Canadian Lawyer

March 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Is credibility better determined in person? Does a jury deliberating together in a room result in better access to justice? www.canadianlawyermag.com 1 EDITOR'S DESK UPFRONT www.canadianlawyermag.com EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Senior Editor Elizabeth Raymer Editor Zena Olijnyk Canada News Editor Aidan Macnab Production Editor Patricia Cancilla Writer Bernise Carolino CONTRIBUTORS Julie Macfarlane, Neill May ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Customer Success Manager Amie Suttie Production Co-ordinators Kat Guzman, Ella Dayandante Global Production Manager Alicia Chin (on leave) SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media and Client Strategy Dane Taylor Sr. Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES tim.wilbur@keymedia.com NAUK SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 donnabel.reyes@keymedia.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES legaladvertise@keymedia.com W hile the pandemic has been with us for more than a year, many of the long-term impacts are just coming into focus now. The first phase of the pandemic, which involved a panicked retreat from offices, courtrooms and other public spaces, is well behind us. Even the second phase, with Zoom calls, virtual hearings and paperless proceedings the new norm, seems well entrenched in the lives of most lawyers these days. The third phase, which we are arguably now witnessing, is when the longer-term impacts come into focus. For consumer-facing areas of the law, such as personal injury, a shift in how trials are done has followed this trajectory. At first, trials stopped and delays mounted. Eventually, virtual proceedings and physical distancing protocols allowed some proceedings to get back on track. But now, as the logistical difficulties of hearing witness testimonies and running jury trials causes further delays, the fundamental value of in-person proceedings is being questioned. Is credibility better determined in person? Does a jury deliberating together in a room result in better access to justice? These questions, seemingly sacrosanct a year ago, are now being asked across the country with a new urgency. In a recent decision, Justice David Brown wrote that he has "no hesitation" in concluding it is in justice's interests to grant a stay of the Divisional Court order that reinstated the jury notices (p. 8). No doubt more judges across Canada will come to the same conclusion, prioritizing expediency over sticking to a traditional approach. For business clients, the cultural shifts are different but no less profound. While companies were hit hard by the pandemic like everyone else, they were quick to move to the second phase of virtual proceedings and paperless filing when the cost savings were apparent. In the third phase, as arbitrator Louise Barrington says (p. 28), businesses are realizing the "enormous financial savings" in holding hearings virtually. Without travel costs, "you can participate without spending a penny. That will have very far-reaching repercussions," says Barrington. While many the long-term impacts of the pandemic are still very much unknown, one thing is certain. There is no going back. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief No going back to how things were ISSUE 45.02 | MARCH 2021 Canadian Lawyer is published 10 times a year by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under licence by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. CANADIAN LAWYER is a trademark of Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2021 GST/HST Registration #799898465RC-0001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 RETOURNER TOUTE CORRESPONDANCE NE POUVANT ÉTRE LIVREÉ AU CANADA AU SERVICE DES PUBLICATIONS 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, M5H 3G8 Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd 20 Duncan St., 3rd Floor Toronto, Ontario M5H 3G8 tel: +1 416 644 8740 www.keymedia.com

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