Hurry up and Wait – The Expensive Way We’re Forced to Litigate in Ontario

As I write this Blog, I’m waiting to be called to trial in a Courthouse that is not in Toronto, Ontario.     As with most Court Houses in the Court House runs “sittings” twice yearly when civil and family trials are heard.   The sittings started May 13 and will run until May 31.   The next sittings will be in October.

We will likely be told 4:30 p.m. the day before Trial that we are going to start the next day at 10:00 a.m.   We have no idea when that will happen as it depends on when the cases that get started ahead of us finish.

This means that for three weeks, I am unable to book any other out of office work that could not be moved.   My witnesses are also all stuck for three weeks waiting to heard we’re starting tomorrow. 

As bad as the above sounds, it gets worse.   If the full list doesn’t get reached during a sittings (which happens) then the trial gets put on the next list.  That means as the lawyer, I have to prepare twice for the same trial and the client’s bill increases accordingly.

 The time for “sittings” must end.  Given that all in the Legal Profession are working towards faster results and less expensive litigation, it’s time for things to change.  

Until things change, I’ll be here.  Hurrying up and waiting.

Inga B. Andriessen, JD