Focus On

Legal Innovation


Thursday, December 03, 2020 @ 11:53 AM

Why I’m running for office | Jerry Levitan

“I’ve been around ya know.” Al Pacino as Lt. Col. Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman    ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 01, 2020 @ 8:21 AM

Cure worse than disease: Virtual jury deliberations during COVID Part One | Nik Khakhar

On Oct. 10, Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court suspended jury selection for 28 days in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspots — Toronto, Brampton and Ottawa — while allowing in-person non-jury trials with 10 people or less to continue. Despite this allowance, Justice Morawetz maintained that proceedings should be carried out remotely as much as possible. By providing the option for hearings to be held via videoconferencing technologies such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, courts can ensure that cases suffer from minimal delays despite COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings. However, Ontario courts have been reluctant to allow jury deliberations to take place online. This contrasts with some courts in the U.S., such as Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, which have overseen some of the world’s first virtual jury trials.   ... [read more]

Monday, November 30, 2020 @ 9:41 AM

Estate tech alignment: Which approach suits you best hands_digital_sm

The estate management requirements of our clients’ growing portfolio of digital assets is an emerging area for the estate industry and estate practitioners. ... [read more]

Friday, November 27, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Last words on paralegals | Gary Joseph

I do not presume to write on behalf of the family law bar, but I have heard from an enormous number of my colleagues in response to my writings in this publication and elsewhere regarding independent paralegal practices of family law. My views have been influenced by colleagues and have evolved as a result of the debate. As I have previously written, I believe that the decision is basically made to license independent paralegal practices of family law and that the Law Society of Ontario request for input is but a salve to the profession. Many of my colleagues have reflected disappointment with the initial process that led to the LSO debate and to the likely outcome. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 26, 2020 @ 8:35 AM

Rule of law in era of virtual hearings: Doing justice? | Joseph Groia

Like the rest of the world, the legal profession has spent the last eight months isolating or socially distancing and implementing countless other changes. As a result, the way in which the legal system operates has undergone a significant shift. A fundamental part of this shift, and the main subject of this small note, is the move to videoconferencing technology, such as Zoom or WebEx, now widely used as a substitute for in-person meetings. ... [read more]

Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 1:32 PM

Access to Justice: Will COVID-19 justice become the norm? | Beverley McLachlin

I am an optimist. In previous columns I have expressed the hope that COVID-19 will reveal the inefficiencies and gaps in how we deliver justice to Canadians and allow us to build a better justice system that combines the strengths of the current system with new thinking on how to run our justice institutions more efficiently and humanely. ... [read more]

Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Seizing the opportunity to change legal workplace | Charlene Theodore

To say that 2020 has been a difficult year would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives dramatically, both at home and at work, while the protests and uprisings we witnessed this summer have laid bare the failure of our system to properly tackle racial inequality, including in the justice sector. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 1:22 PM

More on paralegals: Trading one problem for another | Gary Joseph

After years of struggling against the tide of reputational putdowns of the practice of family law, the profession and a large segment of the consuming public has come to realize that the practice of family law is one of the most complex practice areas of the law. In this context then, I consider some recent suggestions that family lawyers may become or have become unnecessary and unwanted participants in family law disputes. This draws me into, once again, one of my rants about independent paralegal practices of family law. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 2:05 PM

Estate tech alignment: How IT alignment model works hands_digital_devices_sm

The estate management requirements of our clients’ growing portfolio of digital assets is an emerging area for the estate industry and estate practitioners. The goal of this series of articles is to provide context on how the estate industry could approach a client’s digital estate from a business enterprise perspective and a framework of how to execute. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 9:18 AM

Law Society of B.C. launches ‘innovation sandbox’ on expanding access to justice LSBC president Craig Ferris

The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) has launched an “innovation sandbox” which will look at proposals from those who are seeking to address unmet legal need in the province. Those admitted to the innovation sandbox will pilot legal services and advice under the supervision of the law society. ... [read more]