Your Ottawa personal injury case did not settle at mediation? Don’t worry, it might settle at the pore-trial conference
As an injury victim in Ottawa, Ontario, if your file does not settle at the adjuster stage, pre-litigation, the Rules of Civil Procedure mandates that your case must proceed to mediation. If your case does not settle at mediation, do not fret. There is a second dispute resolution stage that can help settle your case, called a judicial pre-trial. At a pre-trial, the parties and their lawyers attend before a real Judge who reviews the case with you and provides an opinion on settlement. Many cases that don’t settle at mediation settle at the pre-trial. In many instances, the pre-trial is really the last step for the parties and counsel to meet in person to attempt to settle the proceeding. Parties and their lawyers know by that stage how stressful and expensive litigation can be and should strive in good faith to avoid the cost of a trial. If there is no settlement reached at the pre-trial conference, the length of the trial can be shortened by discussing trial management issues such as number of witnesses, expert evidence, document exchange, admissions of facts and documents in advance of trial and so on.
Pre-trial conferences are not like mediations. Mediators do not provide opinions, but the judge at the pre-trial can. There are common features between th two processes, such as they both are an opportunity to settle the case, parties enter into meaningful settlement discussions and the presence of a pre-trial judge (as opposed to a mediator) does often assist in settlement being reached.
In the end, if your case does not settle at mediation, it can settle at the pre-trial conference as many cases do settle at that stage.
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