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Litigation: Some Key Differences between Civil Litigation in Canada and the United States - Part 3

In addition to the various differences between civil litigation in Canada and in the United States that I summarized in my last two columns, important additional differences arise from Canada's "loser pays" cost regime, the presumptive cost consequences of offers of settle and the notion of security of costs.

When a party to civil litigation in Canada, whether plaintiff or defendant, loses a case, that party will normally be ordered by the court to pay his/her/its adversary some of the legal costs that were incurred by the adversary in respect of the litigation. This "loser pays" regime normally applies to motions, trials and appeals and, as such, represents a significant deterrent to meritless claims, defences, motions and appeals.

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Berkley Sells

Berkley Sells is a partner at Fasken Martineau. He practices civil litigation with a focus on corporate/commercial disputes and internet litigation.

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