Thursday, 29 December 2016

Utilizing my advocacy skills in court

My first motion was scheduled months in advance and the day finally arrived. It was booked at the Newmarket Superior Court, a court that was unfamiliar to me. I am not a shy person, but the anticipation of speaking in open court made me nervous. I was consoled by my learned peers who assured me that I was lucky to be arguing a Wagg motion as my very first.

I was scheduled to speak before the Honourable Justice Di Luca...

A Wagg motion is brought under Rule 30.10 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The purpose of the motion is to obtain relevant documents that are in the possession, control, or power of a party who is not part of the litigation. These motions typically arise in motor vehicle accident claims and are used to obtain the records of police departments and/or the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Since Wagg motions are procedural, they are rarely opposed. That made my task easier. So long as I was prepared, nothing could go wrong…

On December 21, I arrived at court with ample time to spare. I wanted to ensure that I could find out where I needed to go and fill out any necessary forms all without breaking a sweat. I was scheduled to speak before the Honourable Justice Di Luca – lucky for me I was first on the docket.

Justice Di Luca had several questions for me, but everything went smoothly. I was able to obtain the Order, which I subsequently had issued and entered. Mission accomplished.

This motion marked the beginning of an era for me. Not to sound dramatic, but what I find challenging as a student will soon become the new norm. I will no longer worry about the proper way to introduce myself, or how to address the judge or master; I will not hesitate to use proper legal jargon, and I will no longer be confused by the layout of the Newmarket Superior Court.

On to the next!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Let's Settle This!

It has been two months since my unexpected arrival at MB, and partaking in mediation has been by far the most intriguing learning experience for me. It is interesting to observe the social, economic and tactical angles of mediation…

the best settlement is one where both parties concede a little to get the deal done...


Preparation

As is the case when preparing for trial, it is of dire importance to be well prepared for your mediation. Drafting a quality brief after a thorough review of your file is an essential step of the mediation process. Your goal is to bring as much ammunition to the mediation. With good knowledge of the facts and the law, you will be able to present your case from a position of strength and obtain the best possible settlement for your client.

Candour

Often times this is the first real chance to evaluate your opponent’s file on a subjective basis and evaluate your chances of success at trial. Therefore, being open and honest allows for no one to be left in the dark. In addition, it is counter-productive when you are not open, and it is usually construed as a weakness in your case.

Patience

Getting a case to mediation is a process. Starting from a properly drafted mediation brief to the opening statements, to back and forth on unreasonable offers, it all takes time. It is important to remain focused on the objectives of mediation, to settle.

Compromise

Since our first day of law school, we have been drilled with the notion that there is no certainty at trial. For this reason, it is important to evaluate your risk and come to mediation with the intention, and willingness to compromise in relation to your level of risk assessed. In fact, the best settlement is one where both parties concede a little to get the deal done.

jannoon028 - compliments of freedigitalphotosIn Summary

Becoming good at mediation comes with practice, by observing others in mediation and by asking experienced lawyers questions. Finally, it is critical to be a great listener at a mediation. You can often achieve a better result for your client by listening instead of talking.

I cannot wait to develop my own style and to continue learning about the multiple angles of mediation.