Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 9 it is very likely to become just the order of the day," says Colin Stevenson, outgoing president of the Ontario Bar Association and a litigation lawyer at Stevenson Whelton LLP. Stevenson says most firms have been focused on setting up their workforce remotely, where hardware and weak internet connections in rural areas have limited the use of any new software. "In parts of the province, like the northeast and northwest, with litigators or sole prac- titioners doing some litigation, [they] will resort to telephone hearings rather than video conferencing because it's much more reliable and accessible." But hardware and infrastructure challenges aside, legal tech companies are seeing a shift in the kinds of conversations they are having with lawyers, which has started to result in sales. "We've seen a huge jump, both in terms of interest as well as . . . shrinking sales cycles," says Sean Bernstein, co-founder of "[CaseLines] is going to just change commercial and civil litigation dramatically by forcing all of the litigators to use that technology." Colin Stevenson, Stevenson Whelton LLP MinuteBox, which helps firms transform physical corporate records and minute book binders into digital documents. Bernstein says he initially pitched this idea to law firms as an opportunity to reduce space and address the "hypothetical" that they may need to access the information away from the office. "And then with COVID, what had happened was that education component that we were expressing to law firms that hypothetically there could be a need for this on a small scale has been really blown up in its entirety." Alan Bass, president of Korbitec Inc., which sells an automated civil litigation document assembly product, has already noticed that mid-sized firms are opening their wallets to new products. Small firms have struggled more to find new files and the very large firms have been consumed with keeping people connected remotely. The mid-size firms, however, have the systems in place to adapt to new projects without having to manage too many employees, says Bass. For Arnold, although there's not much appetite to spend on legal tech now, "a weird spell has been broken," he says. "People are now like, 'Oh, OK, there's technology and technology can help us,' and it's no longer cool to be the person who says, 'I don't have to know that, I've got people to do that.'" CASELINES PILOT PROJECT The Ontario Superior Court of Justice launched a pilot project using CaseLines, a cloud-based document-sharing and storage e-hearing platform, for both in-person and remote court proceedings. At press time, the CaseLines rollout was planned for: September Toronto civil cases October Toronto Divisional Court cases November Toronto commercial and estate list cases

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