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Legal Innovation


Tuesday, June 22, 2021 @ 8:14 AM

Mediation: The unregulated profession | Gary Joseph

Recent amendments to family law legislation have led to an increased emphasis on negotiated settlements. Mediation, while already prevalent in family law, will become more so. Yet mediators are not regulated in any meaningful way. Mediation courses abound and anyone can become a mediator. The Law Society of Ontario (I continue to hate that name but the counterculture succeeded in stripping us of the moniker: members of the Law Society of Upper Canada) regulates lawyers and paralegals. The Ontario government amended legislation to govern family law arbitrators but yet nothing meaningful exists to regulate mediators. ... [read more]

Monday, June 21, 2021 @ 8:08 AM

National Indigenous Peoples Day: A time for action | Brad Regehr

It has been a few weeks since the discovery of the bodies of 215 children in unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Many people have expressed their shock and outrage, but in the absence of a concrete next step it’s hard to maintain that level of anger against a seemingly intractable problem. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 17, 2021 @ 4:23 PM

Chief Justice Wagner hopes stakeholders will ‘explore new ways to use technology’ Chief Justice Richard Wagner, of the Supreme Court of Canada

In a press conference on June 17, Chief Justice Richard Wagner announced that the Supreme Court of Canada will continue to hold virtual hearings “if parties want it that way.” ... [read more]

Thursday, June 17, 2021 @ 9:49 AM

The Advocates’ Society report provides framework for choosing mode of hearing Guy Pratte, president of The Advocates' Society

After a year of consultation and research, The Advocates’ Society has released a report on the future of advocacy in Canada. The report, titled The Right to be Heard: The Future of Advocacy in Canada, was released on June 14 and highlights the foundations of oral advocacy, the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the justice system and concludes with a summary of the key principles which emerged from the consultation process and a set of recommendations, including a model framework. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 03, 2021 @ 11:13 AM

How tech advancements are changing law practice, why it must continue A few people in business suits

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced lawyers around the world to speed up the switch to digital, whether in signing legal documents electronically or holding virtual court hearings. Many law firms have been taking steps to improve internal processes, incentivize efficiency and apply new ways of doing business that maximize value. Combined with a growing acceptance of international practices, the pandemic continues to shape the Canadian legal landscape in many ways, including virtual disputes, digital case law and e-discovery, among other areas. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 1:45 PM

Minister says N.W.T. justice system faring well during pandemic, despite challenges Justice Minister R.J. Simpson

Like sheltering from an icy, arctic blast, the Northwest Territories’ justice system is weathering the COVID-19 pandemic better than some of its southern counterparts, but has been far from unscathed, says its justice minister. Speaking from his home in his Hay River constituency, Justice Minister R.J. Simpson told The Lawyer’s Daily during a wide-ranging interview that the challenges have ranged from an increased workload for N.W.T.-based lawyers to a lack of large facilities for in-person jury trials that allow for physical distancing. ... [read more]

Friday, May 14, 2021 @ 1:09 PM

Everywhere and nowhere: Physical location and virtual dispute resolution Smartphone with global location markers

Does physical location matter any more when it comes to dispute resolution? ... [read more]

Monday, May 10, 2021 @ 8:42 AM

Legal aid services and estates law Drowning hand reaching for legal aid help

The Legal Aid Services Act (LASA) received royal assent in July 2020 as part of the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act. The LASA is a step forward to modernize the legal aid framework for low-income Ontarians through a shift from a regulatory regime to giving Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) more flexibility to develop and adapt its own rules, policies and services that better serve low-income Ontarians. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 29, 2021 @ 2:38 PM - Last Updated: Friday, April 30, 2021 @ 12:28 PM

Nova Scotia courts turning to widespread use of Microsoft Teams

Having suspended most in-person proceedings due to rising numbers of COVID-19, Nova Scotia’s courts will soon begin universal use of a popular videoconferencing platform for matters deemed fit to be carried out virtually. According to an April 29 notice, matters where a judge has given approval to proceed will be conducted using telephone or Microsoft Teams, an online communication platform that allows for group chat and videoconferencing. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 @ 8:53 AM

Report calls for proactive regulation to address government AI accountability gap Nye Thomas, Executive Director, Law Commission of Ontario

The warning is loud and clear: if governments at all levels in Canada don’t act now to regulate their own use of artificial intelligence, it could end up hurting vulnerable citizens, damaging public services and undermining public trust, according to a recent report by the Law Commission of Ontario. ... [read more]