Category Archives: Judges on E-trials

Watching Canada’s Justice System Pivot

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, I am tracking the places where I see the Canadian Justice system pivot. In the past week:  Zoom used for urgent application at B.C. Supreme Court – Last Friday, Chilwin Cheng reported that he successfully held a Zoom meeting for an urgent injunction hearing at the B.C. Supreme Court. Five […]

BC’s E-Trial Practise Direction Still Powerful

In December 2019, the British Columbia Supreme Court granted an application that BC’s E-Trial Practise Direction apply to a complex, multi-party commercial case, even in the face of opposition from the plaintiffs, a defendant and third party. Long Lake Hydro Limited v. Western Versatile Construction Corp began in 2015. It considers the design and construction […]

A Short E-Trial is a Worthwhile E-Trial

The short e-trial of Westmount-Keele Limited v. Royal Host Hotels and Resorts, 2018 ONSC 5170 is an example of the benefits of doing shorter trials electronically. Westmount-Keele Limited was a commercial dispute where, in place of a mortgage, Westmount paid $2,200,000 into court to the credit of the court action and the issue before Justice […]

Evidence on E-Trials: Are they worth it?

Evidence on E-trials is still limited, but here are some numbers that support that E-Trials save time and money. E-Trials Save Time – The evidence suggests that E-Trials drop court days by about 20%. In Southwind v. Canada, counsel estimated 100 court days for the trial, but the E-Trial used only 72 days. In 2013, […]

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 […]

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 […]