Presenter: Heather Hui-Litwin

You might be like me, who once assumed that when it comes to presenting your case to a judge, you just need to tell your story, follow a few court rules, mention any relevant legislation, apply some common sense. Turns out it is not quite so simple in reality. These workshops are designed to educate you as to how litigation actually works.

All workshops are fundraisers. Donations are collected by Eventbrite. All revenue (after Eventbrite fee) will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Suggested amounts:$10, $25, $50. Once you have booked a ticket, I will follow up with you by email with the Zoom link.

Testimonials from attendees:

“It was a rare pleasure to attend Heather Hui Litwin’s legal studies workshop. We felt encouraged to interact with Heather about legal terminologies and process; Heather is supportive and acknowledges everyone‘s remarks while continuing to deliver all her lesson plans. I appreciate the ease with which I was able to follow and take handwritten notes that I will refer to in my own subsequent work. I highly recommend Heather Hui Litwin for any kind of legal workshop as she is clearly a natural host on topics of our common-law system.”


I was fortunate to learn about Heather Hui-Litwin while visiting her website .  During the interactive webinar “How to Read Case Law” I found Heather’s insights to be very useful.  As a bonus she is easy to talk to and relates her own experiences with a mixture of candor and humor.  I definitely recommend you see for yourself!


(1) What Does Common Law mean?

Maximum attendees: 5

Feb 16, 2021, 1 pm.

Tickets on Eventbrite

You might have heard that Canada’s legal system (other than Quebec) is based on the “common law” system. But what does this really mean? This is a one hour, small group program designed to provide a deeper understanding of how our common law legal system works. This session is useful for people who want to learn more about Canada’s court system. It is also helpful for those who are representing themselves at court. I will be explaining how our courts are structured, so that you understand the concept of binding versus persuasive case law. I will be using case law to demonstrate what “legal argument” is. I will introduce what “legal argument” is, versus “common sense” or moral arguments, by examples.

(2) How to Read Case Law

Maximum attendees: 3

March 16, 2021. 1-3 pm.

Tickets on Eventbrite

This is an introduction to reading case law. We are so fortunate that we now have free access to case law on CanLII. However, many people do not know what to do with the case law they have found! Furthermore, case law is intimidating at first glance, with all the code and jargon. In this hour long program, I will give you some basic skills in navigating a judge’s decision.

The decisions McMurter v McMurter (LINK: , costs for self-represented litigants), the recent case on online harassment Caplan v Atas 2021 ONSC 670, (LINK: and Callow v Zollinger (LINK, Supreme Court of Canada on contract dispute) will be discussed.

(3) Case law group study:C.M. Callow Inc. v Zollinger 2020 SCC 45

Suppose you run a snow removal business. You signed a 2 year contract with a condominium corporation. Work started, and everything seemed to go well. Your client told you they were satisfied. In fact, you are under the impression they may even renew work for another 2 years! Then, unexpectedly, they ended the contract early. They gave notice in accordance to the contract termination clause. You take them to court for breach of contract. How do you think the court will decide? Join me in an intensive workshop on the case Callow v Zollinger, where I will guide you in the trial court’s decision, and the appeal courts’ decision. This case went all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

I will use this case as an illustration of how our common law system works, as well as some basics on contract law.


Trial decision:

Court of Appeal:

SCC decision:

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Possible Workshops to be offered in summer 2021 (if there is enough demand).

(1) Why is litigation always risky? (30 min)

If you are a litigant, chances are that you feel that you are in the absolute “right”. You might say, “My case will be a slam-dunk. The facts in my case are so simple! Any judge will side with me!” I definitely felt that way before becoming a lawyer. In this workshop, I will explain why I now understand that litigation has inherent risks.

(2) How to use “limited scope” services efficiently. (1 hour)

Many lawyers offer unbundled or limited scope services to people who represent themselves at court. I will explain how to use this type of services carefully and efficiently.

(3) “Why can’t I just go tell my story to the judge?” (1 hour)

The court system exists to serve the public. Based on this reasoning, it is difficult to understand why it is not more “user-friendly”! While there is some truth to this statement, I eventually found out why I cannot just go tell my story to the judge! I will explain what knowledge and skills are required to effectively present your case to a judge, based on my experience in civil litigation.