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Name and Title
Jonathan Miller
Partner
Associate
Year of Call

2014 (Ontario)

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Description

Jonathan Miller HeadShotWhile more judges are assessing costs in cases where artificial intelligence (AI) could have reduced the number of billable hours, there are still a number of unanswered questions surrounding its use, says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

“Judges are prepared to tell lawyers that AI could have been used in court preparation. They’re saying, ‘You shouldn’t be entitled to all the costs you incurred to do that research,’” Miller tells AdvocateDaily.com.

He says there are a number of online sources, such as CanLII, that help lawyers find and compile information, but there are also companies developing AI research to make searches more efficient. 

“In some cases, you can plug in a set of parameters, and it will look at case law and say, ‘Here’s your answer,’” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

He recently explored an AI program focusing on employment law, and while enticing, he says there are still many questions left unanswered about the new technology.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Date_Published
2019-02-04
Description

Jonathan Miller Head ShotA fatal accident involving a self-driving car, though tragic in its outcome, will help regulators and manufacturers answer important questions as autonomous vehicles are more fully developed, says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

“What I took away from this incident is that it will provide a test case and give some advance warning of issues that developers and users of this technology need to consider and question before these vehicles are put on the road,” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

The accident, which occurred when a pedestrian was struck while walking her bike across a poorly lit road in Arizona, is believed to be the first time an autonomous vehicle has been linked to a pedestrian death, The New York Times reports.

“I’m not aware of a lawsuit being launched yet, but I think that whatever comes out of this case, it will get a significant amount of attention because there are a number of issues that could come up,” Miller tells AdvocateDaily.com.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story
.


Date_Published
2018-05-02
Description

Jonathan Miller Head ShotBusiness deals and agreements between family members should be confirmed with a written contract to protect the interests of all of the parties involved,  says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

Handshakes and verbal agreements are fraught with the possibility of becoming a point of contention between the people involved when trying to recall just what was agreed to, says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

"A handshake and a couple of conversations" isn’t exactly the best evidence, he tells AdvocateDaily.com.

"Plan for the worst. It’s an awkward conversation to have at the beginning, particularly with business contacts and family members, but having the discussion up front can help prevent headaches down the road if things go sour," Miller says.

"It’s along the same lines as going into a marriage with a prenuptial agreement."

Miller cites three files he’s handling where unwritten deals are being contested. One case involves a family; the second is among acquaintances in a business deal; and the third deals with an arm’s-length, third-party relationship.

Agreements and deals should be formalized on paper, says Miller, no matter what the relationship is between those involved.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-03-27
Description

Jonathan Miller Head ShotAs vehicles become more sophisticated and require less human interaction, self-driving autos could change how impaired driving statutes apply, Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller tells AdvocateDaily.com.

But as long as self-propelled vehicles have a steering wheel and gas and brake pedals, drivers will continue to have care and control over them, says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP. 

He comments about the future of automobiles and drunk-driving charges after a man in a self-driving Tesla was accused of being impaired at the time of a July 28, 2017, incident on the Bay Bridge linking Oakland and San Jose, Calif., according to The Mercury News.

California Highway Patrol reported the man blew twice the legal limit for blood-alcohol and was charged with driving under the influence.

The Criminal Code of Canada states in s. 253  that it's an offence to be impaired by alcohol or drugs while in control of a vehicle "whether it is in motion or not."

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-02-16
Description

Jonathan Miller Head ShotIn an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller says he’s encouraged to see the government taking modernization seriously.

“The progress that is most interesting to me is the development of the ‘state-of-the-art’ digital service,” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

“I'm curious to see what it will look like and what impact it will have on eliminating or reducing paper filings. For example, will everything move toward electronic filing rather than just pleadings?”

Miller says there will likely be bumps in the road as the government rolls out the plan, “but in theory, it sounds promising.”

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-12-04
Description

Jonathan Miller Head ShotIn an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller says he’s encouraged to see the government taking modernization seriously.

“The progress that is most interesting to me is the development of the ‘state-of-the-art’ digital service,” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

“I'm curious to see what it will look like and what impact it will have on eliminating or reducing paper filings. For example, will everything move toward electronic filing rather than just pleadings?”

Miller says there will likely be bumps in the road as the government rolls out the plan, “but in theory, it sounds promising.”

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the complete story.

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Date_Published
2017-12-04
Description

Jonathan MillerParents transferring property to their children to avoid probate fees on their estate should make their objectives crystal clear to minimize problems down the road, says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

“When you’re giving your instructions to your lawyer, be very clear about what you want to do and why,” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

Parents often give property to a child to hold in trust so it won’t be subject to estate administration taxes after they die, Miller tells AdvocateDaily.com

In Ontario, these taxes, also called probate fees, amount to $5 for each $1,000, or part thereof, on the first $50,000 of the value of the estate, and $15 for each $1,000 or part thereof for anything above $50,000, according to the provincial government.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-09-15
Description

Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller is optimistic that a new pilot program for e-filing civil claims is merely the beginning of online efficiencies for lawyers in Ontario.

