What Happens to Lawsuits in Ontario During the Covid-19 Pandemic?


At Burn Tucker Lachaîne PC, we are working remotely. Our physical offices in Ottawa and Hawkesbury are currently closed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, in support of our healthcare workers who are fighting this illness on the front lines, as well as those who are keeping our grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential services open during this challenging time.

Although our physical offices are not open to the public, our lawyers and staff are continuing to work – we’re just doing it from home.

What about the courthouses? As you may have heard, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has suspended its regular operations.  Urgent matters in civil, criminal and family proceedings have continued to be heard via teleconference and videoconference but other matters have been adjourned.

As of this week, non-urgent civil matters can be heard in Ontario courthouses.  In the East Region, which includes the Ottawa, Pembroke, Cornwall and L’Orignal courthouses, some civil matters can now be dealt with through our virtual court.   

If you had a pre-trial conference scheduled in March or April 2020, it can be heard virtually.  The parties must email a request for a pre-trial conference to the trial coordinator (or case management coordinator in Ottawa).  The parties must also certify that:

1) the case is ready for settlement discussions

2) there are no impediments to a full discussion such as outstanding expert reports

3) the parties will attend with full authority to settle.

If the request is granted by the court, the parties must file a brief of 10 pages or less prior to the pre-trial conference.

There are also procedures in place for the hearing of civil motions and case conferences.  Please consult the website of the Superior Court of Justice for more information.

The hearing of civil matters through our virtual courts will not be without challenges but at Burn Tucker Lachaîne, we are doing our part to assist our clients and other injury victims navigate through the legal systems during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Laurie Tucker and Éliane Lachaîne, partners of our firm, sit on the Bench & Bar Technology Subcommittee at the Ottawa courthouse. Through this committee, lawyers and judges are working together to develop and implement procedures for the virtual hearing of civil matters.

At Burn Tucker Lachaîne, we are continuing to work tirelessly for our existing clients.  We encourage you to contact your law clerk and your lawyer by email or by text at 613-777-0992.  You can also leave us a voicemail message at 613-233-6898.

Our lawyers also continue to provide free legal consultations to new clients.  You can text us at 613-777-0992 or call us at 613-233-6898 and we will get back to you to schedule a telephone meeting.  You can also visit our website for more information.

For up-to-date information on the current pandemic situation, please visit the website of Public Health Ontario. Take care of yourself and each other.

By Eliane Lachaîne of Burn Tucker Lachaîne Personal Injury Lawyers on April 08, 2020
Tags: Serious Injury