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Rule 48 on calendar

As we move through September, LawPRO urges lawyers to review their litigation files and make sure they are proceeding as appropriate. The clock is ticking and time is running out! Remember, under the new Rule 48.14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, matters commenced before January 1, 2012 will be automatically dismissed – without notice to you – on January 1, 2017, if the action is not set down for trial.

Take immediate action to ensure your pre-2012 files will either resolve or be set down for trial by the end of this year. If you anticipate you cannot do so, obtain consent from all parties to file a timetable and a draft order with the court by December 1, 2016.

Rule 48.14(4) requires this happen 30 or more days before the dismissal date. As courts may be busy and it may be difficult to get a court date, you are encouraged to immediately take all steps necessary to deal with matters that face dismissal.

If you cannot resolve, set down, or file a consent timetable on a pre-2012 file, then you will need to bring a motion for a status hearing before the dismissal deadline. However, if you anticipate or know that the status hearing will be contested, please contact LawPRO as you have a potential claim. Early notice will hopefully allow the opportunity to repair potential claims – and avoid the $10,000 increase in deductible that will apply if a dismissal is not set aside (see page 27).

Remember that as of January 1, 2017, matters will be automatically dismissed five years after they were commenced. Please be proactive and keep your files moving along. Consider using LawPRO’s Rule 48 Transition Toolkit (practicepro.ca/Rule48), which provides advice and tools lawyers and law firms can use to lessen the risk of a claim under the new rule.