On July 21, 2023, the License Appeal Tribunal (“LAT”) handed down new rules and revised the existing Common Rules of Practice and Procedure which took effect on August 21, 2023. These considerable revisions are intended to facilitate efficient resolution of matters and to streamline documentary production. The new rules will impact parties with ongoing matters before the LAT for which the first notice of case conference was issued on or after August 21, 2023, as well as new disputes before the tribunal commenced on or after August 21, 2023.
The application of amended rules falls into two general categories.
Category 1 – Updated and New Rules that apply as of August 21, 2023
The following rules take effect as of August 21, 2023.
The updated Rule 3 (General) and the new Rule 24 (Representation) concerning practice direction, attendance at hearings and representation.
The updated Rule 8 (Summons) applies to any request for summons, which may be issued by the LAT on its own initiative or request of parties and must now be served no later than 10 days before the hearing.
Rule 15 (Motions) applies to any motion filed with the Tribunal on or after August 21, 2023 and concerns the filing and timing of motions and submissions by parties.
Rule 16 (Adjournments) applies to any adjournment requests filed or made orally with the Tribunal on or after August 21, 2023. Rule 16.3 now outlines specific factors to consider in granting adjournments. Additionally, the Tribunal will not consider adjournment requests after a request has been denied, unless there are new and exceptional circumstances upon which a party can submit a new form requesting an adjournment.
The updated Rule 18 (Reconsiderations) applies to any decision or order issued by the Tribunal on or after August 21, 2023, for which parties will submit a new form for reconsideration available on the Tribunal’s website. These requests will be heard by written submissions.
The updated Rule 23 (Highway Traffic Act Appeals) applies to all appeals under the Highway Traffic Act as of August 21, 2023.
Category 2 – Updated Rules that apply based on Date of Application and the First Notice of Case Conference
Under this category, the updated rules apply if the appeal was filed on or after August 21, 2023 or the first Notice of Case Conference for the appeal was issued on or after August 21, 2023.
The updated Rules in the second category are the following:
Rule 9 (Document Exchange, Production Orders, Witness Lists & Hearing Briefs), requiring parties to make reasonable efforts obtain “documents or things” without an order and exchange documents intended to be used as evidence and witness lists at least 45 days before the scheduled hearing. Non-compliance with deadlines will require parties to make submissions for use of late evidence at the hearing.
Rule 10 (Expert Witnesses) now compels parties to exchange expert witness disclosure at least 45 days before the hearing, unless ordered otherwise. A new 21-day deadline to challenge expert witness now necessitates parties to file a copy of notice with the LAT well in advance of the hearing.
Rule 14 (Case Conferences) requires attendance of parties at case conference unless a party notifies the LAT in advance of the start time. The LAT may proceed with the hearing or make any order it sees fit for non-attendance 10 minutes into the hearing.
Lastly, Rule 20 (Automobile Accident Benefit Service Claims) provides new timelines for responses to AABS claims and requires parties to provide a more exhaustive list of documents in Case Conference Summaries.