Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 52 of 59 51 Woodin's firm is continuing its Friday after- noon social hour remotely and continues to have regular group meetings via Zoom. "We're trying to make sure our practice groups and firm groups are meeting and have an opportunity to see each other [in home environments] regularly. We have the chance to see people's faces and make sure they're OK." Working hours have become more diversi- fied as people work disparate hours — early in the morning, late at night — often to accom- modate children's schedules. (Woodin herself has three children.) "The effect of that is the constant pitter-patter of people working." But, like Sampson, Woodin sees a silver lining in the transition to working remotely and the increased use of technology. "There's certainly been lots of discus- sion about whether motions by telephone or e-hearings have caused a deterioration of traditional advocacy," she says, "but I'm not sure that is such a big loss. I think advo- cacy and litigation have been evolving for a long time [and] advocacy has become more informal," with an increased use of media- tion, arbitration and case conferences. "It's making justice easier to access [and] more accessible in terms of getting issues resolved more informally," she adds. "So I don't see conversion to telephone or e-hear- ings to be a bad thing; they're a good thing." Cross-office collaboration has also been simplified with everyone working remotely. "I think we've made more progress on that in the last four or five months than in the last 10 years," Woodin says. "It's amazing how quickly lawyers and their clients have adapted to working the way we do, and the courts [as well]. There's been an enormous amount of progress in the past six months in the court system, and judges have adapted to it so quickly. The crisis has forced a rapid evolution." "For women and other underrepresented groups, mentorship is particularly important, and that's hard to obtain and provide with everyone working from home." Catherine Beagan Flood, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP LITIGATION MOVES TO TELECONFERENCING » In a May 4 case conference endorsement in Arconti v. Smith, 2020 ONSC 2782, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered the examination of the defendant to proceed by way of videoconference. The court indicated that the continued use of technology in the litigation process may be beneficial. Source: MLT Aikins LLP *OfferexpiresNovember30 th ,2020.Validfornewcustomersonly.Couponcodemustbeprovidedat projectinitiation.Onlyonecouponcodecanbeusedperorganization. OCT2020 Get3monthsFREEhosting*withcouponcode: Self-serviceeDiscoverymodelalsoavailable! Collection,Processing,EarlyCaseAssessment,Culling, DocumentReview,Production FullEnd-to-EndeDiscoveryServices 1151GorhamSt,Unit8,Newmarket,ONL3Y8Y1 | | 289-803-9730 |

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