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Court weighs in on self-represented litigants

Alex Robinson - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lawyers say a recent Court of Appeal decision illustrates the challenges trial judges can face when presiding over matters with self-represented litigants, as well as the responsibilities justices owe them.
In Moore v. Apollo Health & Beauty Care, the court found that a Small Claims Court judge had not “made sufficient inquiries” before concluding a self-represented litigant had abandoned part of her claim — resulting in an unfair trial.

“Where the evidence of a self-represented party raises a question in the trial judge’s mind about the specific relief the party is seeking, a trial judge must make the appropriate inquiries of the party to clarify the matter,” Justice David Bro...

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Ruling shows flexibility for disabled persons

Lawyers say a recent Ontario Superior Court decision has implications for when a limitations period begins for applications brought on behalf of disabled people.

The Lawyer Therapist: The life of a family lawyer

Attack. Destroy. Emotional baggage. War.

Focus: Broadband Internet an essential service?

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s decision to declare broadband Internet access an essential service is long overdue, says the lawyer for an Ottawa advocacy group.

Focus: Ruling on outsourcing important for practitioners

Technology lawyers say a recent court judgment on an information technology outsourcing project is a gold mine for practitioners who advise parties to subcontract agreements in the sector.  

Focus: More criticism arises over anti-spam law

Canada’s anti-spam law is facing a fresh wave of criticism from long-time opponents as the third anniversary of its proclamation approaches.

Inside Story

Monday, May 22, 2017

Former Superior Court of Justice Maurice Cullity is the winner of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Trust and Estates Law.

“I feel greatly honoured to receive the award,” Cullity told Law Times in an email.

In 1979, Cullity joined the law firm of Davies Ward & Beck and was a partner there until 1997, when he was then appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division), now the Superior Court of Justice, according to the OBA.

After Cullity left the court, he returned to private practice writing opinions on estates matters until his eventual retirement at the end of 2014.

“Maurice has left a legacy of multiple achievements in the development of the law in the areas of estate planning, tax, estate and trusts, and this OBA award of excellence represents a small token of respect and appreciation from those he touched,” said Archie Rabinowitz, partner at Gowlings WLG,...

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Law Times poll

A recent Court of Appeal decision acknowledged a ‘new reality’ of civil litigation in which courts are seeing a significant number of self-represented litigants. Are courts are doing a good job of addressing the needs of self-represented litigants?
Yes, judges are doing a good job of ensuring trial fairness.
No, courts have only just begun to consider the many issues surrounding self-represented litigants.