defence or notice of intent to defend). At least 30 days before the pre-trial conference, the parties are to agree on a trial management plan that contains a list of all witnesses (including experts) and a division of time, not to exceed 5 days in total, between opening statements, evidence in chief by way of affidavits or discovery transcripts, cross-examination, re-examination and oral argument.
We at Doli Law Offices believe that the new Rules will facilitate access to justice and timely resolution of civil disputes in Ontario. There will no longer be the nightmare of waiting up to 10 years for a resolution of disputes within the $200,000 limit. This will certainly encourage litigants to reach early resolution of their disputes so as to spare time and costs for all involved in the judicial process.