Jan. 7, 2021 – 4:41 PM – SCJ: Update to Supplementary Notice to the Profession re CaseLines

Chief Justice Morawetz’s Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing (Caselines Pilot) was updated today with current information about payment of filing fees for documents filed by email. It now provides, in section 2 (Electronic Court Filings – Justice Services Online):

Where counsel and parties deliver materials by email, subject to direction from the Court, they undertake to file the same materials in paper format, and pay the requisite filing fee, at the court when regular court operations resume. This includes preparation of the court’s Continuing Record for family cases.

Jan 8, 2020 – 8:29 AM -Updated Zoom Connections and Conference Call Lines

The following changes were made to the Zoom document attached.  These changes are effective January 11th, 2021.

  • Video Remand will take place virtually in Courtroom #3 starting at 10:45 am
  • SBA – Bail Assist will take place virtually in Courtroom #7

Jan 6, 2021 – 1:47 PM- FOLA’s First Weekly Update of 2021!

Good afternoon and Happy 2021

Attached is this week’s Sector Call Update.  It is also available here.  Please circulate amongst your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

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

Jan. 6, 2021 – 10:55 AM – Justice of the Peace OCJ Court Assignments

Please find the following recent updates as outlined below. Please find attached the updated Quick Bites document provided by Lynn Lubieniecki, OCJ Modernization Regional Coordinator, Central West Region 

Justice of the Peace Phillips, LAJP, advises that the following changes will take place Monday January 11th.

SB2 – will be the Main Court as follows:           9:30 am Overnight Arrests to be followed by Bail matters,  Speak to matters where a Bail Hearing Date has not been set, i.e. Consent releases where a surety has not been presented to the court, matters awaiting the Bail Program approval. All contested hearings are to be scheduled into the SBA Court as per the approved schedule.  Other matters will proceed if ready and time permits.

SB3 – Case Management Court:                  9:00 am to 10:30 am , Counsel and Agent Matters.

                                                                          10:30 am to 10:45 am morning break.

                                                                          10:45 am to Noon, Video Remands from the Detention Centres via Zoom. Video lists are to be strategically limited to 30 with a plus or minus of 5 .

                                                                         1:30 pm Duty Counsel and Self Reps matters.  If time permits will assist with Bail Matters.

SBA – Bail Assist:                                           9:00 am Contested Bail Hearings scheduled to maximum of 6 a day. (Six 45 minutes time slots will be scheduled each Day).

                                                                     Court Support will be prepared to start scheduling matters into this court starting Wednesday January 6th.

The SBA will be scheduled when there is a court room available.  Court Rooms outside of Niagara may be used when there in no Court Room  available in Niagara.  The Zoom Call information will be identified as SBA and all remands are to indicate

this code as well. We are attempting to have this Court Room scheduled every day.

These changes are being made to make the best effective and efficient use of the Court Rooms that are available for use and will monitored as we go forward.

Jan 4, 2021 – 1:27 PM – FOLA Real Estate Update

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.

Wire Transfers – Fee Payments

We approached the Law Society with respect to the continuing issue that lawyers were facing with respect to the payment of wire transfer fees and we are very pleased to confirm that the Law Society has posted information for lawyers about wire transfers in its Covid-19 FAQs. The Law Society has echoed FOLA’s position that absent an agreement to the contrary, each lawyer is responsible for the wire transfer fees deducted by their own financial institution.

The Law Society FAQs are available at the following links:

  1. https://lso.ca/covid-19-response/faqs/trust-accounting-bookkeeping#during-covid-19-and-particularly-in-the-context-of-real-estate-transactions-wire-transfers-have-be-5
  1. https://lso.ca/covid-19-response/faqs/trust-accounting-bookkeeping#when-a-payment-is-made-by-wire-transfer-who-is-responsible-for-the-wire-transfer-fees-associated-wi-5

Real Estate Liaison Group

We will be meeting with the Law Society Real Estate Liaison Group later this month to discuss various issues, including updates to the standard DRA and multi-party DRA and the definition of “lending client” in Rule 3.4-13 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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.

Dec. 23, 2020 – 3:17 PM – LCLA Library Staff

Due to Covid-19, the Law Library will be unstaffed until further notice.  Staff will be working offsite, and may be reached via email at library@thelcla.ca.  Library staff will have access to Quicklaw, Practice Advisor, Wrongful Dismissal Database and Lawyers’ Daily, and will be able to assist with research. We will post any updates on the LCLA website.

