Despite a traditionally busy fall season, civil litigators from
the Ottawa and Eastern Ontario region gathered again this November
at a County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA) annual litigation
conference to share best practices and listen to the wisdom of
judges and masters in an out-of-court setting. Fasken Martineau
Ottawa's litigation group was invited to speak at the
conference and provided thoughts and recommendations on successful
litigation strategies. Peter N. Mantas, the head of Fasken
Martineau Ottawa's litigation group, spoke on a procedural and
21st century international business and technology
driven development -- the use of video conferencing in examination
In the modern litigation world, the seat of the parties is
rarely local to the seat of the court or counsel, generating a
steady increase in the practice of conducting witness examinations
by way of a virtual videoconference (as opposed to a more
traditional way of viva voce examination confining witness
and counsel to the same location and space). An obvious benefit to
clients from this new procedural phenomenon is dramatic savings in
costs, including travel, accommodation and, indeed, technology,
thanks to the rapid proliferation of Skype and other similar
services over the past few years.
At the same time, the recent rise of videoconference witness
examinations poses a number of challenges: (i) when, if ever, and
in which circumstances viva voce examination is mandatory
and can be ordered by the court if the parties disagree on the
procedure of examination; and (ii) which party bears the costs of a
witness's travel and accommodation, and if virtual examination
is agreed upon or ordered by the court, the costs of setting up the
The law does not answer these questions with certainty. The
paces of technology and law in this area do not match. To date, the
law in Ontario and throughout Canada as to who can be examined by
videoconference, when and at what cost, is scarce, being comprised
of less than two dozen reported decisions, and leaving greater room
Fasken Ottawa litigators have been at the forefront of these
procedural changes, setting reality standards and contributing to
developments in law in this area. This includes a recent
representation of an Ottawa-based international corporate client
litigating against several entities located in Iraq.
This litigation, and the issue of examination by videoconference
in particular, piqued the interest of the public (the case was reported in the news) and indeed,
the profession. While the courts' idea about facts driving each
case is consistent with the axiom of broad judicial discretion to
fashion the most just and expeditious process, and the alternative
of video conferencing is appealing, its implementation remains
challenging in the real world where the disputants are ordered to
work together to find ways to overcome logistical difficulties
(such as language, time zones, the presentation of documents to a
witness), including with the assistance of "imaginative
counsel [capable of] making effective use of technology."
Formed in Ottawa in 1888 by a group of 60 lawyers, the CCLA has
grown into the second largest law association in Ontario, uniting
outstanding members of the bar and featuring one of the strongest
advocacy groups in Ontario.
The CCLA annual civil litigation conference has achieved
acclaims throughout the province and beyond for bringing together
civil and commercial litigators from private, public and in-house
practice, as well as senior members of the provincial and federal
bench. While the beautiful Chateau de Montebello has been home to
the conference for a number of years, this time the conference was
hosted at Mont-Tremblant's Fairmont Royal, to accommodate the
growing professional interest in the conference and its speakers
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).