Vancouver Gets An E-trial

Vancouver E-Trial

The Hutchison case has been running in Victoria as an E-trial, but it becomes a Vancouver E-trial starting July 2, 2019. The Victoria court heard the evidence portion of the E-trial from April 15 – May 28, 2019. Now, Justice Dev Dley has agreed to hear closing arguments in Vancouver using the E-trial platform.

The case is an e-trial because of the hard work of one of the parties’ lawyers: Bill MacLeod, Q.C. He ensured that Justice Dev Dley ordered the case run as an e-trial using the UK program, Caselines, and that the parties to Hutchison v. Moore (BCSC Victoria Actions S-123664 and 151985) became the first in Canada to use this E-trial platform.

The E-trial has been a success. Early feedback includes an appreciative comment from one lawyer who said, “This is me going home for the weekend,” indicating that he was leaving the courthouse with only a single briefcase containing his laptop.

Why it matters: The BC Government and the BC Judiciary are actively looking into Caselines. Justice Masuhara met with counsel part way through the trial to hear their early feedback. The closing arguments in Vancouver will mark Caseline’s debut in the Vancouver Courthouse. It also means the Vancouver legal community can see this E-trial platform in action.

The Vancouver courthouse indicates that the Hutchison E-trial will move into an E-trial ready courtroom in Vancouver (Editors’ note, June 28: The Hutchison E-Trial it set to run in Vancouver Courtroom 67). Caselines is a cloud-based program, and if the program were to run as it does in courts in England and Wales, the parties should be able to arrive in court with their laptops, access their case in the cloud, and begin closing submissions.