While much of the Country may be at a standstill, your injuries from your accident, the damages that flow from them, and your losses from a long term disability benefits denial are not on pause. Our Court system has suffered delays during the pandemic, but the good news is that progress is being made. We are moving towards an increasingly digital litigation system.
I have now completed virtual Zoom Pre-Trials in the Oshawa & Toronto Courts & I can tell you that the Judges were incredible - they went above and beyond to make the technology work and the Pre-Trials were as effective as any that I have been involved with in my nearly 18 years as a Personal Injury & Disability Lawyer.
Anyone who is apprehensive about moving towards Digital Courts need not be. In the past few weeks, I have completed discoveries, mediations, pre-trials, new client meetings & many preparation meetings using video-conferencing. I have used artificial intelligence to complete legal research, Docu-Sign for countless document signatures & E-document systems for productions, pleadings & everything in between.
There are rumblings about the expansion of digital Court proceedings, to include more and more contested matters, and possibly even trials. We are fully supportive of this move, not only to remedy the increasing delay in Courts because of COVID19, but also because it is entirely doable and can improve our court system, both in terms of its functioning and cost effectiveness.
In the words of Justice Myers, in his recent decision in Arconti v. Smith ordering virtual discoveries to take place:
“In my view, the simplest answer to this issue is, ‘It’s 2020’..We no longer record evidence using quill and ink. In fact, we apparently do not even teach children to use cursive writing in all schools anymore. We now have the technological ability to communicate remotely effectively. Using it is more efficient and far less costly than personal attendance. We should not be going back.”
For anyone who has ever sat in a large court with a throng of lawyers (who are all billing their time) waiting in assignment court, motions court, or have had lengthy breaks in trial because a Judge had to travel to another jurisdiction for a hearing, the future is, not only, now....the future is better.