Small Claims Definition

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  1. action:
    a proceeding brought in a court
  2. allegation
    an assertion made in a pleading by a party to an action, setting out what she hopes to prove
  3. balance of convenience
    a common-law test; a court applying this test will balance the prejudice to one party of denying the relief asked for, against the prejudice to the opposing party if the relief is granted
  4. claimant
    another word for plaintiff; a claimant is anyone who commences a claim
  5. construe
    to interpret
  6. costs:
    the expenses connected with a legal proceeding; costs include a party’s legal fees, plus disbursements, or out-of-pocket expenses, including court filing fees
  7. defendant
    the party who defends a civil action
  8. disbursements
    the out-of-pocket expenses of a legal proceeding; these include court filing fees, charges for service of documents, photocopying charges, postage
  9. frequent claimant
    anyone who files 10 or more claims in a Small Claims Court office on or after January 1 in any calendar year
  10. hearsay rule
    a witness is not allowed to repeat in court what they were told by a third party, if the reason for putting the evidence in is to prove the truth of the contents of the third-party statement
  11. infrequent claimant
    anyone who files fewer than 10 Small Claims Court claims in a Small Claims Court office on or after January 1 in any calendar year
  12. nstallment(orpartial)payments
    a partial payment of a sum of money owing at regular intervals over a period of time until the amount owing is paid in full
  13. jurisdiction:
    a court’s area of legal authority; in Ontario, jurisdiction is established by the Courts of Justice Act and by the common law
  14. justice:
    a justice is the same thing as a judge; “justice,” “judge,” and “court” are often used interchangeably in reported decisions
  15. lawyer
    a person who has been called to the Bar of Ontario and who is licensed to practise law in Ontario
  16. legal fees:
    fees charged by a lawyer or paralegal for legal representation and advic
  17. liberal construction:
    means that, when applying the Rules, the court goes beyond the exact meaning of the language in order to implement the principles behind the Rules
  18. liberally construed:
    interpreting the Rules without undue emphasis on strict compliance with all procedural requirements and technicalities, with a view to bringing about a resolution that is just and fair to all parties within a reasonable time
  19. litigant
    a party to a civil action; someone engaged in civil litigation
  20. lump-sum payment
    a one-time payment of the full amount owing or a portion thereof
  21. monetary jurisdiction:
    the amount of money that the court may order one party to pay another, not including interest and costs
  22. notice:
    service of documents on other parties to make them aware of an intended procedural step or other matter
  23. notice period
    the minimum period of time for serving documents on other parties before a procedural step takes place
  24. paralegal:
    a non-lawyer who is not an articling student and who is licensed to provide legal services in permitted areas of practice to clients for a fee in the province of Ontario
  25. party
    a person who commences or defends an action or proceeding
  26. plaintiff
    the party who commences a civil action
  27. question of fact:
    a factual dispute; in jury trials, questions of fact are determined by the jury; in non-jury trials, questions of fact are determined by the trial judge
  28. question of law:
    an issue that requires the application or interpretation of a law or legal principle; in both jury and non-jury trials, questions of law are determined by judges
  29. strict construction
    means that the language of a rule is read and applied using its exact, technical meaning; also known as “narrow construction
  30. Chapter # 2
  31. candid
    forthright and sincere, able to look at both sides of an issue without bias
  32. casual client
    a client who consults you regarding a legal issue, but then decides not to proceed, or not to hire you to act as his legal representative
  33. client
    a person who consults with you and hires you to represent her in a matter or a number of matters
  34. client identification:
    information obtained from the client regarding who the client is and what the client does
  35. client matter number:
    a unique number assigned by the paralegal firm (or the file management software) to a particular client matter in order to identify that matter for filing, docketing, and billing purposes
  36. client verification
    obtaining documentary or other confirmation that the client is who he says he is
  37. competent paralegal:
    a paralegal who has and applies the relevant skills, attributes, and values appropriate to each matter undertaken on behalf of a client
  38. conflict of interest:
    Any circumstance that may negatively affect a paralegal’s ability to adequately represent the client’s best interests
  39. dispute
    an argument or disagreement between two or more sides in which the interest of one side is in direct opposition to the interest of another side
  40. due diligence
    exercising the prudence and vigilance that a reasonable and prudent paralegal would exercise in similar circumstances
  41. engagement letter
    confirms the terms of the paralegal – client retainer, but is not signed back by the client
  42. express consent:
    also known as explicit consent; written authorization from your client to disclose particular information to specified third parties
  43. fiduciary:
    a person who is required to act with scrupulous good faith, honesty, and integrity for the benefit of another person
  44. fiduciary relationship
    a relationship of absolute trust and confidence between two persons, in which one person (the fiduciary) is required to act with scrupulous good faith, honesty and integrity for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary)—in the paralegal – client relationship, the paralegal is the fiduciary and the client is the beneficiary
  45. final reporting letter
    sent to the client at the conclusion of the client matter, along with the final invoice for fees and disbursements incurred since the last interim invoice—provides a summary of the client matter, steps taken, and results achieved
  46. funds
    cash, currency, securities, negotiable instruments, or other financial instruments
  47. general account
    a bank account used to pay for ongoing business expenses, such as salaries, rent, client disbursements that have not been billed, etc .
