The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly

Anyone who has been involved in the justice system has seen how slowly the system seems to function.  There is almost universal frustration at this. The only ones who seem to like delay are the defendants that know they are going to lose and have a judgment against them.  To them, delay is postponing the bad news they know is coming.

There are many reasons for delays in the system.  (I’m not trying to justify delays – I am simply offering some explanation.)

One reason for delay is the fact that there are often many people involved and coordinating everyone’s schedules can result in delay.  Sometimes it takes weeks to get a date for a meeting between all the lawyers and their clients.  Most of that is a function of the lawyers having dozens of files and having court dates and other commitments scheduled well in advance.

Another reason for delay is the system itself.  If you want to bring a motion in your court case, you might not get an available time slot for 6 weeks or even 6 months.  It takes a long, long time.  However, when you do get your time slot, you are likely going to be heard. 

Another reason for delay (in my opinion) is that there are not enough lawyers.  Most of the litigation lawyers that I speak with are incredibly busy.  Just dealing with the files from existing or repeat clients is more than most lawyers can handle. 

For example: I have about 90 active files.  If I were to docket 45 billable hours in a week (not likely), that would mean that I would only be able to spend 30 minutes per week on each file.  The fact is that some files need more than 30 minutes in a week.  The result is that there are files that sit for some time without being seen.  I’m not saying that this is desirable.  However, for most lawyers I know, it is reality.

The last reason for delay is what I alluded to earlier.  Some parties do not want to deal with matters.  They ignore your calls and put you off.  They throw up procedural roadblocks and complicate the matter with irrelevant issues.  They don’t show up at scheduled meetings and then, conveniently, can’t reschedule for another 6 weeks.  If you want to get in front of a judge to get them punished, that might take weeks or months too!

You won’t find me trying to defend the delays in the system.  Unfortunately, they exist.  We are all trying to reduce the delays, but it is a challenge.  For you, the users of the system, you need to know they exist and make sure your litigation strategy incorporates the inevitable delays. 

Ian Johncox, Civil Litigation/Employment Lawyer/Mediator

Ian Johncox, Civil Litigation/Employment Lawyer/Mediator

Ian practices in the areas of employment law, occupier liability defence, franchise litigation and contract litigation. Ian is a trained mediator and conducts mediations in a wide range of civil (non-family) cases. His employment law practice includes acting for employers and employees, which gives him a balanced perspective to his clients’ issues.

Contact Us

Send us a message, complete with your contact information. One of our friendly staff will be in touch to discuss how we can help you.


79 Baldwin Street North, Brooklin, ON L1M 1A4
Phone 905-620-4499
Fax 905-620-7738


229 Mary Street, Port Perry, ON L9L 1B7
Phone 905-985-4141
Fax 905-620-7738
Your name is required.
Your phone is required.
Your email address is required.
A message is required.