The test phase was launched in five communities and once the kinks are worked out, “I really think the sky is the limit,” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

The pilot project allows for the online filing of the following documents with the Superior Court of Justice: statements of claim; notices of action; affidavits of litigation guardians for plaintiffs under disability; request for bilingual proceedings; and consent to file documents in French.

The first phase of the pilot, estimated to last up to six months, was launched in Brampton, Ottawa, London, Newmarket and Sudbury, with the rest of the province expected to join later in the year.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-06-14
Description

Employees who sue their employers for wrongful dismissal have an obligation to look for a new job, says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

“If you accept the severance that’s offered by the company, you are essentially accepting the terms of the termination,” explains Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.  

“But when a worker thinks he’s entitled to more than what’s offered, a lawsuit tends to follow,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“In such a case, the employee has to prove he’s been looking for work or the courts may reduce the amount of damages awarded.”

This is an excerpt of an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  To read the complet story please click here.

Date_Published
2017-05-15
Description

Mutually beneficial relationships help the legal system work smoothly so lawyers should be patient and candid with upset clients, says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

He says many people have little or no experience with the complex legal system and their point of reference could be based on inaccurate legal television shows that give them unrealistic expectations.

While research has debunked much of the so-called CSI effect — the way exaggerated crime dramas bias jurors — studies suggest they can still influence the public, says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

"Some people seem to think we can do anything and everything without ever writing a document — or that trials start within a week or two of a first court appearance. It’s not how it’s portrayed on TV, but I think that impacts people’s expectations of their lawyer,” he says.

Best practices in the legal profession come from a wide field with every law society and bar association offering guidelines for management and practice, but a strong thread that runs through it all is the basic idea of building and maintaining relationships, Miller says.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com,  please click here for the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-03-16
Description

People can make life easier for loved ones dealing with their estate by ensuring a copy of the will is kept where it can be easily found by a trusted family member or lawyer, advises Toronto litigator Jonathan Miller.

He tells AdvocateDaily.com a recent case he worked on involved a fair amount of detective work to track down 25 potential beneficiaries before he could proceed with an application to prove a copy of the will. The process for proving a lost will is found within Rules 75 and 76 of Rules of Civil Procedure, and Miller says he was able to find the right people and settle the matter within a year. 

“It could have been significantly longer because ultimately no one challenged the will. If any of the potential beneficiaries had, it would have taken much longer to resolve," Miller says. “That would involve responding materials and potential cross-examinations before the actual hearing of the application. It could easily have taken another six, eight, 10 months if there was any kind of challenge to it.”

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  For the complete story please click here.

Date_Published
2017-01-31
Description

Lawyers need to start thinking beyond traditional models of service delivery to explore how technology can help them provide a more streamlined and cost-effective service to clients, says Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller.

Software and other advanced technology can help free lawyers from the drudge work of their jobs and allow them to be more strategic, he tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Moving toward a more digital practice makes good financial sense for firms and their clients who will benefit from a more efficient practice, says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

“Wherever possible, lawyers should be embracing new technology, especially given the push by some to do away with the billable hour and provide a per-service fee,” he says. “And all of this relates to reducing costs to clients.”

This article appeared in AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2016-11-30
Description

Toronto civil and commercial litigator Jonathan Miller says acting as agent in commercial and estate list matters has been an excellent way to get more courtroom exposure as well as build a small book of business.

“I've been contacted by colleagues asking if I can attend on agency matters on their behalf,” says Miller, an associate with the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP. “A matter is either being adjourned or there needs to be someone in court representing their client in Toronto but it's not necessarily worth the firm sending someone from Windsor, Waterloo or Kingston to handle it.”

He tells AdvocateDaily.com when it comes to commercial and estate list matters, it’s common that early morning appointments are scheduled to deal with procedural aspects of litigation. When requesting an adjournment, for example, travelling from Kingston to Toronto to spend five minutes before a judge may not be the best use of a lawyer’s time.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  To read the complete story please click here.

Date_Published
2016-10-26
Description

Money talk is one of the last great taboos, but when it comes to clients, young lawyers need to just get over it, says Toronto civil litigator Jonathan Miller.

The high cost of litigation means lawyers tend not to have much good news for clients when it comes to billing, but he says constant communication can help soften the blow. 

“It's really important to have the conversation about what you're going to charge up front,” says Miller, an associate in the Toronto office of Shibley Righton LLP.

“Once you've had the initial conversation, it's good to keep going back and touching base, especially if things are going differently than you anticipated. That way everyone is on the same page,” he adds. 

Legal costs are a particularly pertinent issue for clients with matters in Small Claims Court, a forum where many young litigators cut their teeth. The rules of the court only allow successful representatives to recover a maximum of 15 per cent of the amount at issue.

This article appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  For the full story please click here.

Date_Published
2016-09-08
Description

In spite of the challenges associated with the growing popularity of e-trials, lawyers need to be comfortable with this technological development, or risk falling behind, Toronto civil litigator Jonathan Miller writes in Lawyers Weekly.

As Miller, an associate at Shibley Righton LLP, says in the article, in Bank of Montreal v. Faibish [2014] O.J. No. 1639, Justice David Brown promoted the need for lawyers to adapt to advancements in technology to provide services to their clients, comparing it to the change from vinyl records to digital music formats.

The crowning virtue of e-trials is mobility, explains Miller. "Consider this: in 1159465 Alberta Ltd. v. Adwood Manufacturing Ltd.[2010] ABQB 133, the parties replaced 18 three-inch binders with a single DVD. The parties and the judge were no longer tethered to a room full of boxes to work on the file or write the judgment. In particular, Justice Adam Germain, in his commentary on the trial, noted the significant benefit: ‘I did not have to lug boxes of exhibit copies around — the relevant information was all in the memory of the laptop.'"

This article appeared on advocatedaily.comFor the full story please click here.

Date_Published
2016-08-30
Description

Toronto civil litigator Jonathan Miller says working on his first electronic trial was a challenging and eye-opening experience.

“The first thing I learned about electronic trials is that if you’ve never done one before, it’s going to take much longer than you think,” says Miller, an associate at Shibley Righton LLP.

In an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, he details his recent experiences working on a two-week e-trial.

For the full story please click here

Date_Published
2016-06-27
Description

A retainer agreement does not need to be a lengthy or overly complicated document, but it does need to clearly set out the terms of engagement between lawyer and client, says Toronto litigator Jonathan Miller.

The Shibley Righton LLP litigation associate says while a retainer agreement is not terribly different from other types of contracts, it's key to define what the relationship is between the two parties and to set out the obligations of both parties.

He says the importance of a retainer agreement is really demonstrated when there is a breakdown in the lawyer-client relationship or in situations where the client wants to have the lawyer’s account assessed.

"This allows the lawyer and client or the assessor to review the written terms of the relationship," he says. "Ultimately, it is a simple way to minimize risk to both the lawyer and client when there is a discrepancy between them."

The retainer agreement can include anything from the scope of what the lawyer is being retained to do, to who is going to work on the file, to what kind of rates the client can expect to pay, Miller tells AdvocateDaily.com.

He adds that it may be prudent to set out issues regarding accounts, such as payment terms, in the retainer.

Another issue worth detailing in the agreement, he says, would be the terms on which the lawyer can terminate his or her representation of the client.

“It doesn’t have to set out an exhaustive list but should give some awareness to the client that it’s a two-way street,” he says. “They need to cooperate with the lawyer as much as the lawyer needs to co-operate with them to proceed with their file. I think it’s important to do the converse as well,  and include something to let the client know it’s within their rights to terminate the lawyer-client relationship at any time upon reasonable notice to the lawyer.”

A retainer agreement should set out who will have carriage of the file — presumably this would be the lawyer sitting down and discussing the agreement with the client.

Miller says if it’s anticipated that a mix of senior counsel and associates or articling students will work on a file, it’s key to address the different hourly rates a client may be charged.

“In doing so, it’s advisable to say where the work is appropriate, it will be handled by a student or an associate and include the hourly rate the client would expect to pay for an associate’s work,” he tells the online legal publication.

It is also important to address any kind of disbursements that are associated with the file in the retainer agreement. For example, the cost of printing, copying, couriering, filing fees, etc.

“The agreement should set out whether those costs are going to be included in the account or if it’s something that is going to be paid for by the client,” he notes.

If at any point during the lawyer-client relationship, the terms or scope change significantly, it may be worth revisiting the retainer agreement, he says.

“If, for example, another lawyer is going to take carriage of the file, you may want to have a discussion and have the client sign off on the change in lawyer — particularly if there is going to be a change in fees that are going to be associated with the change,” Miller says.

When meeting with a client to discuss the retainer agreement, Miller says this is an ideal time to discuss the best method of communication between lawyer and client going forward.

“While it doesn't need to be included in the retainer agreement, it is an appropriate time to set out expectations the client can have in terms of updates, such as whether it’s going to be letters or emails back and forth, or telephone calls and emails,” he says.

This article also appeard on advocatedaily.com

Date_Published
2015-11-23
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BIO

Jonathan Miller has a general litigation practise with experience in the firm’s professional liability, commercial litigation and construction law practices. He has experience representing clients before various courts including the Ontario Superior Court, Small Claims Court and the Landlord Tenant Board.

Jonathan articled at Shibley Righton in 2013-2014 and returned as an associate in 2014.

Prior to articling, Jonathan graduated from law school at the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy where he made the Dean’s Honour List while completing his Canadian and American law degrees. While in law school, Jonathan was an active member of Community Legal Aid, the student run legal clinic, and the Moot Court Board of Advocates. Jonathan obtained his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology at the University of Toronto.

Contact Information

T: 416.214.5263
F: 416.214.5463
E: jonathan.miller@shibleyrighton.com

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Education

University of Windsor, J.D., 2013
University of Detroit Mercy, J.D., 2013
University of Toronto, B.Sc. (Hon), 2007

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