Dec. 23, 2020 – 9:43 AM – SCJ – Central South Region Notice re Electronic Filing of Documents

A Revised Notice to the Profession: Central South Region regarding e-Filing of Court Documents is now available on the SCJ Website here.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

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

Dec. 23, 2020 – 9:37AM – Memorandum from Chief Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz – Document Naming Protocol

Effective January 11, 2021, a single, provincewide document naming protocol for all practice areas will be implemented in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, including the Small Claims Court.  Please see attached document for more details and share with your members. 

Katie

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

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

Dec. 22, 2020 – 3:26 PM – SCJ Notice to Profession and Public – Update December 22, 2020

Please see attached Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings.

Katie

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

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

Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings

December 22, 2020 NEW UPDATE

While the Ontario Superior Court of Justice remains open during the provincial lockdown, the court must respond to the current public health situation with great flexibility.

Effective December 29, 2020, all (non-jury) matters should proceed virtually unless it is absolutely necessary to hold the proceedings in-person. This applies to proceedings throughout the province and will remain in effect until the lockdowns in Northern and Southern Ontario are lifted or until further notice of this Court.

Counsel and parties should only request in-person hearings where absolutely necessary and I have requested all judicial officers, when exercising their authority, to only hold in-person hearings where absolutely necessary.

All SCJ courtrooms will be subject to a 10 person capacity limit.  No new jury selection will commence during this period. Proceedings that are in progress may continue subject to the discretion of the trial judge.

Further notices affecting specific regions will be issued when lockdowns are lifted in those regions.

December 14, 2020 – update

Chief Justice Morawetz  has extended the suspension of jury trials until at least January 29, 2021 in all areas of the province except Green Zones. Jury trials will recommence on  Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 at the earliest. 


November 21, 2020 Notice

On November 21, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice suspended new jury selection for new jury trials in all areas of the province except Green Zones until at least January 4, 2021.

By this update, the profession and public is notified that   

In view of the public health situation, effective Monday, November 23, 2020, the Court will not commence any new jury selection in any court location except in those in a Green Zone as defined by the Ontario Government as of the date of this notice https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open.

This will remain in effect until at least January 4, 2021. An update will be issued on December 29, 2020.

To be clear, only court locations in Green Zones as of the date of this Notice will commence new jury selection until at least January 4, 2021.

Jury trials currently in progress can proceed, subject to the discretion of the trial judge.

Toronto and Peel

In the lockdown regions of Toronto and Peel, until further notice new (non-jury) matters that do proceed in-person will be required to maintain a 10-person limit in each courtroom.

Matters that are in progress involving greater than 10 persons in a courtroom, may continue at the discretion of the trial judge.  

Virtual Proceeding Strongly Encouraged In All regions

In all regions, I strongly encourage the use of virtual proceedings wherever possible. I recognize that parties, counsel and participants may not be comfortable attending a courthouse or travelling to attend court.  The Court must respond to this situation with great flexibility.

I have requested all judicial officers, when exercising their authority, to be as flexible as possible and to encourage virtual proceedings, wherever possible. Similarly, I request counsel and parties to be accommodating when requests for virtual hearings or other arrangements are made by opposing counsel or parties.

We must continue to do what we can to move matters forward while supporting public health efforts to stabilize the situation.   

Geoffrey B. Morawetz

Chief Justice

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Dec. 22, 2020 – 10:48 AM – OCJ Message re: COVID-19

Further to yesterday’s lockdown announcement, below (and hyperlinked through the title) is a message from the OCJ:

Message re COVID-19

The Ontario Court of Justice is committed to providing meaningful access to justice despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.

With the government’s December 21, 2020 COVID-19 announcement, the Court recognizes that some counsel, parties, and justice participants may be unable to attend a courthouse in person. The Court has encouraged all judicial officials, when exercising their authority, to be flexible and to respect why an individual may not be able to attend a court hearing in person, including underlying health conditions, living or caring for someone with underlying health conditions, or other issues arising from the pandemic.

Judicial officials, parties and counsel are encouraged to actively explore whether all, or any portion, of trials or other hearings that would otherwise be in person can be conducted using remote technology. Similarly, the Court encourages counsel and parties to be accommodating when requests for virtual hearings or other arrangements are made by opposing counsel or parties.

The health and safety of all court users remains a top priority for the Court. For those who appear in person, the Ministry of the Attorney General has implemented a broad range of health and safety measures at all courthouses open to the public. The measures are based on the expert advice of Public Health Ontario. It remains of critical importance that all who attend a courthouse in person be vigilant in maintaining the public health and safety protections in place at the court facility.  For information about the health and safety measures implemented at Ontario’s courthouses, please see the Ministry of the Attorney General website.

For information about Ontario Court of Justice notices, directives and policies in response to COVID-19, see COVID-19 Notices and Information

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

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