Litigation or Civil Suit Process

Litigation Process

A Barrister or a lawyer initiates or responds to litigation proceedings(Suit) as appropriate by drafting(pleading) required documents, taking necessary preliminary steps, preparing for and conducting all stages of the proceeding, seeking appropriate remedies, and initiating appellate proceedings(against impugned decision) where appropriate in order to effectively represent the client.

Disclosure, Production and Discovery

  1. demonstrates an understanding of applicable document disclosure and discovery requirements.
  2. obtains or provides timely disclosure, production or discovery.
  3. advises the client of disclosure obligations (e.g., full and complete disclosure, ensuring the preservation of relevant evidence for disclosure, knowledge of privilege issues).
  4. prepares for the conduct of any discovery process (e.g., preliminary inquiry, examination for discovery).
    prepares the client for any discovery process.
  5. takes appropriate steps to enforce disclosure and discovery rights.
  6. demonstrates awareness of the requirements for redaction.

Motions and Interim Proceedings

  1. considers means of resolving procedural issues by agreement to avoid a motion.
  2. demonstrates awareness of the availability and merits of interim relief.
  3. advises clients of the costs and other consequences associated with a motion.

Trial or Hearing Preparation

  1. meets required timelines for trial or hearing.
  2. determines the evidence required to support the theory of the case.
  3. gathers evidence.
  4. considers decision-maker (e.g., judge or jury).
  5. obtains discovery or other relevant transcripts.
  6. reviews relevant transcripts.
  7. organizes trial or hearing documents.
  8. determines the evidence to be presented.
  9. demonstrates an understanding of the use and requirements of expert evidence.
  10. identifies the order of the evidence to be presented.
  11. demonstrates an understanding of requests to admit and admissions.
  12. demonstrates an understanding of any notice and delivery requirements for specific documentary evidence (e.g., business records, medical and other expert reports).
  13. demonstrates an understanding of the Rules of Professional Conduct related to a lawyer who is acting as an advocate or as a witness.
  14. demonstrates an understanding of the Rules of Professional Conduct related to communicating with witnesses.
  15. complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct related to communications with a represented person, corporation or organization.
  16. demonstrates an understanding of the law of costs.
  17. demonstrates an understanding of the purpose and proper form of an examination-in-chief.
  18. prepares own witnesses for examination.
  19. ensures the attendance of witnesses (e.g., subpoena/summons to witness).
  20. demonstrates an understanding of the purpose and proper form of cross-examination.
  21. prepares for cross-examination of witnesses of other parties.
  22. demonstrates an understanding of the purpose and proper form of re-examination.
  23. prepares any applications for relief under the Charter and service on the Crown and other required parties.
  24. anticipates and prepares objections and possible motions.
  25. considers issues of admissibility of evidence.
  26. prepares submissions on costs.
  27. prepares submissions on penalties, remedies or disposition, where applicable.
  28. complies with the time requirements for filing pre-trial or prehearing materials.
  29. complies with applicable practice directions of the courts.
  30. understands the different requirements of effective opening and closing statements before a judge.
  31. demonstrates an understanding of the law relating to the cause of action.
  32. demonstrates an understanding of the onus and burden of proof at each stage.

Applications to Court, Judicial Review and Prerogative Remedies

  1. demonstrates an understanding of the rules and requirements for applications, judicial review, prerogative remedies, and constitutional remedies.
  2. considers whether applications, judicial review, prerogative remedies and constitutional remedies are available and warranted.
  3. meets applicable timelines for applications, judicial review, prerogative remedies and notices of constitutional question.
    reviews the merits of applications, judicial review, constitutional remedies and prerogative remedies with the client.
    ensures applications, judicial review, constitutional remedies and prerogative remedies are brought in the proper forum.
  4. prepares all the necessary documents for the conduct of applications, judicial review, constitutional remedies and prerogative remedies.
  5. demonstrates an understanding of the costs principles relating to applications, judicial review, constitutional remedies and prerogative remedies where available and appropriate.
  6. prepares and conducts any necessary examinations.

Conduct of the Trial or Hearing

  1. deals with any preliminary matters.
  2. presents evidence to support the theory of the case.
  3. determines whether to call a particular witness.
  4. conducts cross-examination appropriately and in accordance with relevant case law.
  5. conducts re-examination as appropriate and permitted.
  6. presents reply evidence if appropriate.
  7. presents admissions effectively.
  8. initiates and responds to motions as appropriate.
  9. raises and responds to objections appropriately on the record.
  10. revises litigation strategy as necessary.
  11. maintains civility during the conduct of the trial.
  12. considers and establishes an adequate record for the purpose of submissions or appellate review.

Appeals

  1. demonstrates an understanding of the rules and requirements for an appeal, including leave.
  2. considers whether an appeal is necessary.
  3. meets the required steps and timelines for appeals.
  4. reviews the merits and consequences of an appeal with the client.
  5. obtains client instructions regarding appeals.
  6. ensures appeals are brought in the proper forum.
  7. obtains and prepares all the necessary evidence and documents for the conduct of an appeal.
  8. demonstrates an understanding of the costs principles relating to an appeal.
  9. demonstrates awareness of the procedure to file a notice of appeal in the name of the client to preserve appellate rights.
  10. demonstrates awareness of the availability of settlement conferences and the ongoing availability of dispute resolution in appeals.
  11. demonstrates an awareness of the availability or necessity of a stay and or release pending appeal.

Post-Disposition of Matter

  1. ensures the matter has been completed and documented appropriately in accordance with the disposition (e.g., minutes of settlement, judgment/order issued and entered, final releases, dismissal order).
  2. provides final reports and accounting to clients.
  3. conducts a final review of the file prior to closing the file.
  4. retains or returns file documentation and electronic data appropriately.

Based on : Entry-Level Barrister Competencies-Law Society of Ontario
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N6

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