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Andrew Murray's Archive

Optional Statutory Accident Benefits – What You Need To Know

On September 1, 2010, a number of significant changes to auto insurance in Ontario took effect, which dramatically reduced the benefits available when someone suffers a personal injury in an automobile accident.  Now, benefits that were part of the standard policy of auto insurance have been shifted instead onto a menu of numerous optional benefits, […]...Read More

Court gives civil lawyers reprieve from dismissal threat

At least one Ontario court location has decided not to implement Rule 48 of the Rules of Civil Procedure this month after concerns about bureaucratic red tape and confusion over its wording cast a chill over the change that threatened to cause dismissals of a wave of civil actions. Rule 48 first surfaced in October […]...Read More

Emerging trends in Ontario’s accident benefits

With seven months under their belts since significant new changes to the Statutory accident Benefits Schedule SABS) were introduced in Ontario last September, lawyers, adjusters, health care providers and accident victims are only beginning to see the real life consequences of the new SABS.

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The Law of Expert Evidence: What Every Prospective Expert Witness Needs to Know

This paper, and the National Expert Witness Academy lectures and workshops, focus on experts who will be giving evidence, but it is worth noting that there are certainly other roles for an expert to play.

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Expert Reports and Cross-Examination

This paper supplements the panel discussion that I am having with Harry Brown, who brings a defence perspective, and Dr. Harold Becker, a preeminent medical expert particularly in the area of catastrophic impairments. I represent the plaintiff perspective in this discussion. Our panel discussion is meant to focus on the recent case law dealing with the retaining and communicating with expert witnesses, tips and tactics for the preparation of your expert for trial, and "killer cross-examinations". That is a lot of material to cover in a one-hour panel discussion, so it is my hope that this paper might say some of the things that I won't get a chance to mention during our lively debate and discussion.

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Mastering the MVA Juggling Act: Getting the Best AB and Tort Settlements for Your Client

Beginning with the OMPP back in 1990 and certainly continuing through to the current Bill 198, motor vehicle litigation demands that the accident benefit file and the tort action be coordinated, "hand in glove", with one another. This paper explores some of the current considerations I bring to my own plaintiff practice.

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Documentary and Oral Discovery in Long-Term Disability Actions

The Discovery process in long-term disability "LTD") actions is a specialized exercise. While the Rules of Civil Procedure apply equally to an LTD action as it would to a commercial case, certain rules and judicial rulings are more applicable than others. This article will highlight the Rules and some of the recent case law, unique to LTD actions, with which all LTD counsel need to be familiar. While it is beyond the scope of this article to deal with the issue of pleadings, it is still worth mentioning that the Discovery process is entirely set up by and anchored to the underlying pleadings. Give due thought to the particularized complaint to be advanced and ensure your pleadings will permit the full line of Discovery you seek.

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Effectively Litigating Psychological Disability Claims: Finding Experts and Proving the Claim The Plaintiff’s Perspective)

Despite a well-developed body of literature, academic research, and practical study in the area of psychological disability - all of which acknowledges how debilitating a psychological disability can be - the clients whom I represent still seem to face an extra rigorous level of scrutiny when their primary complaint relates to a psychological disability. There remains an underlying notion that a claimant with a psychological disability must suffer from a weakness of character, lack of motivation, or is otherwise personally responsible for not working.

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Winning Strategies for Successfully Managing the AB File in Anticipation of Litigation

THE PRIMARY DIRECTIVE: KEEP THE BENEFITS PAID AND DO NO HARM TO THE TORT CASE

On any accident benefit file, large or small, my goal is to ensure that my clients receive the benefits that they are entitled to, in a timely way, and that they continue for so long as they remain entitled. Accident benefit files can be very time-consuming, so getting the benefits paid efficiently is in not only my clients' interests but also my own. Often, it need not be an adversarial experience to get the benefits paid; often all that is required is careful completion of the appropriate paperwork and submission of all necessary documents to the accident benefit adjuster.

The most successful accident benefit files that I can manage are those which do not proceed to litigation or arbitration. The most successful AB files in which I am involved support the tort file. The opinions are complimentary to the arguments that I am trying to advance in the companion tort action. The corollary to keeping AB benefits in pay is "Do no harm to the tort case".

Along the way, I have developed a number of strategies that assist me in achieving my primary directive. In no particular order, here is what I find works for me.

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Breaching Solicitor-Client Privilege in LTD Actions

While claims for solicitor-client privilege have long been recognized by the Courts, and the notion of solicitor-client privilege has existed for hundreds of years, recent developments have clarified and better illuminated the rules relating to solicitor-client privilege. The purpose of this paper is to explore current trends and developments, highlight, by illustrating a number of practical examples, how the Courts have dealt with requests for production of documents over which solicitor-client privilege and/or litigation privilege is claimed, and provide a few practice points to use when going forward

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