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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Managing Editor’s must-read items from this week

Friday, May 22, 2020 @ 3:30 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Post-COVID courts could see less oral advocacy, more paper-based and remote adjudication: SCC’s Wagner
Canada’s top judge says the demands of a post-pandemic world will require an openness to innovation and the creation of a “new normal” in the justice system — one which could feature fewer opportunities for oral advocacy by lawyers, particularly in physical courtrooms and appellate courts; more frequent remote hearings and paper-based adjudication; and even the reduction or elimination of the civil jury trial in those provinces where it still exists.

Alberta Law Society sees articling, lawyer cash flow as major challenges during pandemic: president
The Alberta Law Society has added its name to the organizations that have moved to hold their formal meetings using videoconferencing technology in light of the challenges poised by COVID-19.

Legal groups file Charter challenge against government to protect federal inmates
Legal organizations and a federal prisoner have banded together to file a legal challenge against the Government of Canada to “compel it to take proactive steps to ensure prisoners’ safety in the context of COVID-19.”

Lawyers express frustration over cancellation of new courthouse for Halton Region
There have been days at the antiquated courthouse in Milton, Ont., when judges were forced to temporarily close courtrooms because too much debris was falling from the ceiling. So lawyers in surrounding Halton Region, just west of Toronto, are disappointed by the Ontario government’s decision to cancel a proposed, state-of-the-art courthouse in Oakville that was slated to serve one of Canada’s fastest growing areas.

COVID-19 conundrums for incoming lawyers
In her column, Natalie Schryer writes: “I remember starting my final semester in January when my biggest problems seemed to be finding one last gust of energy to finish my law degree and containing my excitement at the prospect of entering the job market. By early March, it became abundantly clear that bigger problems were heading our way.”

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.