In Victoria BC, the parties brought the West Moberly E-trial Platform back into the courthouse to argue a single day on costs. Having the documents in the digital environment meant the parties could easily access all the documents used at trial, and I personally experienced how it improved my advocacy for my client.
West Moberly was Victoria’s first E-Trial. It used a simple e-trial platform which allowed the court and the parties to review, annotate and enter evidence in the digital environment, and it was a success. One and a half years after the last day of trial, the parties returned to Courtroom 404 to speak to costs. We brought the e-trial platform back to the courtroom and we loaded all parties’ costs submissions and books of authorities onto the Presentation Laptop.
Why it matters: Using the E-Trial platform to argue costs produced unexpected benefits. During my submissions, Justice Johnston wanted a deeper understanding of a particular set of facts. I remembered that there were documents in the 3376-document common book which would address his requests, but I did not have them immediately to hand.
However, because we were using the e-trial platform to argue costs, I could pause, search my laptop, locate the documents I wanted, and then direct my assistant to bring them up on the E-Trial platform. If we had not been using the E-Trial platform to argue costs, it is unlikely I would have been able to locate and present these documents so easily to the court. The documents directly spoke to Justice Johnston’s question, and he ultimately included them in his decision on costs.
Final point: People often ask me how long a trial has to be before they should consider an e-trial. This was a one-day application, and it was a success. It helped that I had a great team helping me set up, and take down the e-trial equipment. This application shows that, if the parties are willing, even one-day applications benefit from the e-trial environment.