Commencing a Law Suit

So you want to take someone to court:

There are many reasons why people file a law suit against another party or business. Perhaps a contractor has taken advantage of a client by over charging or trying to pass substandard workmanship or materials. Maybe a vehicle has not been properly repaired or a product has been misrepresented. Or if money has been extended in the format of a loan and suddenly the person receiving the benefit of the funds no longer chooses to honour the repayment agreement. Whatever the case may be that you decide to start a proceeding, know exactly why you are starting and let Shaw Legal Service build your case effectively and professionally.

Many people start an action for the wrong reasons such as:

  • Spite
  • Revenge
  • Vindictiveness or anger

If you are considering starting an action for any of these reasons, reconsider your position as they are not good foundations to build a litigation case upon. Because of the costs involved and associated with a Superior Court of Justice claim, an amount under $3,000.00 may prove to be more of a liability as opposed to an asset. Clearly know what you are undertaking and all of the reasons associated with this decision.

The Maximum Claim amount allowed in the Superior Court of Justice is $25,000.00. Shaw Legal Service has been extremely successful in obtaining judgments in excess of $45,000.00 for our clients. Ask us how we do it. The road to litigation can be both long and costly. Understand the process and the possibilities carefully before wading in as the process may take anywhere from six months to two years. Understand the steps and procedures that you are about to embark upon with counsel. The steps that we will be taking with and for you, once we have determined that you have a viable case, are:

  1. Completing a retainer agreement and explaining the process and hourly rate before starting your matter.
  2. What to expect throughout the process and from Shaw Legal Service.
  3. Separating emotion from fact.
  4. Gathering all evidence in all formats such as contracts, agreements, photographs, emails, texts. Any and all information that will substantially fortify your case.
  5. Drafting and photocopying three sets of documents and building a Plaintiff’s Claim. Professionally binding all documents and evidence.
  6. Filing the Plaintiff’s claim with the courts. Pay the fees.
  7. Process serving the Defendant. Pay the fees.
  8. Prepare and file Affidavit of Service with the courts.
  9. Waiting the prescribed 20 days for the defendant to file a defense.
  10. If no defense is filed, holding the Defendant in Default. Pay the fees.
  11. Appearing in front of a Deputy Judge to obtain a Default Judgment and court Endorsement.
  12. Starting the process of Debt Recovery. See details in Debt Recovery section on our website enclosed.
  13. If a defense is filed within 20 days, preparing for the Settlement Conference.
  14. Negotiate with the Defendant’s counsel, if one has been retained, in an attempt to try and settle the matter before any more costs are incurred and before the Settlement Conference.
  15. Once a date for the Settlement Conference has been booked and confirmed in writing by the courts: preparing a Settlement Conference Brief.
  16. File the brief with the courts and serve the Defendant. Pay the fees.
  17. Prepare and file Affidavit of Service with the courts.
  18. Prepare Witness List and Will Say Statements for trial if the matter should not happen to settle at the Settlement Conference. Pay the fees.
  19. File the Witness List and Will Say statements with the courts. Pay the fees.
  20. Serve the Defendant with the Settlement Conference Brief, Witness List and Will Say Statements. Pay the fees.
  21. Prepare and file Affidavit of Service with the courts.
  22. Appear and present the complete case in front of a Deputy Judge in the Superior Court of Justice at the Settlement Conference.
  23. Try all means possible in arriving at a settlement agreement at the Settlement Conference. If successful:
  24. Draft all terms of the agreement, have all parties authorize and endorse the document. Supply copies to all, obtain signatures.
  25. Prepare a Release document for all parties, obtain signatures.
  26. Prepare Letter of Direction authorized by the client to have funds transferred into Shaw Legal Service trust account to be held in trust until all undertakings prescribed by the court are properly fulfilled. File with the clerk’s office.
  27. Have cheques or certified funds paid into the court account then transferred into Shaw Legal Service Trust Account for disbursement to client once cleared.
  28. Prepare Request to Clerk ending the matter, filing with the courts.
  29. If not successful at the Settlement Conference: Issue Trial retainer to client for signature and forward of funds to Shaw Legal Service before trial work commences.
  30. Amend any and all documents that were exposed at the settlement conference.
  31. Prepare the Trial Book of Documents.
  32. File with the court. Pay the fees.
  33. Serve the Defendant. Pay the fees.
  34. Prepare and file Affidavit of Service with the courts.
  35. Prepare all witnesses for trial.
  36. Commence trial until the complete case has been tried. All witnesses have been questioned In Chief and cross examined by both sides.
  37. Prepare and deliver closing submission to the Deputy Judge.
  38. Await verdict of the trial.
  39. Once successful, start recovery measures as prescribed in our section under Debt Recovery.

Going to court and on to trail can be extremely stressful and nerve racking for many. There are so many steps that have to be properly taken and executed along the way as clearly emulated above. Understand that there are no guarantees. That it is imperative to understand that this is a process that cannot be accelerated or modified and is not a place for amateurs or the self represented. Shaw Legal Service does an exemplary job in professionally representing clients with a solid track record of winning matters and succeeding in court. We take pride in our success and of our professional achievements.

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