The Small Claims Court - Views from the Bench

The Small Claims Court - Views from the Bench

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CPD Accredited Credits
Professionalism: 0.5
Substantive: 1.0
Deborah Anschell
Michael Bay
Harold Cohen
Louie Reznick
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
100 minutes
$119.00 plus tax
The Small Claims Court - Views from the Bench
Includes Handouts

The Ontario Small Claims Court is the busiest civil court in the province. Representing clients in this court gives articling students and lawyers an opportunity to cut their teeth on courtroom practice and hone their advocacy and negotiation skills.

Our panel consists exclusively of experienced Deputy Judges of the very active Toronto Small Claims Court. In our intimate lounge, our panelists will provide their valuable insights and practical tips about such topics as:
•    Pleadings
•    Conduct of Counsel
•    Motions
•    Settlement  Conferences
•    Trials
•    Evidence
•    Damages
•    Case Management


Deputy Judge Deborah Anschell

Deborah C. Anschell is a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers.  She has been a Deputy Judge for the Toronto Small Claims Court since 2006. She is a member of the Law Societies of Upper Canada, Alberta and British Columbia. Deborah earned her LL.M. in ADR at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1998 and her LL.B. at the University of Toronto in 1982. Deborah has mediation experience in insurance (disability, life, subrogation, occupier’s liability, fidelity bonds, motor vehicle, property and casualty, professional negligence), real estate, employment, health law and corporate/commercial matters. She also has 20 years of litigation experience, both in private practice and as corporate counsel.

Originally from Alberta, Deborah was a litigation lawyer in private practice in Calgary and Toronto.  From 1989 through 2002, Deborah practiced as a litigator with Confederation Life Insurance Company and Manulife Financial.

Deborah was the 2007-2008 Chair of the ADR Section of the Ontario Bar Association, Vice-Chair of the ADR Section for the 2006-2007 term, and Newsletter Editor for the ADR Section from 2002-2005. Deborah is a member of the Advocates’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association and the Toronto Lawyers’ Association. She is a frequent speaker and writer on mediation and litigation for the Canadian Institute, Federated Press and the Ontario Bar Association.

Deputy Judge Michael Bay

Called to the Bar in 1984, Michael Bay was the founding Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board. His work over the years has centred on aboriginal issues, mental health, consent, substitute decision-making, and health information. His primary focus over the last decade has been the adjudication of serious sexual abuse claims of survivors of the Indian residential schools. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at McMaster University, associate editor of the Journal of Mental Health Ethics and deputy judge of the Small Claims Court. Michael has a particular interest in professional education. He is widely published and has addressed hundreds of professional audiences in Canada and beyond.

Former Deputy Judge and Administrative Judge Harold Cohen

  • Appointed Deputy Judge, Toronto Small Claims Court - 1993
  • Presided at Motions, Trials, Pre-Trials, Hearings 50 days annually from 1993 to 2011 Appointed to Tariff Sub-Committee, Ontario Small Claims Court - 1996
  • Appointed to Small Claims Court Consulting Committee of Justices Jarvis, Sharpe & LaForme — 1994 to 2001
  • Appointed by Chief Justice Lesage to Deputy Judges Council — 2001 to 2005 Appointed to Small Claims Court Rules Sub-Committee — 2001
  • President Toronto Deputy Judges Association — 2001 to 2007
  • Appointed to E-Filing Rules Amendment Committee to the Small Claims Court Rules by the late Madam Justice Caswell - 2001
  • Court Appointed Referee to evaluate claims in class action in 2004
  • Appointed an Administrative Deputy Judge, Toronto Small Claims Court, January 2010 to October 2011
  • Chairperson and speaker for educational seminars for Law Society of Upper Canada and Osgoode Hall Law School Ontario Deputy Judges Association Toronto Deputy Judges Association 2010 to date
  • Appointed to Ontario Mandatory Mediation Panel Superior Court of Justice Ontario 2013

Louie Reznick

  • Graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Called to the bar in 1980
  • Practiced law in civil litigation at various levels of court/tribunals
  • Had been designated by Law Society of Upper Canada as Specialist in Civil Litigation
  • Active Mediator
  • Active Deputy Small Claims Court Judge
  • Had been appointed as Pre-Hearing Arbitrator (Ontario Insurance Commission, as it was then known)
  • Appointed as Arbitrator (Financial Services Commission of Ontario)
  • Had been Instructor at Bar Admission Courses
  • Had been instructor/coach for Mediation courses at Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Has been speaker/presenter/panelist at various seminars; continuing legal education courses; professional development programs, sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall Law School’s continuing education workshops
  • Had been judge at international mediation and advocacy competitions
  • Recently was featured speaker at mediation symposium in Trinidad and Tobago

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