The Option to Settle
Over the years the Ontario court system has set up a number of stages that encourage settlement. In small claims court one has the option of the settlement conference. In the civil superior courts parties are mandated to participate in a pre-trial conference. In the criminal law system parties participate in a crown resolution meeting. In administrative hearings many will participate in fact finding meetings.
The option to settle is an important aspect of any legal proceedings. This is why the Ontario court system requires it. It is surprising how many difficult, lengthy and complicated cases resolve at settlement meetings.
Judges, lawyers and their clients meet in informal meeting rooms to discuss the option of resolution. Judges use their mediator skills and lawyers guide the process.
Settlement saves everyone time, money and hassle. The misconception that lawyers want to bill more and proceed to trial is not accurate. Many lawyers prefer to settle a case, close the file and move on.
For more information about settlement options in our legal system see my other posts:
- Civil litigation trial
- Civil litigation trial part 2
- Small claims court settlement conference
- Simplified Procedure in court cases
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