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I am a subscriber to a national newspaper. We get the print edition of the newspaper to our personal injury law firm. You read that right. We still get a print edition of the newspaper in the digital age. Our subscription comes with access to the online newspaper, so that that there are paywalls behind their articles. Regardless, we still get the print copy for the office.

An insert in todays newspaper was a popular legal magazine. It’s read by many lawyers across Canada and Ontario. It’s geared to the white collar Bay Street crowd. Those who are focused on business law. It’s not really geared at Main Street lawyers, those who practice directly on behalf of everyday people, such as personal injury lawyers, criminal law lawyer, or family law lawyers.

The headline of the magazine was eye catching; just as a headline ought to be; so kudos to the editors. It was their “Litigation Special” edition of the magazine, and the headline of the publication read “Crisis in The Courts: How Backlogs are Harming the Canadian Economy“.

As a litigation lawyer, I don’t disagree with this statement. But it struck me that the victim of this statement was the Canadian Economy and not the people of Canada; like the Canadian Economy has emotional feelings or something. Now, the Canadian Economy can mean a lot of things. But, when you ask someone about the Canadian Economy, you tend to think about big ticket, macro economic items such as Banking, Interest Rates, Personal and Corporate Taxes,  Housing prices, the Stock Market, Imports and Exports, Inflation, National Debt, National Deficit, the Consumer Price Index and large government subsidies for business or infrastructure projects.

The Canadian Economy is a very broad term, but rarely does one’s mind go to the smaller line items which Canadians see everyday. But these smaller items are what we see in the Courts every day; and more frequently than those bigger ticket items.

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They say that a lie has already spread around the world before the truth even has a chance to get up in the morning.

Words cannot ring more true after what we’ve seen circulating in the Middle East over the past 24 hours. Legacy media and many notable politicians have been quick to side with terrorists who celebrate death and teach hate because it makes for a great byline and makes them appear morally superior.

Yet, spreading outright lies is morally wrong. And when those lies entice others to act in violent ways, it gets violent and dangerous.

The right thing to do is make sure you’re getting the story right, before you proclaim what you believe to be the truth from a wide reaching and influential platform. But does anyone care about getting things right anymore?

It’s one thing to spew lies and hate into a vacuum; where those lies and hate are lost forever; never reaching an audience. But, it’s an entirely different thing when social media has afforded everyone with a cell phone a free and unvetted platform to reach the eyes and ears of nearly everyone in the world.

So, why aren’t we more committed to getting the story right?

Why is there a need to jump the gun before we get all of the facts straight?

Is there an award for being first to report on an entirely inaccurate story? I didn’t know that social media had turned into a race to post something; anything; even if it’s not accurate.

Since when did we devolve to this?

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If you have been following the new of late, you may have heard of how the justice system is failing Canadians.

There is a serious shortage of money being allocated to our justice system, which is resulting in excessive delays and cases being thrown out as a cause of delay.

Recently, personal injury lawyer Brian Goldfinger was interviewed by CBC News to speak about the delays which happened to one his his clients. The case is an important one. It’s one of the first cases of sexual assault involving the the Canadian Military to be transferred from military Court to civilian Court. Mr. Goldfinger’s client made the strategic decision to have the case transferred out of military Court into civilian court so that she could get a fair shake at justice. Retired Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour recommended transferring all cases of sexual offences alleged to have been perpetrated by military members — including historical cases — to civilian authorities. It only made sense that Mr. Goldfinger’s client follow the recommendation of a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Sometimes, during the course of a personal injury case, your lawyer will need to attend Court. But it’s neither for your trial, nor for pre-trial. It’s not even to set a date for trial, or to advise the Judge about the status of the case or readiness for trial.

The purpose of going to Court is because your personal injury lawyer will need something that only a Judge’s order can secure. Or, perhaps the Plaintiff lawyer and the Defendant lawyer cannot agree on how the case should move forward causing the case to be at a standstill. Whatever the reason for attending at Court, these interlocutory steps are just that. They are not the trial. They are intermediate steps which are common in personal injury cases. These interlocutory steps are called “motions”. You may hear a lawyer say that they “need to bring a motion“. This is exactly what they are referring to.

