During a hearing, you will be expected to present your case. You will also have an opportunity to cross-examine anyone who is giving evidence for the other party or parties.
A hearing will usually be organized as follows:
- Each party will give a short opening statement to inform the MLT and the other party or parties in opposition what their case is about.
- If you are the applicant or appellant, you will usually present first and start with what is known as “direct examination” of you and/or your witness(es). This is your opportunity to present your case.
- Once the direct examination is completed, you and/or your witnesses will then be “cross examined” by the party in opposition. This involves the other party asking questions of you about the issue(s) in dispute.
- After cross-examination, further questions of clarification may only be asked by the original person asking questions. This is called “re-direct examination”.
- After your witnesses have been examined and cross-examined, the same process will be afforded to the other parties (i.e. steps 2 and 3 are repeated until each party has the opportunity to present a case in direct examination, cross-examination and re-direct).
- Finally, during the last stage of the hearing, each party will present their “final argument” which is a summary of their case, what they attempted to prove and the way they would like the MLT to rule.
Throughout the process, the MLT may also ask questions.
It is very important that you listen to any directions that may be provided, from time to time, by the MLT. You are encouraged to ask questions of clarification, should the need arise, and to answer questions directly and clearly.
You can represent yourself at the hearing, or you can hire a lawyer or agent to represent you. If you’ve hired a lawyer or an agent to present your case, we encourage you to still attend the hearing, as there may be questions that only you can answer.
You will receive a signed copy of the final decision with reasons. It may take several months to prepare the decision depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of your case.
If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision date.