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Changes to Rule 76- Simplified Procedure, What Does This Mean?

Changes to Rule 76- Simplified Procedure, What Does This Mean?

As of January 1, 2010, changes have been made to Rule 76 and they include:

• Increase in monetary jurisdiction to $200,000
• No distinction between ordinary and summary trials
• Jury trials are permitted only in matter of slander, libel malicious arrest or prosecution and false imprisonment
• Oral discovery is increased to 3 hours
• Pre-trial conferences must be scheduled in compliance with rule 50.02
• Parties must agree to trial management plan 30 days before the pre-trial conference
• 5 days before the pre-trial conference, parties must file a copy of this proposed trial management plan, along with expert reports, AOD, other documents and a 3-page statement of issues
• Trials will be limited to 5 days maximum
• Parties will not recover costs over $50,000 or disbursements of $25,000-excluding HST

Reasons for these changes?
To streamline claims with small monetary value. The courts are constantly flooded with lawsuits. Increasing monetary jurisdictions and decreasing trial days will help move claims along as quickly and as possible.

The Problem?
Many matters are not being claimed under this procedure. For example, personal injury litigants routinely claim for the defendant’s policy limit (typically $1-2 million), which far exceeds the Rule 76 limit. This is done so even for claims that are within either the jurisdiction of the small claims court or Rule 76.

Lawyers and plaintiffs do not always have the insight to calculate the value of the claims before they issue a claim. Physical and mental injuries can be unpredictable and difficult to judge within the 2-year limitation period. Also, making a claim under Rule 76 will mean that the Plaintiffs are admitting that their injuries are not worth over $200,000. This prejudice the Plaintiff’s bargaining position and puts them at an disadvantage.

Are the changes and increase in this Rule going to help? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Disclaimer: The foregoing is for informational purposes only, and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your circumstances, please contact PINTO LAW by email or telephone.

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