Paralegal Services Case Study


My client retained me to recover monies that he had spent purchasing outdoor decking material from a large chain store, which decking turned out to be defective and had to be replaced.


After efforts to resolve the issue on a voluntary basis were unsuccessful, I issued a Plaintiff's Claim in the small claims court against both the corporate franchisee and the corporate franchisor for the sum of $25,000.00, the maximum allowable in small claims court at that time. The two Defendants filed a defence.  However, prior to a scheduled settlement conference, the insurance company representing one of the two Defendants reached out to me to try to settle the matter. They offered to settle for an amount just under $10,000.00 which my client rejected. My client counter-offered for an amount just over $21,000.00. Ultimately, the matter settled for just over $17,000.00.  Although a settlement was not achieved prior to having to issue a Claim, it was the actual issuance of the Claim that moved the two Defendants to take the matter more seriously and to settle in an amount that my client was satisfied with and was happy to accept.


There are two takeaways from this matter:

  • There are times when a matter will not settle voluntarily.
  • Issuing a claim often (not always, but often) enables a matter to settle.