Tag: Chief Justice of Ontario

19 Mar

Court Closures Amid COVID-19: A Silver Lining?

Arielle Di Iulio General Interest, In the News, Litigation Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

Ontario has officially declared a state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to quell the spread of the coronavirus are now stronger than ever. Indeed, the Federal Government is urging everyone to engage in social distancing, and the courts are no exception.

On March 15, 2020, the Superior Court of Justice published a Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media Regarding Civil and Family Proceedings (the “Notice”), wherein it announced the suspension of Superior Court of Justice regular operations.

Specifically, the Notice states that all criminal, family and civil matters scheduled to be heard on or after March 17, 2020 are adjourned except for urgent and emergency matters. Matters considered to be “urgent” are set out in the Notice and include motions and applications related to public health and safety and COVID-19; the safety of a child or parent; and time-sensitive civil motions with significant financial repercussions if not heard, among others.

To bring an urgent matter, the motion and application materials can be filed with the court by email. Notably, where it is not possible to email a sworn affidavit, an unsworn affidavit can be delivered as long as the affiant participates in any telephone or videoconference hearing to swear or affirm the affidavit. Urgent matters may be heard and determined in writing, by teleconference or videoconference, unless the court determines that an in-person hearing is necessary and safe.

Although people are being advised to avoid unnecessary attendances at Court, they nevertheless remain open and parties can continue to process “regular filings”.  However, the flexible procedures that have been put in place for urgent matters do not extend to regular filings, which remain subject to the Rules of Civil Procedure.

The court’s response to COVID-19 is a prime example of how the legal system as a whole is being forced to lean on technology in these unusual and uncertain times. While many legal professionals have already adopted digital practices, the courts continue to be behind the times. The Auditor General’s latest audit of Ontario’s court system found that “the Ministry’s pace in modernizing the court system remained slow, and the system is still heavily paper-based, making it inefficient and therefore keeping it from realizing potential cost savings”.  Perhaps this period will give the much-needed impetus for courts to modernize their operations by using electronic service, filing, hearings, and document management more routinely. This would likely be a welcome change for all.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Arielle Di Iulio

01 Mar

The Secret to Success

Hull & Hull LLP General Interest Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Law, like any coin, or the law of nature itself, has two sides that are equal and opposing forces: The drive to be to be a noble profession and a successful business. Another simple truth is that opposites attract and, when co-existing in proper harmony, form an unstoppable and impenetrable force. 

Yesterday, I mentioned the five laws of stratospheric success. These laws are the theory of Bob Burg and John David Mann expressed in their best-selling book, The Go-Giver.  This little red book is a parable; a quick and enjoyable read. It won’t take much of your time to read it, but you just might spend the rest of your life applying it. 

The five laws are:

  1. The law of value – your worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment
  2. The law of compensation – your income is determined by how many you serve and how well you serve them
  3. The law of influence – your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other’s interests first
  4. The law of authenticity – the most valuable thing you have to offer is yourself
  5. The law of receptivity – the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving

Creating opportunities in one’s career is a concept that has been scientifically studied and reported in educational journals. Scholarly publications on serendipity, synchronicity, and happenstance, all attest to the theory that one’s career development is not linear, progressive, and rational. Career destiny cannot be predicted in advance. Rather, it is a function of the beneficial, unplanned and unanticipated events, opportunities and learning experiences that are generated by one’s actions. 

How then, as lawyers, do we reconcile our need for certainty and control with the thought that our careers are at the mercy of the fickle finger of fate? In considering this theory, it is important to note that we always have control over our actions and choices, which in turn determine our professional experiences and opportunities. This is not just dumb luck.

I have had the privilege of speaking with many successful lawyers over the years and what they all have in common is that they have all instinctively applied the five laws and have invariably experienced the power of happenstance in their careers. 

Once such successful person is Chief Justice Warren Winkler of the Ontario Court of Appeal, with whom I have recently had the pleasure of speaking about how one becomes successful in the legal profession. If you are interested in hearing his thoughts on this topic first hand, you can do so on March 30, 2011 at a special event being held by WLAO. 

Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.


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