  48. implied consent
    unwritten consent to disclose confidential information because it is required by the professional relationship (e .g ., disclosure to employees) or because the matter requires it (e .g ., disclosure in pleadings and other documents filed with the court)
  49. informed consent
    consent based on information that is sufficient to allow the client to assess the situation and make an informed decision
  50. interim invoice
    a bill delivered to the client before the client matter is concluded—usually sent with an interim reporting letter
  51. interim reporting letter
    a letter sent to the client before the client matter is concluded, usually with an interim invoice—reports the steps taken in the client matter to that point, the results obtained, and the likely next steps
  52. mixed trust account
    a trust bank account into which money from many different clients will be deposited and held in trust, until such time as invoices are rendered on their files or you are directed by the client to pay out the money to whom the money belongs
  53. money retainer:
    money paid to you by the client on account of future legal services and/or disbursements to be incurred; it is a deposit to secure your legal services
  54. negotiable instrument
    an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money, which can be transferred—for example, cheques or banknotes (paper money)
  55. non-engagement letter:
    a letter confirming that the paralegal has declined to accept the retainer, or that the client has declined to retain the paralegal
  56. paralegal–client retainer
    the terms of the contractual arrangement between the paralegal and the client including but not limited to the scope of the legal services to be provided, fees, billing practices, and the amount of the money retainer
  57. private corporation
    a corporation whose shares are not publicly traded—its incorporating documents (1) restrict the right to sell shares, (2) limit the number of its shareholders (excluding employees) to 50, and (3) prohibit public trading of its shares or securities; also called a closely held corporation
  58. prospective client
    a person who consults you about a legal issue but has not yet retained you
  59. public company
    a corporation whose shares are for sale to the general public—public companies are subject to rigorous disclosure requirements under securities legislation
  60. retainer agreement:
    a letter confirming services to be rendered, your fee or hourly rate, any additional charges (disbursements, etc .), and any other terms of the paralegal – client relationship; more detailed than a retainer letter, and it must be signed back to you by the client
  61. Chapter # 3
  62. action splitting
    dividing an action into two or more actions in order to bring it within the Small Claims Court monetary jurisdiction
  63. aggravated damages
    damages intended to compensate the plaintiff for harm or distress suffered as a result of egregious bad faith on the part of the defendant
  64. authorized requester:
    a person who has applied to and has been approved by the ministry for that designation, and is registered as an authorized requester with the ministry
  65. candid
    forthright and sincere, able to look at both sides of an issue without bias
  66. cause of action
    the factual and legal grounds for seeking a remedy from a court
  67. chattel mortgage
    a loan that is secured against personal property; in Ontario, such security interests are registered under the Personal Property Security Act
  68. chattel mortgagee
    one who holds a loan secured against personal property or chattels
  69. corporation
    a separate legal entity from its owners—the shareholders
  70. disbursements
    the out-of-pocket expenses of a legal proceeding; these include court filing fees, charges for service of documents, photocopying charges, postage, etc .
  71. discretionary:
    where an action is discretionary, the court may make up its own mind about a particular matter, giving due regard to all relevant factors
  72. equitable relief
    remedies other than money damages; for example, an order compelling a person to do something (specific performance) or to stop doing something (injunction)
  73. general damages
    damages for pain and suffering caused by injury or harm, and for future losses and expenses, such as future care costs and loss of future income; general damages cannot be quantified precisely, but they must be itemized and explained to the extent that it is possible to do so; also referred to as unliquidated damages
  74. inherent jurisdiction
    judicial powers that are essential for the administration of justice
  75. Intellectual property
    intangible property with value— for example, copyright, patents, trademarks
  76. judgment creditor:
    a person who has obtained judgment against a person and is seeking to enforce the judgment (p. 79)
  77. judgment debtor
    any person who owes money to another person pursuant to a court order
  78. judgment-proof:
    having no income or assets against which a judgment may be enforced
  79. liquidated claim
    claim for a debt or fixed amount of money that does not require valuation by a court
  80. liquidated damages
    a specific amount of money that may be established by unpaid invoices, NSF cheques, or other documentation proving a debt or fixed amount; also called special damages
  81. mandatory:
    where an action is mandatory, the court must do something if certain preconditions exist; the court has no choice
  82. non-pecuniary damages
    damages awarded for types of harm that are real and serious, but difficult to assign a money value to
  83. partnership:
    an unincorporated business that is formed by two or more persons with the objective of making a profit
  84. pecuniary damages
    damages awarded for losses that can be estimated in money terms
  85. personal property
    property that has value, and is tangible and movable
  86. punitive damages:
    preventive, not compensatory, these damages are intended to discourage the repetition of undesirable conduct
  87. quantifying damages:
    calculating damages—that is, determining all of the different kinds of damage or injury that a party has suffered because of another’s wrongdoing, and assigning money values to the different kinds of damage, based on the evidence
  88. quantum meruit
    an equitable doctrine that allows the court to imply a contract in certain circumstances and order payment for services provided pursuant to the implied contract (
  89. quash
    to declare something null and void, and of no legal force and effect
  90. real property:
    property that has value, and is tangible and immovable
  91. running account:
    an account where a regular customer charges purchases against a standard account number on an ongoing basis; the defendant makes payments against the account from time to time (usually on a monthly basis)
  92. sole proprietorship
    an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual
  93. special damages
    damages that compensate the plaintiff for all losses, including out-of-pocket expenses connected with the injury or harm, up to the date of the trial; can usually be calculated fairly precisely; also referred to as liquidated damages
  94. statute-barred:
    to be prevented by the terms of a statute from commencing an action to assert your legal rights (p. 83)
  95. unliquidated damages
    see general damages (p. 86)
  96. venue:
    the place where a trial is held (p. 94)
  97. waiving the excess:
    in a plaintiff’s claim or defendant’s claim, giving up the right to claim any money owing above $10,000 .00 (exclusive of interest and costs), in order to bring the matter within Small Claims Court monetary jurisdiction (p. 90)
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Small Claims Definition
Small Claim Definiton
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