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    Papers on The Settlement Conference and Written Offers to Settle (9/12)
    Posted: 2010-11-04 08:04:24

    By Marcel D. Mongeon

    The following is a passage from an essay by Marcel D. Mongeon, Deputy Judge, Small Claims Court of Ontario. We’ve divided this paper into a series of 12 posts.


    The importance of proper preparation for the settlement conference cannot be overemphasized.

    As can be seen by the example that has run through this chapter, if the parties are properly prepared, the matter can likely be easily and readily disposed of without the need for a trial. Many people, however, in a false deferment of effort, leave things as long as possible. This is unwise; an early investment of effort in preparation will easily be prepaid in positive results at the settlement conference.

    Schedule I – Example of Will Say Statement

    Statement by Mr. Ramachandran

    1. I am the co-purchaser of the house at 123 Main St. In Pleasant Grove.

    2. Together with my wife, we bought the house closing on June 30, 2009. The original agreement and the closing documents are at Tabs 1 – 4 of the Plaintiff's document brief.

    3. I originally found out that the house was for sale by an ad in the local newspaper on or about April 25, 2009. We had been looking for a new home to buy since the beginning of 2009.

    4. We were working with Jane Jones, a real estate agent and asked her to arrange a visit of the house. She set this up for April 27, 2009.

    5. My wife and I visited the house on April 27, 2009. When we visited the house, the only person who was there was Jane Jones.

    6. I was concerned about leaky basements because we had previously owned a house with one and had lost many of our valuables in a flood. My wife and I knew that we did not want a leaky basement again.

    7. When I visited this house, I paid special attention to the basement. However, there were a lot of boxes piled up in the basement near the walls. Because of these I could not look at the walls of the basement that well.

    8. I asked Jane Jones if she knew if there were any problems with the basement. She told me that Mr. Chow had not completed a Seller Property Information Statement and that she didn't have any information. However, she also said that we could get a house inspection if we made an offer on the house.

    9. My wife and I made an offer on April 28, 2009. In that offer, we included a condition that we be satisfied with the condition of the house. After some counter-offers based on the price, our offer was accepted on May 1, 2009.

    10. On May 3, 2009, with the assistance of Jane Jones, my wife spoke to Michael Procter who inspects houses. We ordered an inspection of the house and, again with Jane Jones' help, arranged to be there when the inspection was conducted on May 6, 2009.

    11. On May 6, 2009, when I visited the house with Michael Procter, the owner, Mr. Chow was also there.

    12. When Michael Procter and I went into the basement, I noticed that Mr. Chow had moved out the boxes that had been piled up against the basement walls.

    13. When we were in the basement, I asked Mr. Chow if he ever had any problems with a leaky basement. I had trouble understanding him because of his accent but he told me: No trouble with basement.

    14. Michael Porter told me when we were reviewing his report that it was tough to tell if there had been any leaks in the basement because it had been refinished in the last 2 years. However, he didn't think there were going to be any problems.

    15. As a result of the information provided by the house inspection, my wife and I waived the condition on the house inspection on May 15, 2009.

    16. We moved into the house on July 2, 2009.

    17. We placed many boxes in the basement. Included among these was a box of irreplaceable family pictures . I also had 5 boxes of college textbooks which I originally bought for more than $2,000.

    18. On August 4, 2009, Pleasant Grove suffered one of the worst storms that it has ever experienced. The Weather Office reported that more than 10 cm of rain fell in 2 hours.

    19. Unfortunately for my wife and I, the window well for one of the basement windows flooded during the rainstorm. Water came in from the window well and about 2 cms of water pooled up under the boxes we had stored near the basement window. We had to throw out all of the boxes.

    20. Three days later on August 7, 2009, we asked Frank's Basement Repairs to examine the window well and give us an estimate to stop any future flooding.

    21. Frank's Basement Repairs gave us the estimate that is at Tab 5 of the Plaintiff's document brief. It shows that it will cost us $5,000 to excavate the window well. The estimate further states that the work is needed because the drainage from the well had been blocked by all of the leaves that had fallen into it over the years and were now plugging the drainage.

    22. We started this action to receive the $5,000 to make the needed repairs and to be repaid the $2,000 in lost property.

    Signed: ______________________________

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