Category Archives: Judges on E-trials

CaseLines is in BC Courts

CaseLines is in the BC Courts more than you may realize. Nuchatlaht v. BC successfully used CaseLines in the BC Supreme Court from March-May, 2022, with closing arguments heard September-October, 2022. In court, and in all written submissions, documents and authorities were referenced by their “Bates Numbers” – the letter and number which CaseLines affixes […]

Ontario Courts launch CaseLines E-Trial Platform

Ontario Courts will launch CaseLines, a cloud-based document-management system, beginning August 10, 2020. A two-week pilot will be for select civil motions and pre-trial conferences and will run in Toronto at the 330 University Avenue courthouse. The pilot will expand to all Toronto civil, Divisional Court, Commercial and Estate List, and bankruptcy matters on August […]

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 […]