When the parties to a lawsuit in the BC Supreme Court can’t agree on their respective rights and obligations under the Rules of Court a Judge or Master can be asked to decide in a “chambers application“.
When appearing in Chambers it is important to persuasively advance your position. Focused and disciplined submissions will maximize your chances for a favourable outcome. So how should you structure your argument?
Recently a great summary was provided by Madam Justice Helen MacLeod-Beliveau in a continuing legal education seminar for the Ontario Bar Association. She shared her insights from a judge’s perspective. Modifying the tips to a lawyer’s perspective the following useful outline can be followed:
1. What order you want the Court to make?
2. What are the legal issues in your dispute?
3. Which Rule(s) of Court are you relying on in support of your application?
4. What are the crucial facts of your case?
5. What are the leading cases applying the Rule(s)?
6. Explain why the Judge should grant the order.
7. Sit Down!
8. After your opponents submissions explain where they have clearly erred.
9. Don’t re-argue your motion in your response to your opponent’s submissions.