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Windsor Law professor Noel SempleWindsor Law professor Noel Semple will edit a free online guide to Ontario civil procedure.

Grant to fund law professor’s online guide to civil procedure

Windsor Law professor Noel Semple has been awarded a Responsive Grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario to support his latest access to justice project.

Prof. Semple will serve as general editor of Civil Procedure & Practice in Ontario (CPPO): a free, continuously updated online guide to Ontario civil procedure. Currently being written by leading industry experts including practising Ontario lawyers, legal academics, and judges, the CPPO will be edited by Semple with the assistance of Windsor Law students.

The guide will be hosted and supported by the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), and integrated with its database of legal content. CanLII’s ground-breaking approach to legal publishing, and its emerging success with the BC Litigation Practice Manual, make it a natural hosting platform for the guide.

According to the grant submission, over 70,000 new civil proceedings commence in Ontario every year. Parties to these proceedings must understand not only the substantive law applicable to their disputes, but also Ontario civil procedure.

Procedural law is intricate and often counterintuitive for lawyers as well as self-represented litigants. The Rules of Civil Procedure and the other procedural statutes are challenging due to different language, confusing organization, and a steady stream of new cases that interpret them.

“Our goal is to produce a volume that matches the traditional alternatives in terms of comprehensiveness and accuracy,” Semple says. “At the same time, we want Civil Procedure and Practice in Ontario to set a new standard for user-friendliness. We want it to be useful for self-represented litigants, law office staff, and generalist lawyers — in addition to specialist civil litigators.

“Thanks to the terrific chapters that we are receiving from our authors, we think this volume can create a more level and accessible playing field for everyone who uses our civil litigation system.”

Chapter authors include Windsor Law faculty members Jeff Berryman and Marcela Aroca as well as alumnae Rebecca Durcan (JD 2000) and Jacqueline Horvat (JD 2001).

—Rachelle Prince

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