Civil Litigation


Click on a button or title below to view one of our Client Guides.


   Litigation Process Overview

This Client Guide deals with the court system, court officials and major steps in a lawsuit. Settlement, costs and appeals are also described.

   Litigation Lexicon

Litigation terms used in the Client Guides are defined and explained.


   Limitation Periods and the Limitations Act

After the expiry of a limitation period, a claim will be forever barred if legal action has not been commenced within that time period. Ontario has new legislation to minimize the confusing array of limitation periods which apply to different types of claims.

   Case Management

Case management is a system whereby the court is intensely involved in the administration of the case as it progresses towards a trial or hearing. This Client Guide describes the specific provisions that apply to cases subject to case management.


   Discovery of Documents

The Rules of Civil Procedure require a party to provide a list verified by affidavit of all documents that relate to any issue in the litigation in the custody, power or possession of the party, even if they are privileged. In addition, all such documents must be produced for inspection to the opposite party, unless they are privileged. This Client Guide describes a party's obligations, explains the wide definition of "document" under the Rules and the extent of the continuing obligation to disclose and produce documents that are discovered after the service of the original list of documents.


   Examination for Discovery

In Ontario, each party is entitled to examine an opposite party (or a representative of that party in the case of corporations and certain other parties). This Client Guide deals with the preparation required and the procedures at the examination itself.


   Witness at a Trial or Hearing

This Guide explains the courtroom layout, manner of giving evidence at trial and how to prepare for giving such evidence.


   Settlement Offers

Most cases do not go to trial; they settle. There are many advantages to settlement. One of them, mandated by the Rules of Civil Procedure, is that beneficial costs awards can be obtained even if the case is not settled, by serving a written settlement offer. Those processes are described in this Client Guide.


   Class Proceedings

Where many people share a common interest, judicial economy suggests that, in appropriate circumstances, their claims or defences should be heard together as a class proceeding. The normal rules are supplemented and there are a number of specific provisions dealing with costs in such actions. This Client Guide explains the class proceeding process in Ontario.


   Jury Trials and Jury Duty

The jury system is an important component of our legal process. This Client Guide explains the procedure for selecting jurors and describes what steps can be taken to postpone jury duty where participation as a juror would cause hardship to an individual..


Courthouses   Court Locations


Federal Court of Canada - Toronto

Tax Court of Canada - Toronto

Small Claims Courts - Toronto

Outside Toronto - Superior Court of Justice


Courthouses   Official Examiners and Court Reporters



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This page was originally created on July 3, 1996 and was last updated on April 8, 2017.
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