Photos Canada Parliament buildings Ottawa, Supreme court & Appeal Court entrance, BC; Alberta Law Courts, prison cells etc

Litigation : Starting an Action - First Steps for Lawsuits

First Steps in Litigation - Starting an Action in BC
[Question:  When does a lawsuit acutally begin?  How to sue?]

The first step in litigation is often referred to as starting an action. This is the process where a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim are filed with the Court.  A Writ of Summons is a simple legal document which lists the Defendant(s) of the action and a Statement of Claim is another legal document that sets out the details of the claim.

Although the event that may have led up to you seeking the help of a lawyer may have happened much earlier, and you may have been in contact with our office for a time period before this happens, the actual first step in the litigation itself is filing the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim.

There are limitation periods for filing a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim.  Although there are exceptions to this, generally you must file the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim with the Court within two years of the event happening.  So, for example, if you had a car accident on April 30, 2001, you must file your Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim with the court by April 30, 2003.

After you file your Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim, you need to serve the Defendants to let them know that they are being sued. Once service is confirmed, litigation has officially begun. Once the Defendant is served, they have a specific number of days to acknowledge the lawsuit against them by filing an Appearance.

Once the Appearance has been filed, the fun begins!

The above introduction was initially titled "Allison's Steps in Litigation" written by Allison Oalkey in According to Rose News-Letter, Winter 2002, Vol.1, Issue 2, published by Rose Keith, Barrrister and Solicitor, Vancouver, BC, Canada

See also article

Understanding Tort Compensation:  Brain Injury Compensation in BC motor vehicle accidents

This paper by Rose Keith, JD, experienced brain injury lawyer, considers compensation that may be available for an individual who has suffered an acquired brain injury following a motor vehicle accident.  Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of brain injury. The principles described below are equally applicable to any traumatic event that results in injury and for which compensation from the party at fault may be sought. 

Part 7 v. Tort
There are 2 separate and distinct sources of compensation that may be available to an individual injured in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia.  Those at Part 7 benefits and tort compensation. ...
click and read article at:


Rose Keith, Vancouver Personal Injury / Employment Law - Wrongful Dismissal lawyer

Rose Keith, Barrister & Solicitor is a content contributor to this web site

Her practice in Vancouver focuses primarily on the areas of Personal Injury Law (as a plaintiff's lawyer) and BC Employment / Contract Disputes where she represents both employees and employers.
A detailed profile of Rose is available on this site click here

A detailed street map to her offices in downtown Vancouver showing her location and its proximity to the Provincial and Supreme Court buildings is available click here

See also her web site at Rose Keith, personal injury lawyer with over 20 years experience in traumatice brain injury and other ICBC settlements - standing in front of Coal Harbor area of downtown Vancouver


Twenty Questions to Ask - Before You Hire a Lawyer

An excellent Checklist for someone to use in selecting a lawyer, has been prepared by the publishers of  You will find these guidelines useful for not just Employment Lawyers but other types of lawyers special services also.

Personal Injury Law as a Preferred Area of Practice

The Law Society of BC has lawyers who have formally stated they have a particular "preferred area of practice"  - Personal Injury Law is one of these P.A.P's.

Not all lawyers who advertise in:   telephone directories; on the Web or in magazines have stated their Preferred Area of Practice with the Law Society of BC directory.

Web site Disclaimer

This site lists lawyers with many different areas of practice including Canada Citizenship and Immigration / Refugee Law -- Personal Injury and Employment law -- we advise you to verify if the lawyer is still maintaining their membership with the Law Society of BC by going to as lawyers move or change areas of specialization over time.

The intent of this web-site is to provide "starting points" for people looking for sources of legal information and specialists.  Information on this web site is not to be seen as legal advice -- for that you directly consult a lawyer. 

This site is not endorsed by web sites to which it provides links to, unless otherwise noted, where a particular lawyer has volunteered to become a content contributor.

Photo of Ottawa's Parliament Buildings from Adrienne S. Chan, Ph.D, a Vancouver/Abbotsford based consultant in diversity/ anti-racism/ multiculturalism training, research, organizational development, program development and review.  See

Errors or Omissions

If any lawyer-firm notes that we have made an error or omission in our mention of them on this web site, please send us email with the appropriate information. 

Lawyers Special Listings & More Legal Information Websites