Canadian Lawyer

June 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 26 of 35 25 coffee shops, where Wi-Fi is freely available, closed their doors. "Before COVID, [those clients] were at least able to show up in court," Grewal says, adding that a colleague who works on child protection matters had cited this as a partic- ular concern. COVID's digital (and other) revolutions The silver lining to the pandemic and the swing to virtual is that it has made lawyers in the justice system much more efficient, says Alexander. Where it used to take four to five hours to attend in court, including commuting time to and from the courthouse and waiting for the case to be heard, "now, with Zoom divorce," the total time, including preparing and debriefing the client, has been reduced to less than an hour, he says. Goldwater would also like to see a greater implementation, earlier in the process, of alternative modes of dispute resolution and hopes the initiative of Quebec Superior Court Associate Chief Justice Eva Petras will have an enduring effect, too. Last June, Petras issued a communique saying lawyers appearing in family courts should "speak to each other before appearing at Court" and "discuss the appropriate case management measures required in the circumstances" for certain uncontested applications. "It was very pleasant to see lawyers were really listening, and we were really working hard . . . to live up to the mission she was giving us," says Goldwater, "to show the better angels of our nature." FAMILY VIOLENCE DURING COVID-19, 2020 Between mid-March and early July 2020: 54% of victim services that responded to a survey reported an increase in the number of victims of domestic violence they served during this time 29% said the number of domestic violence victims they served stayed the same 17% reported a decrease in the number of domestic violence victims they served Source: Statistics Canada 1.800.653.0925 (x407) Your workplace is any place with DM Cloud A seamless and secure suite of family law tools

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