The Federal Court Electronic Trial plan in the Jim Shot Both Sides v. Canada (2019 FC 789) is filed with the Federal Court registry. The parties requested the Federal Court issue an Electronic Trial Plan Order and Justice Zinn he told me that he generally followed the E-Trial Plan he ordered in Southwind v. Canada, but that the Federal Court itself added some improvements.
While in Southwind, Canada supplied the basic hardware (including monitors, video splitter and cables), in Sides v. Canada the Federal Court registry supplied the basic equipment and was responsible for its set up, take down and maintenance. The parties agreed to use the same 3rd party provider (REDI) as was used in Southwind and to use the same basic trial procedures, but the E-trial Plan in Sides v. Canada is more alive to issues of what documents will be held in the database, and who may add to the database.
Why it Matters: This is only the third Electronic Trial Plan I have found filed at a court registry, so it is another key resource for anyone interested in E-Trials. This Federal Court Electronic Trial shows the Federal Court of Canada embracing E-Trials. In Sides v. Canada, the court brings the e-trial management “in house”, no longer requiring parties to show up with the monitors and cables to run the E-Trial. In fact, by May 2019, the Federal Court plans to have six “E-Trial Ready” courtrooms available for use by the Federal Court: Toronto Courtrooms 4C, 5C, 6C, 7C, the Quebec City Courtroom, and Montreal Courtroom 306.
Justice Zinn also re-confirmed that the biggest advantage of an E-Trial is the time savings. From a litigant’s standpoint, every day in court costs them “x” dollars. That means that every day we can shorten a trial, we save a litigant “x” dollars. The same is true for the court itself. In the Southwind E-Trial, counsel estimated the trial would need 100 trial days, but only used 72.