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Lenczner Slaght launches centralized website for commercial list

Law Times with Monique Jilesen 21 June 2019

A new website, Commerciallist.com, could help more lawyers understand Ontario’s specialized business court, according to the website’s creators at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP.

Monique Jilesen, a partner at Lenczner Slaght and member of the commercial list users’ committee, says that, although a lot of high-profile commercial litigation takes place through the Superior Court of Justice’s commercial list, it previously took five or more filters to find these cases through the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s online database.

“There are a bunch of unwritten rules for how to practise there,” says Jilesen. “We are well known for our commercial litigation practice, and this demonstrates our commitment to the administration of justice as well as the expertise of commercial litigation.”

Although it has “no formal affiliation with the court,” Lenczner Slaght’s website provides a hub for not only the decisions but also blog posts and a newsletter sent out by the users’ committee, she says.

Because of the niche nature of commercial list proceedings, Jilesen says, there is a core group of judges (who rotate), lawyers and insolvency professionals who frequently appear. That can make it difficult for those who are new or just want to learn more, she says.

For example, the website explains that one piece of lingo — so-called “nine-thirties” — refer to unique daily chambers appointments for scheduling and consent matters. Another phrase that’s used — the “Three C’s of the Commercial List” — are co-operation, communication and common sense, the blog explains. Another tip on the site is how to use the court’s model orders.

Not only is the commercial list specialized, it’s also a fast-moving court focused on efficiency, Justice Glenn Hainey explained in a recent newsletter to commercial list users. As more judicial resources go toward criminal cases, the court has enforced rapid-fire 10-minute meetings, limits of 25 pages for facta and new initiatives surrounding digital hearings and e-filings, Hainey’s newsletter said.

Lenczner Slaght continues to update the website over time to keep users aware of changes at the court, says Jilesen.

“It will be a living, breathing website,” she says.