Greg Monforton & Partners continues to support the elimination of jury trials in most civil cases. The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) Board recently approved and submitted a proposal to the Attorney General for review recommending all current and future civil juries to be suspended immediately as health restrictions continue throughout the province.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional delays and a backlog of cases. Many jury trials have been completely halted while others with scheduled dates have been postponed numerous times. In fact, civil jury trials are not expected to begin until May at the earliest across most jurisdictions.
The OTLA is urging Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario and Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, to consider eliminating civil juries altogether to lessen court delays and unnecessary expenses.
Firm partner Jennifer Bezaire penned a guest column for Windsor Star on this issue back in September, addressing how getting rid of civil juries could help save taxpayers time and money needed to run a trial. Even before the coronavirus, the use of civil juries has generally resulted in lengthier trials.
Founder Greg Monforton has also been publicly in favor of this initiative. Civil trial cases can be tried online and/or remotely before a single judge in an effort to avoid any further delays or setbacks.
Overall, the hope is for this recent proposal to be taken into consideration and implemented swiftly.