Civil motions Court across Ontario are backlogged. It’s nobody’s fault. This is just the reality of dealing with a chronically underfunded and over subscribed system. We have no statistics to support this statement, but we would guesstimate that the majority of civil motions relate to personal injury cases. The most common motions we see are motions for/relating to:

  • Motion for substituted service of Pleadings on a Defendant
  • Motion to Extend the time for service of the Statement of Claim (related to the motion for substituted service)
  • Motion to Amend the Pleadings
  • 30.10 Motion to compel a party to produce records (which they haven’t produced despite repeated requests)
  • Undertakings/Refusals Motion
  • Motion to Add/substitute a Party to the Statement of Claim, or to add a Statutory Defendant

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Halloween Trick Or Treating is fun, family friendly and exciting.

But when you take a step back and really examine what Halloween Trick or Treating really entails, it would make any parent cringe.

Knocking on the doors of strangers? Check.

Accepting candies from strangers? Check.

Running door to door at night in poorly visible costumes (while wearing masks with poor visibility)? Check.

All this while on a sugar high adrenaline rush fueled by chocolate and candy? Yup!

On any other night, you would strictly forbid your children from doing any of the above. But on Halloween, it’s all good.

Halloween should be fun, kinda spooky and totally safe. So let’s keep it that way.

The purpose of this year’s Halloween instalment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is to impart you the parents with some reminders and safety tips. Most of these tips you may already know; or may have forgotten. Nonetheless, it’s a good reminder or tool to keep your kids safe over Halloween.

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It’s really hard to say “no” to free money. This is particularly true when times are tough.

The COVID Pandemic has caused many industries to crumble; and in turn, many people to go months and months without pay.

Restaurants, tourism, retail, hospitality, events, personal care and personal service industries all come to mind. Many people have adapted and pivoted to earn a living. But many others have not and continue to experience hard times.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was designed to provide financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who were directly affected by COVID-19.

The means that you would have needed to be gainfully employed to qualify for the CERB.

For some accident victims and disability claimants, qualifying and claiming the CERB presents a contradiction.

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September 30, 2021 marks Canada’s first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Better late then never?

As a personal injury lawyer, the big theme in the title of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is the word “Truth“.

We are told as children, adults and throughout law school the importance of telling the truth; along with the importance of seeking out the truth.

But the truth can mean different things to different people.

How so?

There are two types of truths.

There are objective truths. These are facts or findings which nobody can deny or contradict.

Mathematics such as arithmetic and trigonometry are objective truths.

The time of day is an objective truth.

The earth being round (though not to Kyrie Irving); the planets orbit the sun, the chemical formula of water being H2O. These scientific truths are objective.

If you seek to discredit these objective truths, you will either be wrong; or appear as delusional. Or perhaps you’re a savant who has stumbled onto a new way of thinking which breaks the barriers or speed, sound and time; in which case we have all got a lot more learning to do 🙂

I trust you understand where I’m going with objective truths.

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The past 1.5 years has been difficult for everyone. We have lived through tragedies and war before. But tragedies and war may not impact one’s daily life if they are far removed from the tragedy or war.

The thing with a global pandemic is that it touches everyone’s life; whether you live in a high risk community or not. I can boldly state that your life has changed on account of the Pandemic. Whether it’s children not being in school, retail shutdowns, working remotely or simply going into a public space needing to wear a mask; your life is different.

But, there is hope. We have seen numbers decrease thanks to distancing, masking and of course; vaccines. Better understanding COVID-19 and how it spreads has helped significantly.

Ontario is accelerating its re-opening plans; which if they stick and don’t impact a spike to numbers in the ICU is a great sign. With those re-openings we will see more people out and about; enjoying life instead of being in a perpetual state of lock down.

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Congrats to Goldfinger Injury Lawyer’s very own Afsoun Amirsolaimani on winning a contested motion seeking the removal of a lawyer for the Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund for acting in a conflict of interest. The decision is below and has yet to be reported, but we share it with you now. 

CITATION: Riley et al. v. Director of MVAC, et al., 2021 ONSC 2123 

COURT FILE NO.: CV-20-00000101 

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We made it. Post # 500!!!!

It’s one thing to prepare posts of few words. But we’ve been pretty consistent here at the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog. Each post has on average 1,000 words.

So 500,000 words later, do we have any greater insight than when we first began? Do we have any new words of wisdom for those trying to prepare a successful legal blog?

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