JURY TRIALS AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES?

The Jury by John Morgan, painted in 1861.

By Peter Buxton, trial lawyer

Will BC follow Ontario‘s example and eliminate jury trials in favour of a simplified process for trials where damages are $100,000 or less?

Mick Hassell, trial counsel in Ontario, writes on his LinkedIn post that:

The reality is that a majority of personal injury claims probably belong in the simplified procedure.

It is anticipated that the use of summary trials will become common for personal injury trials. For plaintiff trial counsel, rather than calling the plaintiff, family and friends, treating experts and rule 53 experts, much of the direct examinations will likely be through affidavits. It may be tricky to get affidavits from some treating experts who may require a summons to testify live. Rule 53 experts will simply attach their reports, C.V. and acknowledgment of expert’s duty to a generic affidavit.

Affidavits, together with the imposition of time limits on direct examination of key witnesses and cross-examinations may really streamline trials. 2-3 week long Jury trials can be condensed into 1 week or less.

Is this a process that might be of benefit to both plaintiff and defence law firms dealing with personal injury litigation in British Columbia? Many lawyers in BC will be watching the Ontario model.

If you have suffered a loss on account of any accident-related matter and would like to have a free initial consultation regarding your claim and your right to compensation email me at pbuxton@panlegal.ca or call me at 604.372.4550.

Visit my website at https://panlegal.ca/peter-buxton-qc

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