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Wednesday, July 08, 2020 @ 1:59 PM

Technology: End of the profession or a life raft lifesaver_hand_sm

In the past few years, technology has come a huge way. When you stop to think about it, the fact that many of us were able to continue working when the world locked down is a remarkable feat. Tools that help us to connect easier, to reduce dependencies on physical files, and to automate some aspects of our work have now been well and truly put to the test. There have undoubtedly been some glitches, hiccups and real challenges for us all, but the fact that by and large we were able to work through a pandemic is a huge achievement that we can attribute directly to technology. ... [read more]

Monday, July 06, 2020 @ 9:25 AM

Experts weigh in on Manitoba’s step toward modernizing courts Michael _Karanicolas_sm

Tech-minded legal experts are lauding Manitoba’s plan to develop an “Integrated Case Management” system in a bid to modernize its courts and bring better access to justice to the province. ... [read more]

Monday, July 06, 2020 @ 8:27 AM

Remote hearings, examination of witnesses: Practicalities online_courtroom_sm

Because of the current pandemic crisis, it appears from the emerging case law that remote hearings are deemed acceptable notwithstanding the various concerns. What then are best practices to ensure that ethical standards are met in remote hearings and examinations? We continue the list that we began in our first article in this series: ... [read more]

Friday, July 03, 2020 @ 9:47 AM

Quebec justice makes ‘giant strides’ with addition of Digital Court Office, bar president says Paul-Matthieu Grondin

With its recent implementation of an online filing system, Quebec is joining the growing ranks of Canadian jurisdictions that are accelerating the technological shift in the justice system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Court Office of Quebec, launched in mid-June, will allow any person to file a pleading with the Quebec Superior Court and the Court of Quebec, a development widely embraced by Quebec’s legal community. ... [read more]

Thursday, July 02, 2020 @ 8:55 AM

Canadian artists need better access to legal services: report Martha Rans

The legal requirements of artists in Canada have now reached a critical tipping point heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Action is required to address gaps, respond to the unique needs of the sector and provide information and training, according to a new report prepared by the National Network of Legal Clinics for the Arts. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 11:31 AM

Pandemic promises lasting legacy of improvements for N.W.T. justice system, says minister Caroline Wawzonek sm

As it continues to struggle with some of the highest crime and incarceration rates in Canada, the Northwest Territories justice system will emerge in some ways stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, says its justice minister. “This has obviously been a very stressful time to be in the position I’m in,” said Caroline Wawzonek, a former Yellowknife criminal lawyer who serves as both justice minister and finance minister in the cabinet of Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) Premier Caroline Cochrane. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

Technology can create problems as well as solve them | Pamela Cross

COVID-19 has shone a light on many issues across the province/country/world: issues that existed before the pandemic and that will remain with us after it is over. We have learned (and continue to learn) a great deal during this experience, and we can use that learning as we move through and past the pandemic. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 2:33 PM

Where do you Zoom? | Chris Graham

Here’s the thing about working remotely: it takes something ordinary (your work) and makes it seem strange and unusual. Uncanny. If you’re lucky enough to keep working during quarantine, you’re doing the same thing you were before — but also not the same thing. The setting has changed, the context, the quality of the distractions. I’ve never met a lawyer who brought their cat to the office. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 2:32 PM

Proceedings in first-ever Zoom trial at Federal Court met with praise by judge, counsel Justice Roger Lafrenière

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March legal proceedings across the country largely ground to a halt, leading courts to consider alternative technology so that matters would still be able to be heard. And in one such matter at the Federal Court testimony was moved online for the first time ever, with counsel in the case and the judge presiding over it both agreeing that the process worked well and shows potential for the future. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 9:11 AM

Remote hearings, examination of witnesses: Best practices online_courtroom_sm

With the adoption of remote hearings by the courts in this pandemic, concern has been expressed as to due process issues, particularly regarding the remote examination of witnesses. In the seminal case of Arconti v. Smith 2020 ONSC 2782 for example, the plaintiffs objected to the remote examination for discovery of a defendant because “the plaintiffs do not trust the defendants not to engage in sleight of hand to abuse the process,” among other reasons. ... [read more]