August 7, 2020 – 8:43 AM – Ontario Court of Justice – new notices and practice direction

Please be advised that the Ontario Court of Justice issued new criminal Notices and a Practice Direction last night, including:

Trials and Preliminary Hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice resume August 17, 2020 at College Park, Kenora, Timmins and Peterborough. They will resume August 24, 2020 in Burlington.   For more information see Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Resumption of Criminal Trials and Preliminary Hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice at College Park, Kenora, Timmins, Peterborough and Burlington

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to limit the number of people who are required to attend court, the Court has issued a Practice Direction Authorizing Alternate Form of Appearance where an Enhanced Designation of Counsel has been Filed.  Accused persons who are represented by counsel and who have filed an Enhanced Designation of Counsel may have their matters adjourned, without the accused personally appearing, in accordance with the procedure set out in the Practice Direction.

A Notice providing details about the Virtual Criminal Case Management Courts Pilot launching in Kitchener and Ottawa, including information about how counsel and accused persons may connect to the court by videoconference or audioconference,  is now available:  see Notice to the Profession and the Public: Virtual Criminal Case Management Appearances in Kitchener and Ottawa Beginning August 10, 2020

Please find the new notices at: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/covid-19/

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

August 5, 2020 – 7:42 PM – Expansion of Services – Justice Services Online Platform & the new e-Filing Platform Notice and webinar invitation

Today, the Justice Services Online platform (ontario.ca/familyclaims and ontario.ca/page/file-civil-claim-online) has expanded to enable the online submission of close to 400 more types of civil and family court documents.

I have attached English and French copies of a letter to the legal community, along with a poster. 

Also, as you know, MAG has procured Thomson Reuters CaseLines for the SCJ and a two-week test phase will begin on August 10, 2020 for selected civil motions and pre-trial conferences in Toronto. The pilot will then expand incrementally to other practice areas and court locations. It is anticipated that CaseLines will be implemented province-wide in all SCJ court locations and practice areas by December 31, 2020.

More information about the above webinar and e-Filing in Civil and Family Matters, please see today’s Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters – Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing (Caselines Pilot) (August 5, 2020).  The Notice is available here.

Please share with your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

August 5, 2020 – 2:08 PM -Notice to legal profession regarding amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure (O. Reg 441/20, in force on August 5, 2020)

NOTICE TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION

On August 5, 2020 the Ministry of the Attorney General filed a regulation to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure, O. Reg 441/20.

The amendments introduce a new court rule, rule 4.05.2, to authorize the use of the Civil Submissions Online system. This new online system, released this morning, allows the electronic submission of over 250 types of documents for filing and issuance in Superior Court of Justice civil actions and applications.

A summary of the amendments is available on the Ontario Regulatory Registry.

Further inquiry can be directed to the following addresses, with O. Reg 441/20. in the subject line: attorneygeneral@ontario.ca

Court Services Division

Ministry of the Attorney General

August 5, 2020 – 12:42 PM -FOLA’s Weekly Update

Pease find attached, a copy of FOLA’s weekly Update.   It is also linked on our website here.

Also, On August 1st, 2020, a new regulation was made under the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act to set out the framework for commissioners who wish to exercise their powers without being in the physical presence of the deponent or declarant. That regulation is available here.  I have also attached a letter from the Attorney General thanking everyone who participated in his ministry’s stakeholder consultation sessions on remote commissioning in June and submitted written feedback through the Regulatory Registry.

Please share this with your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

July 29, 2020 – 1:52 PM – Correspondence from Chief Justice Morawetz Re CaseLines

Please see attached correspondence from Chief Justice Morawetz.

July 29, 2020 – 1:14 PM – FOLA’s Weekly Update

Please find attached, a copy of FOLA’s weekly Sector Call Report.  It is also available online here.  Please circulate with your members.

And a couple of important reminders:

Please note that the Court of Appeal currently has a Call for Submissions on the Report of the Discount rate Sub-committee of the Civil Rules Committee.  The deadline is July 31th and submissions should be no more than 5 pages.  FOLA’s submission, which you can read here, has been sent in and if you are interested in preparing one of your own, it should be sent to Falguni Debnath, Senior Legal Officer c/o Victoria Anderson at Victoria.Anderson@ontario.ca.

Also, in an effort to update the Libel and Slander Act, MAG is currently seeking comments on the Law Commission of Ontario’s report entitled “Defamation Law in the Internet Age”.  FOLA has presented MAG with our submission (which you can read here) but if you are planning on submitting your own, you should direct it to Amanda Iarusso, Director of Policy and Legal Affairs, AMG, at amanda.iarusso@ontario.ca by August 1st 2020.

