Civil Litigation Basics 2012


Course Date: November 19, 2012

Total: 10h 59min

Day 1: Monday, November 19, 2012—Analyzing the Case and Developing the File

Welcome and Introduction

The Honourable Madam Justice Carol-Jean M. Ross — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
G. Ross Switzer — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver

Dealing With Your Client

  • matter selection and rejection—the most important step in any file
  • cementing the relationship and creating achievable expectations
  • fee arrangements that work for you and the client

Jack M. Webster, QC — Webster Hudson & Coombe LLP, Vancouver

Creating and Managing a Litigation File

  • preliminary review and opinion
  • accepting instructions and educating the client
  • preparing effective and useful chronology
  • smoking out your opponent’s case
  • crafting winning theory of the case and brief of law
  • assembling an efficient and winning team—everyone has a place in the sun
  • managing good and bad news

Jack M. Webster, QC — Webster Hudson & Coombe LLP, Vancouver

Drafting Pleadings and Affidavits

A. Pleadings

  • overview
  • the do’s and don’ts of pleadings
  • matters which must be specifically plead

Paul M.J. Arvisais — Webster Hudson & Coombe LLP, Vancouver

B. Affidavits

  • when to use an affidavit
  • basic substantive and procedural requirements

Elizabeth J. Rowbotham — Legal Services, Ministry of Justice, Vancouver

Networking Break

Chambers Applications

  • materials
  • presentations
  • authorities
  • short form and special leave applications
  • dos and don’ts

Master Shelagh Scarth — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver

Discovery

A. Discovery and E-Discovery

  • discovery of documents
  • document production and scope of Rule 7-1
  • practical steps and procedures for preparing lists and organizing documents
  • e-discovery issues and practice

Graham J. Underwood — Legal Services, Ministry of Justice, Victoria

B. Examination For Discovery

  • preparing your client for discovery
  • preparing to examine your opponent
  • effective techniques on examination for discovery
  • objections on discovery
  • concluding and adjourning the discovery

Neil R. MacLean — Guild Yule LLP, Vancouver

Lunch (on your own)

Settlement Conferences

  • know what motivates the other side
  • strategies for success
  • the dangers and downside of failure

Irene G. Peters — Irene Peters Law Corporation, Prince George

Privilege

  • how to recognize and protect documents protected by solicitor-client privilege and solicitor-brief privilege
  • how to make or defend an application for disclosure of documents over which privilege has been claimed

T. Mark Pontin — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver

Networking Break  

Professionalism and Practice Management

A. Dealing with Self Represented Litigants

  • Issues unique to SRL
  • Practical practice tips

Casey L. Leggett — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver

B. Lawyers Insurance Fund (LIF)

  • what is LIF?
  • reporting requirements and duties of insureds
  • how to inform client of possible claim
  • early reporting—proactive management of claims
  • claim avoidance tips

Coran Cooper-Stephenson — Lawyers Insurance Fund, Law Society of BC, Vancouver

C. Code of Professional Conduct effective January 1, 2013

  • duties to your client
    • duty of confidence
    • duty of loyalty
  • duties to state and court
    • not to mislead (evidence and authorities)
    • preparation of affidavits
    • experts’ reports
  • duties to other lawyers  
    • default proceedings
    • adjournment requests
    • communicating with the court
    • undertakings
  • dealing with self-represented litigants 
    • issues  unique to SRL
    • practical practice tips

Melanie C. Samuels — Singleton Urquhart LLP, Vancouver
G. Ross Switzer — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver


Day 2: Tuesday, November 20, 2012—Preparing For and Conducting the Trial

Organizing Your Evidence (Including Documents)

  • know your case, investigative fact finding, chronology, theory of the case
  • relevance
  • admissibility
  • persuasiveness
  • order of witnesses
  • discovery evidence
  • books of documents
  • document agreements

Thora A. Sigurdson — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver

Preparing Direct and Cross-Examination of Witnesses

A. Direct Examination

  • preparation; what evidence can that person give that will help my case
  • documentary review
  • interview
  • minutes of evidence
  • preparing the witness to give evidence: process documents, exhibits, cues
  • conducting direct examination, keep it simple
  • checklists

B. Cross-Examination

  • is cross-examination necessary?
  • what evidence can you get from the witness that will help prove your case?
  • what evidence has the witness given that you want or need to challenge?
  • exposing liars versus blunting the sword
  • courtesy
  • the rule in Brown v. Dunn

Thora A. Sigurdson — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver

Opening and Argument

  • define the issues
  • summarize the evidence
  • apply the law
  • demonstrate the results you want

Irene G. Peters — Irene Peters Law Corporation, Prince George

Networking Break

Obtaining and Using Admissions (Including Using Examination For Discovery Evidence)

  • the notice to admit
  • reading in discovery evidence
  • documentary proof—the Evidence Act
  • using discovery evidence in cross-examination

Thomas R. Buri, QC — Buri, Overstall, Smithers 

Finding and Instructing Expert Witnesses

  • how to find an expert witness
  • ethical issues concerning preparation of reports and production of an expert’s file
  • maximizing use of your experts
  • cross-examination of experts

Howard A. Mickelson, QC — Gudmundseth Mickelson LLP, Vancouver

View From the Bench

The Honourable Madam Justice Carol-Jean M. Ross — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver

Networking Lunch

Trial and Case Management: New Rules and Strategies

  • what is trial and case management?
  • the role of the Judge
  • the role of Counsel
  • making trial and case management work for you

David A. Crerar — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver

Summary Trials

  • what type of case is appropriate for a summary trial
  • organizing the evidence
  • tactical considerations

Thomas R. Buri, QC — Buri, Overstall, Smithers

Networking Break

Wrapping It Up

  • preparing orders, judgments, and costs
  • releases and covenants not to sue
  • releasing only some of a group of defendants
  • settlement documentation and procedure
  • revisiting matters with the trial judge
  • enforcement of judgments
  • conducting an examination in aid of execution

Kathryn I. Denhoff — Davis LLP, Vancouver

Advocacy Practice Panel

The Honourable Madam Justice Carol-Jean M. Ross — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Kathryn I. Denhoff — Davis LLP, Vancouver
Howard A. Mickelson, QC — Gudmundseth Mickelson LLP, Vancouver
G. Ross Switzer — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver

Closing Remarks

The Honourable Madam Justice Carol-Jean M. Ross — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
G. Ross Switzer — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver