Pleadings are the formal documents that the parties file in court in the beginning stage of a lawsuit. These documents contain all the allegations that parties have against each other. For example, for Ontario Superior Court cases, the most common pleadings are the Statement of Claim and Statement of Defense.
They are important because lawsuits are usually decided within the boundaries of pleadings. For example, if you say someone breached a contract you would want to put that allegation in your pleading. If you don't, it is unlikely the judges will consider it in the trial. However, judges have the ultimate discretion.
In general, it is best to seek professional advice from either a lawyer (for lawsuits in general) or paralegal (for Small Claims matters) when it comes to pleadings.
Watch Litigation Help's video on Pleadings: https://youtu.be/6WwGYe2IaGQ
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