The 3Cs at the Estates List in Toronto
New Practice Directions were implemented for the Estates List in Toronto consolidating the Estates List and the Commercial List as of November 18, 2013. Justice Brown has just released an endorsement respecting Scheduling Directions on March 4, 2014 for the enforcement of the “3Cs” on the Toronto Region Estates List.
What are the 3Cs you ask?
Paragraph 5 of the Commercial List Practice Direction for the Toronto states as follows:
“Cooperation, communication and common sense shall continue to be the principles of operations of the Commercial List.” [emphasis mine]
The 3Cs of the Commercial List now apply to all matters on the Estates List in Toronto. In the words of Justice Brown, this means that
“it is incumbent upon, and an important responsibility of, counsel on Estates matters to ensure that prior to booking time with the Court that they have fully discussed amongst themselves the nature of the dispute which they want the Court to hear, the amount of time which will be required to hear the matter, and the steps which have to be taken to prepare the matter for hearing. “ [original emphasis]
Justice Brown’s pointed reasons were spurned by his concern for the wasting of judicial time in estate matters. Too often are matters booked for the Estates List only for parties to appear in a manner that results in an unproductive use of the time allotted.
In particular, Justice Brown emphasized the need for facta by all parties on applications as mandated by Rule 38 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. It mattered little to Justice Brown that counsel before him had settled 90 to 95% of the issues regarding an Order Giving Directions. The day-to-day caseload of a judge is simply too much without the aid of facta for a quick overview of the material facts and the applicable law. In a literal application of Rule 38, even an Order Giving Directions on consent shall require facta.
Going forward, we have been duly warned that there is nothing too simple to which the 3Cs of cooperation, communication and common sense do not apply.