As counsel, we are often engaged in litigation with self-represented litigants. The number of self-represented parties appears to be growing in Ontario.
Matters involving self-represented litigants raise special considerations and practice issues for both counsel and the courts.
One issue is the recording of court proceedings. Where a court hearing with self-represented parties is involved, the courts usually require that the proceedings be recorded, even if evidence is not being heard and the court is only hearing submissions. (If all parties are represented by counsel, the submissions will not normally be recorded.)
In order to avoid delays and inconvenience to the parties and the court, counsel should advise the court in advance that a self-represented party is appearing so that prior arrangements can be made for the attendance of a court reporter. This might best be done on the confirmation form that is faxed to the court prior to the hearing.
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Paul E. Trudelle – Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.