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Thursday, June 11, 2020 @ 9:26 AM

Courts need new ideas to safely resume jury trials, selection, lawyers say Trevor_Farrow_sm

Canada’s courts are going to have to be “creative” if they want to resume jury trials and jury selection while continuing to practise social distancing, says a legal mind. As some of the nation’s courts slowly restart certain operations, questions remain about how they will resume jury trials and the process of gathering large groups of people together to choose who will sit on a panel. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 @ 2:53 PM

Alberta follows Ontario sanctioning ‘upstream’ litigation by videoconference online_trial_sm

In the recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision of Sandhu v. Siri Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara of Alberta 2020 ABQB 359, Justice Michael Lema found authority in the Alberta Rules of Court and applied recent Ontario authority, among others, to authorize cross-examination on affidavits by videoconference, or “remotely,” given the exigencies of the pandemic. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 9:45 AM - Last Updated: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 11:43 AM

‘Everything is on the table’ as Ontario eyes a return to courts, says attorney general Doug Downey

As Ontario moves toward a July 6 target date for resuming in-person proceedings amid COVID-19, Attorney General Doug Downey says his Ministry is consulting closely with two health experts and is even considering using gymnasiums to enable physical distancing. “Health and safety are at the centre of everything we’re doing,” he told Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA) president John Struthers during a June 4 CLA webcast. “People need to feel safe, as well as be safe.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 8:34 AM

History made in Ontario courts: Final thoughts youtube_court_sm

In my last article in this series, I noted that in Nation Rise Wind Farm Limited Partnership v. Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, 2020 ONSC 2335 judicial review, the Divisional Court held that the minister’s decision was unreasonable and the process by which he reached his decision breached procedural fairness. ... [read more]

Friday, June 05, 2020 @ 9:49 AM

SCC poised for first virtual appeal hearing; Zoom ‘observers’ to see novel contract, criminal cases Emily Kirkpatrick

The Supreme Court of Canada is opening its virtual courtroom doors next week by pioneering Zoom hearings in several civil and criminal appeals that raise novel issues of undue trial delay, pre-incorporation contracts in strata developments and entrapment in “dial-a-dope” operations. Up until 1 p.m. (EDT) June 5, the public and media can ask the top court to register them for an unspecified number of “first-come, first-served” Zoom “observer” spots in each of four cases (including one oral leave application), to be argued from June 9 to June 12. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 04, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Access to justice and pixie dust: Civil resolution tribunals | Bo Kruk

COVID-19 has changed the manner in which we transact justice. The courts in Ontario have embraced new technology to allow more cases to proceed at an unprecedented rate. While we have searched for technological answers to our new world order, we need not look too far. British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) provides an effective online model that can — and should — be easily transplanted to any other jurisdiction. The CRT offers answers to our technological challenges. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 03, 2020 @ 9:03 AM

B.C. law society considering ‘targeted’ approach on COVID-19 relief: president Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) president Craig Ferris

The COVID-19 pandemic was top of mind for benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) as they met for their second virtual meeting, with the law society president noting the society is currently looking at spending approximately $3 million to assist members who have been hit hard over the past few months. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 03, 2020 @ 8:52 AM

No going back: Technology and court process | Gary Joseph

The COVID-19 shutdown of the court system was initially viewed as a temporary measure to address legitimate health concerns. Most lawyers expected a quick return to “normal” once the pandemic passed. Two things have now become quite apparent: the pandemic is not passing as quickly as we had hoped and, as importantly, there will be a new “normal.” Lawyers need to accept this and get onboard the technology train or they will be left behind. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 02, 2020 @ 1:41 PM

Litigation risk in COVID-19 environment: Big changes risk_liability_sm

Litigation risks are materially different today, under COVID-19 than at the start of 2020 when the threat of a world-changing global pandemic was barely an idea. The economic and strategic considerations affecting organizations’ litigation decisions are shifting. This article examines that shift and explores the consequences for litigants going forward as they seek to resolve disputes in the pandemic environment — both existing legal disputes and new litigation arising from COVID-19. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 02, 2020 @ 9:06 AM

Building law school from ‘our kitchen tables,’ Ryerson dean says as plans to open proceed Donna Young photo credit Mitch Wojnarowicz_sm

Whether it be through online learning or in-person classrooms, Ryerson’s new Faculty of Law is on track to open on Sept. 2, said the school’s dean, Donna Young. “People ask me ‘what’s it like building a law school during the global pandemic?’ and I have to say, ‘we’re doing it.’ We have a really strong team and we’re doing it from our kitchen tables, and our home offices, and we’re doing it from other countries, but we’re doing it and we’re really excited about it,” she said. ... [read more]