On Thursday, September 24th, firm partner and Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) member Jennifer Bezaire attended the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) Stakeholder Consultation Meeting.
The LAT helps resolves disputes concerning compensation claims and licensing activities regulated by the provincial government.
The meeting provided an update and valuable insight into the LAT’s operations. Multiple stakeholders from the OTLA, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), The Advocates Society and the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) individually raised concerns and proposed solutions to better assist the LAT.
OTLA staff and members addressed delays in the system and a lack of transparency with LAT’s policies and procedures. Some of the organization’s recommended solutions included the following:
- Returning to a “loser pays” system, whereby the losing party pays the successful party's legal costs and other court costs
- Implementing an expedited procedure for smaller disputes, such as treatment plans valued under $2,500
- Eliminating the need for case conference if both parties consent
- Increasing the availability of special awards in addition to the disputed amount
- Implementing an approved document filing and scheduling system
Moving forward, the LAT has recommended to increase the amount of adjudicators presiding over cases, full case names will be published for stakeholders to track and conduct legal research and video conference hearings via Microsoft Teams is now an option, among other revised rules and practices.