The Jury’s Out with Lindsay Charles and Brandon Pedersen


The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. We are in the midst of a third wave of the pandemic in Ontario. Vaccine rollout programs will hopefully help combat the spread of the virus and allow for a gradual return to normalcy.

Along with the rest of society, court systems have been disrupted as a result of ongoing measures to prevent the spread of the virus. While the courts have adapted as best as possible by limiting in-person attendances and transitioning to primarily virtual hearings, civil jury trials have taken a backseat.

Holding a civil jury trial with capacity restrictions is not possible. Jury selection and the trial itself require in-person attendance of many people. Ontario courts have continually suspended civil jury trials throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of the public.

The suspensions have created the problem of preventing anxious plaintiffs from having their case heard in court. Their only option is to move to strike a jury notice in order to have the trial heard by the judge alone. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been countless motions to strike the jury – some of which successful, and some unsuccessful.

Lindsay Charles and Brandon Pedersen of McLeish Orlando LLP have recently set out to summarize all decisions related to striking the jury in Ontario. Follow along on their endeavor by checking in at The Jury’s Out page regularly for updates.

Check out the series below:

Alexis Perlman


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