Understanding the court process for civil litigation, and its many twists and turns from commencement of the proceeding to its eventual trial or final hearing, can be challenging for the uninitiated. Lawsuits can start as applications or actions, which follow different paths to their conclusion. Various steps in each process have their own unique substeps, all of which have varying deadlines and requirements. It can get confusing for the unexperienced, quickly.
Lawyers and clients alike should be alive to the fact a very useful resource published by the Ministry of the Attorney General, that helps to illustrate the twists and turns, has been updated. With the recent amendments to the Courts of Justice Act and Rules of Civil Procedure that came into effect on January 1, 2020, the Ministry has now published updated flowcharts summarizing the varying processes under the Rules of Civil Procedure.
Following the above link will take you to a copy of the Ministry’s flowcharts that can be printed and held for reference. While the charts are not a substitute for proper legal advice and don’t speak to litigation strategy, they are useful in setting the stage. Over the years I have found the charts a very informative resource for clients to assist in their understanding of the processes and make clear, pictorially, information that can fall on a steep learning curve. As an aside, I am a member of the Civil Rules Committee of the Frontenac Law Association. We recently gave a presentation to local civil litigation lawyers where we referenced the updated flowcharts and spoke to the new processes that are in effect for Simplified Procedure matters. For reference, I have linked the presentation slides to this post, which those in attendance found informative and useful.