Both reports are mentioned and hyperlinked in the attached Report.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

July 27, 2020 – 4:51 PM – Billing on line now available for COVID JPTs and Myers Reviews – Legal Aid Ontario

As part of LAO’s emergency response to the COVID pandemic, lawyers will now be able to bill (as of July 26, 2020) Legal Aid Online for:

1.           COVID JPT

•            Matters must be set down for either a preliminary inquiry or trial, and the JPT must occur  between March 16 and October 31, 2020.

•            Coverage is limited to one special COVID JPT per proceeding, however, counsel may still request second JPT coverage for matters set down for a preliminary inquiry or trial in the Ontario Court of Justice. This is in addition to JPT and Superior Court of Justice pre-trial coverage available on all criminal certificates.

•            For the first JPT request, if eligible, coverage will be automatically added to the certificate within 24 hours of the request. Subsequent requests for JPT coverage will be routed to respective District worklists.

2.           Myers (s.525) reviews

•            Matters are not subject to merit testing.

•            For the first request, coverage will be automatically added to the certificate within 24 hours of the request. Subsequent requests will be routed to respective District worklists. 

Further information may be obtained at:

In briefs for lawyers

COVID-19: Ongoing supports for lawyers

Please circulate to your members

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

July 22, 2020 – 11:32 AM -FOLA’s Weekly Update – Includes 2 new Court postings

Please fine attached, this week’s copy of our weekly report.  There is no updated Issue Response Report and MAG is still working away on some of our questions. 

I will note that, included in the report, are two Court Postings from this week:

The OCJ published a guide for family Self Represented Litigants during COVID-19.  You can find that here.  And the SCJ issued a Notice from Chief Justice Morawetz regarding justice participants unable to attend SCJ proceedings in person.  You can read that here

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

July 16, 2020 – 2:46 PM – FOLA Real Estate Update re: Virtual Commissioning Consultation, Planning Act and Tarion

In an effort to keep real estate lawyers updated with the ever-changing situation, we have further information to be shared with the real estate lawyers in your association.

 

Consultation re: Virtual Commissioning Regulations

Have your say! The Ministry of the Attorney General is accepting comments on its proposal to establish a regulatory framework that enables virtual acts of commissioning. The proposal was posted on July 14, 2020 and comments are due by July 22, 2020. Further details are available here.

The consultation window is very short, so we encourage anyone who is interested in providing comments to do so before the deadline.

Planning Act Amendments

We regularly receive inquiries about the status of the Planning Act amendments brought forward by Doug Downey in a private members’ bill last year. The bill effectively died following second reading when Mr. Downey was appointed to cabinet as Attorney General.  As we have previously reported, the draft amendments are now with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and we have been encouraging the government to reintroduce them in a new bill.

Earlier this week we participated in a Justice Sector Call with the Attorney General and had an opportunity to ask him about the status of these amendments. He is still very keen to see these amendments enacted, and suggested that letters of encouragement from lawyers to their local MPPs may be helpful.  Contact information for all MPPs is available here.

Tarion Consultation

Tarion is seeking input on 10 consumer protection initiatives, including the implementation of eight of the Auditor General’s recommendations.  Further details are available here

Tarion has offered to set up an online meeting with the FOLA Real Estate representatives if there is interest. Alternatively, written submissions can be made through the Ontario Regulatory Registry here or by emailing submissions@tarion.com before August 24, 2020.

Please let us know if your association is interested in participating in an online consultation with Tarion regarding and if there is sufficient interest, we will make arrangements.

Tarion Advisory

Tarion issued a bulletin on July 6, 2020 regarding the reinstatement of timelines and resumption of in-person inspections. The bulletin is available here.

If and when we receive further information of interest to the real estate bar, we will pass it along. 

Stay up to date with FOLA’s real estate information at https://fola.ca/real-estate-law.

Merredith MacLennan and Eldon Horner

FOLA Real Estate Co-Chairs

Please note: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

July 15, 2020 – 12:34 PM – FOLA Weekly Update & latest issue of our member question responses

Please find attached, this week’s COVID update from FOLA and a copy of our most member question recent responses.  Unfortunately, we had expected a few MAG responses this week, but will put some pressure on them to address them by next week’s update.

You can also find the FOLA update here.

Please forward to your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.