The Civil Jury System in Ontario

A jury trial begins with the assembly of a jury panel. Dozens of members of the community are randomly chosen to gather in a courtroom. The judge arrives. The case is then called and a court official picks names from a drum to take their seats in the jury box.

Unlike the American system, lawyers do not ask questions of potential jurors in Ontario. The only information provided to the lawyers about a potential juror is his or her name, age, address and occupation. In civil cases a jury consists of six people. Each party to the lawsuit can “challenge” four jurors. When a juror is challenged, he or she is taken off the jury panel.

Many people dread receiving a jury notice. It is a big sacrifice to sit on a jury. You are taken from your daily routine. You are burdened with the responsibility of making decisions that will affect people for the rest of their lives. Being on a jury can be stressful.

Being on a jury can also be interesting and rewarding. I am always astonished at the dedication, hard work and wisdom of people on juries. It is impressive to see members of our community sit and attentively listen to evidence. It is extraordinary how, at the end of a trial, the jury decision is almost always fair and just.

About the Authors

TROY square box final

Troy Lehman joined Oatley Vigmond in 2006 and became a partner in 2010. As a personal injury lawyer, his greatest satisfaction comes from helping people through to the other side of a difficult time in their lives. “We’re here to help and relieve stress,” Troy says. “When I walk into a first meeting with a client, people are often scared and anxious. And for me, the best thing that can happen at the end of the meeting is that they say, ‘I feel so much better.’

To learn more about Troy, please click here.