New
CiteRight creates court-ready documents in seconds. Book your demo today.
Back to Blog

This week in court updates (July 6th-10th, 2020)

Hilary Peters

Every day, we push out updates on Twitter, LinkedIn, and our website on how Canadian courts are updating their practice directives in response to Covid-19. Here’s what we learned this past week. 

Courthouses in BC, Alberta, and Ontario got ready to reopen for in-person hearings this week, but a lot’s changed since their doors were shuttered back in March. Here’s what this past week’s court updates told us about the “new normal” in the wake of COVID-19.

The party just got a lot more exclusive

We learned this week that public and media attendance at the BC Supreme Court, the Ontario Court of Justice, and the Newfoundland Supreme Court will be limited for the foreseeable future. If you’re attending a courthouse in Nova Scotia or Alberta, wearing a non-medical mask is now required. Inside, physical distancing measures, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and endless walls of plexiglass are now in place to keep everyone safe. You’ll love the new decor. 

You still have to wear pants — at least in BC

Most court appearances will still happen remotely for now, and there are a few other things you need to know about video conferences. While you aren’t expected to bow or stand while speaking, the BC Supreme Court said this week that they still expect you to be in business attire. As for etiquette, do your best to find a place you won’t be interrupted. We’ve all seen those videos of newscasters trying to wrangle pets and/or children during an at-home broadcast… it’s very distracting.

Fortunately, members of the public who wish to observe court proceedings can still do so in a variety of ways. We learned this week that the BC Supreme Court will be allowing access via teleconference upon request— just as long as you keep your microphone and video turned off. The BC Court of Appeal will be live-streaming some proceedings to the general public and making audio recordings available to the media upon request after the fact.

E-filing is the hottest trend of 2020

Seriously, everyone should be e-filing right now. The BC Provincial Court and the Court Martial Appeal Court both announced this week that you’re encouraged to file remotely whenever possible. The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench even made specific guidance available this week on exactly how to do that. Think about the health and safety of the court staff that is going to have to handle all that paper after you… file digitally!


Take me there!
Share on social media: 

More from the Blog

5 Microsoft Word tricks every legal professional should know

Having trouble formatting documents or meeting tight deadlines? Here are five tips that can help you draft Word documents the way you like them, faster.

Read Story

Building your dream team through employee satisfaction

The culture of a workplace has a big impact on productivity. We focus on getting our team to do work they are proud of.

Read Story

How CiteRight plays a critical role within BLG’s litigation teams

CiteRight is partnering with Borden Ladner Gervais, Canada’s largest full-service law firm, to equip their litigators all across the country with innovative remote workflow solutions.

Read Story

Your journey starts here

Let us personally show you how CiteRight can help.