Practice Direction: Trial Dates

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*Trial Dates in the Superior Court of Justice and in the Ontario Court of Justice

The directions below are intended to ensure that trials, hearings and appeals are scheduled on the basis of the chronological order in which lawyers make their commitments to appear in court. They have three important objectives:

1) To ensure that the trial lists of the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice are respected.

2) To reduce court delays, the waste of court resources and the unnecessary expense and inconvenience to the public brought about by adjournments, and

3) To assist parties in civil or criminal cases in having adequate representation by a lawyer acceptable to them.

Trial Dates:

1(1) Where a date for trial or for the hearing of a matter has been set by the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice, the trial or hearing is expected to take place on that date.

Presumption of Commitment:

1(2) By agreeing to a trial or hearing date, a lawyer is presume to have made a commitment to appear on that date and to be bound not to make any other commitments that would make the lawyer’s appearance on that date impossible.

Duty to Inform of Previous Commitments:

2(1) When setting a date for trials, hearings or appeals, in the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice, every lawyer has a duty to disclose previous commitments to another court that may conflict with a proposed date for a trial, hearing or appeal.

Respect for Previous Commitments:

2(2) In setting dates for trials, hearings or appeals, the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice, as much as possible, shall avoid setting dates that would make it impossible for lawyers to keep commitments already made in other courts.

Dated at Toronto this 8th day of June, 1999

Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice
Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice

*This Practice Direction replaces the Practice Direction entitled “Trial Dates and Adjournments in the Provincial Courts” dated March 31, 1989.