Author Archives: Kate Gower

Victoria Courthouse Runs Second E-Trial

The Victoria courthouse will hear its second E-Trial beginning April 15. Justice Dev Dley ordered the case run as an e-trial using the UK program, Caselines. The parties to Hutchison v. Moore; BCSC Victoria Actions S-123664 and 151985 will be the first in Canada to use this e-trial platform. BC Supreme Court judges have been […]

Victoria’s First Electronic Trial

Victoria’s first full electronic trial (E-Trial) is a good example of how simple technology can improve litigation. In West Moberly First Nations v British Columbia, 2017 BCSC 1700, the parties successfully created and used a simple electronic trial (E-Trial) platform to both present evidence and enter it with the court. Watch this 3-minute video to […]

Federal Court E-Trial Plan – No. 1

At the Federal Court, the E-trial Plan for Southwind v. Canada (2017 FC 906) is filed with the court registry. When I spoke to Justice Zinn, he told me that he made sure that happened because he realized that there were no precedents for e-trials and he wanted a written record to rely on later. […]

Judge orders E-trial for six-week case

In 2014, Justice Brown at the Ontario Court of Justice ordered parties to conduct the action as an e-trial. In his order, he expressed “profound frustration” as a judge who has encouraged the use of technology in court: “How many wake-up calls do the legal profession and the court system need before both look around […]

Yukon Practice Directive on E-trials

The Supreme Court of Yukon is ahead of the curve on e-trials. Courtroom 1 is equipped with monitors at all desks to allow the judge, clerk and counsel to view documents in large or complicated civil cases. During trial, the court clerk calls up documents from a Court Services Computer and all parties can view […]

Judicial Comments on e-trials

When a judge comments on e-trials in a reported decision, it is an instant resource for others who want to litigate digitally. Justice Germain at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta presided over Edmonton’s first E-trial in 2010. He added a 17-paragraph, “Schedule 1 – Judicial Comments About the Electronic (Digital) Trial Format” to […]

Alberta’s Practise Direction on E-trials

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta published Civil Practice Note No. 4 in 2007, and updated it in March 2011. It is almost exactly the same wording and template as the 2008 National Model Practise Direction and the 2006 Practise Direction in the British Columbia Supreme Court on using technology in civil litigation. Alberta’s […]

National “Model PD” on Technology in Civil Litigation

The Canadian Judicial Council posted a National Model Practise Direction for the Use of Technology in Civil Litigation in 2008. It has exactly the same words and template as BC’s Practise Direction (2006) and Alberta’s Practise Direction (first published in 2007, updated in 2011). Indeed, the press release that accompanied the National Model Practise Direction […]

BCSC’s PD on Electronic Evidence and E-Trials

The Supreme Court of British Columbia’s Practise Direction regarding electronic evidence and e-trials is dated July 2006. It was part of an early Electronic Evidence Project by the Supreme Court. It is the oldest practise direction I found in circulation. Other Practise Directions – such as the Canadian Judicial Council’s National Model Practise Direction for […]

What is an Electronic Trial (E-trial)?

An E-Trial is a trial that uses electronic technology, hardware (computers and monitors) and software (the programs that run on them and agreed-to protocols and processes), in place of some – or all – of the traditional paper processes. An e-trial may involve one or more of the following elements: 1. hardware to display evidence, […]