Canadian Lawyer

February 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 24 of 35 23 of observations about what works and what doesn't in virtual simulations and how courts have led the way in reforming old practices. "In my view, the simplest answer to this issue [of moving proceedings forward during the pandemic] is 'It's 2020,'" Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge Fred Myers wrote in Arconti v. Smith, 2020 ONSC 2782 in May. "We no longer record evidence using quill and ink," Myers wrote in allowing a matter to proceed virtually. "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." Litigators and arbitrators are finding that, despite the challenges, lawyers and courts alike have been quick to adapt to the new reality necessitated by the pandemic and the new technologies it has required. "Overall, I think the legal profession and the courts have responded exceptionally well to the transitions," says Jacob Damstra, a liti- gator at Lerners LLP in London, Ont. "My colleagues at the bar have welcomed virtual advocacy as a way to represent and advance clients' interests, while the courts have proceeded without batting an eye, it seems." A particular benefit of virtual hearings, Damstra says, is that, on a number of occa- sions, he has been able to invite multiple students to call into a videoconference and observe an entire hearing that might be in a city hours away. "It allows for the student experience to be enhanced by having much "When your client is desperate to get a matter before the court, [its] rapid adjustment to proceeding for civil matters through WebEx is a very positive development." Geoffrey Holub, Stikeman Elliott LLP Fundamentals of Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law Starts March 2, 2021 These are complex issues. Do you have what you need? Learn more and register at: THE OSGOODE CERTIFICATE IN Delve into key issues, including: • An overview of the case law and key legal concepts from the last 40 years • The Indian Act: key issues for practitioners and policy makers • Historic Treaties: understanding the context, perspectives and contemporary realities • The Duty to Consult and Accommodate – its origins, recent case law developments, challenges and solutions

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