How to Prepare for the Hearing
It is important that you prepare for the hearing as the hearing is your opportunity to present your evidence and your point of view to the Tribunal. It is your responsibility to obtain the documents and witnesses necessary for the hearing.
The following information provides tips on preparing for the hearing.
Prepare Your Evidence
It is important that you prepare for the hearing. The effort you devote to your preparation may have a direct impact on the decision of the Tribunal.
Agree on Facts
The Tribunal expects parties to agree on evidence that is not in dispute; this can decrease the amount of time needed for the hearing.
You should review the Record and the evidence of the other parties to determine if there are any facts with which you agree. If so, you should contact the other parties (or their lawyers) to discuss these facts and their inclusion in the Statement of Position (Form 14).
Prepare Your Documents or Other Evidence
You should prepare your documents well in advance of the hearing. You should review the Record to determine if it contains all the evidence necessary for the appeal. If it does, you will not need to present any evidence during the hearing.
If you want to present evidence in addition to the Record or want to provide clarification in relation to evidence contained in the Record, you can do so by testifying, by bringing witnesses to testify or by presenting additional documents at the hearing.
The following can assist in preparing your evidence:
- Review all the documents in the Record.
- Consider whether other documents support your position.
- Organize all the materials, including those provided by the other parties, to be able to easily find your documents during the hearing.
Share Your Documents with the Parties and the Registrar
Determine Whether Witnesses are Needed and Prepare Your Witnesses
It is possible that the Record contains all the evidence necessary for the appeal (including your evidence). If it does, you will not need to testify or bring any witnesses to testify at the hearing.
If the Record does not contain all the evidence necessary for the appeal, you may want to testify or call witnesses to testify at the hearing to support your version of the facts. Witnesses can provide very powerful evidence at a hearing. Below is detailed information on how to bring witnesses to testify at a hearing.
- Include the name of the witness and a description of the anticipated testimony of the witness in your Statement of Position (Form 14). You do not need to provide a description of your own testimony, only that of your witnesses.
- If your witness is reluctant to attend the hearing, consider providing the Registrar with a completed Summons to Witness (Form 8). When you receive the signed Summons to Witness from the Registrar, serve it on the witness in accordance with rule 2.4 together with the attendance fees required by rule 10.8. When a Summons to Witness is properly served upon a witness, the Tribunal can take measures to force the witness to attend the hearing.
- Determine whether you will call an expert witness. An expert witness is a specialist in a particular field by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience who provides an opinion about an evidence or fact issue within the scope of his or her expertise. The purpose of the expert witness’ testimony or report is to provide assistance to the panel members.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask your witnesses.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask the other parties’ witnesses in cross-examination. The purpose of these questions will be to (1) obtain admissions from the witness, (2) impeach the credibility of the witness, and (3) reveal contradictions or inconsistencies in the evidence of the witness.
- Consider interviewing the other parties’ witnesses to see if they have any evidence helpful to your case. You can then ask them about that evidence at the hearing.
- Prepare your witnesses before the hearing by asking them the questions that you expect to ask them at the hearing. To prepare them for cross-examination by other parties, ask them the questions that you think other parties might ask. Make sure your witnesses know they must tell the truth, even if it is not helpful to your case.
- A person testifying at must either swear on a holy book or solemnly declare to tell the truth. If you or your witnesses want to swear on a holy book other than the Holy Bible, please contact the Registrar.
Prepare Your Statement of Position
You must file your Statement of Position (Form 14) within the time fixed by the hearing panel. The Statement of Position is your opportunity to identify the facts, your evidence and witnesses and to provide your position and arguments. The Registrar will provide a copy to all other parties.
The Statement of Position is provided to the Tribunal panel before the hearing to allow it to understand the positions of all parties.
For more information, see rule 10.2.
The Tribunal panel may hold a case conference before the hearing to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible. You can also request a case conference by contacting the Registrar and the Tribunal panel will decide whether to hold a case conference.
The purposes of the case conference are to:
simplify the issues,
explore the possibility of obtaining admissions,
explore the possibility of agreeing on documents and other evidence,
determine the length of the hearing,
consider any other matters that will promote fairness and efficiency, and
provide directions with respect to the conduct of the hearing.
For more information, please consult Part 12 of the Rules of Procedure.
Review all the Material
Well in advance of the hearing, you should carefully read all the material provided to you by the other parties. This includes the following:
- the Notice of Appeal (Form 1),
- the Record,
- any additional documents provided by the parties, and
- the Statement of Position of each party.
It is suggested to make a list of the facts, allegations or evidence you agree with and those that you dispute. Be prepared to tell the Tribunal panel at the hearing what you are contesting and what you are admitting.