Canadian Lawyer

March 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 32 of 43 31 important, and tribunal members will see the benefit." Best practices for virtual hearings Zoom seems to be one of the best videocon- ferencing programs and the most seamless compared to WebEx, says Sophie Mansfield, an associate in Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP in Calgary. Mansfield also recommends that a client's legal team have a virtual chat, not necessarily within the same videoconfer- encing platform but on something like Skype chat, Microsoft Teams or even WhatsApp prior to the arbitral hearing. "The ability to write notes or whisper to counsel isn't really there anymore" in a virtual hearing, she says, but the pre-conference virtual chat can serve that purpose. Ensure that witnesses have the appro- priate technology, particularly an adequate internet connection, and access to at least two screens, she says, "so that there's the ability to have the arbitrator or the individual questioning the witness on just one screen, and then a second screen simply for looking at documents that will likely be brought up." Especially with witnesses appearing from different locations, run a test beforehand to make sure they can access the technology so that the hearing is not slowed down when they begin. As well, a number of arbitration busi- nesses, such as Arbitration Place, will run the arbitration using their own technology and programming. Finally, says Mansfield, "It's always helpful for counsel to be speaking slowly and making sure no one's speaking over each other, espe- cially when it's virtual, given that there's a time lag or it's difficult for the court reporter to see everyone, to know who's about to start speaking." Osgoode's Part-Time Professional LLM Choose from 6 specializations starting in Fall 2021: · Administrative Law · Business Law · Constitutional Law · Dispute Resolution · Energy and Infrastructure Law · Tax Law Available via distance learning Attend classes via interactive live, online learning and complete your degree from your home or office. Attend an info session or Q&A to learn more. Register for upcoming dates at: Apply now for Fall 2021 Wambui Kabage, LLB, LLM, LLM (Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution), Executive Director - Legal, Pacific Insurance Brokers (EA) Limited TIPS FOR A VIRTUAL HEARING COVID-era hearings should: » be set up in a large room with each party on a side of the room and the arbitrator, witness and court reporter at the front; » provide breakout rooms for each party that are large enough to accommodate social distancing within the room. Source: Sophie Mansfield, ADR Perspectives, December 2020 issue

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