Are you reading this on your phone? While reading this did you get a phone call from someone asking if you can meet next week? Did you check your calendar on your phone, say yes and then book that into your phone?
Maybe you read this at the office. While in the office you received an email meeting request with two other people. You checked your schedule, proposed some dates, everyone agreed, and it was put in a calendar with an email meeting request sent to everyone.
That doesn’t happen in Ontario Courts. Each Court House in Ontario has its’ own method of booking. None of them involve sending email meeting requests, some require in person attendances by lawyers. Most of them involve forms that have to be faxed into the Court Office, only to be frequently lost on the receiving end.
In the legal community these complaints are raised so frequently it’s boring.
The media and our own Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is focused on cuts to legal aid as a factor in the lack of access to justice for Canadians. In the civil system, the archaic scheduling system increases the costs and time exponentially. Perhaps a bit of media time or CBA ad campaigns could advocate for bringing our Civil Court system into the modern age technology wise. This would save money and time and increase the access to justice.
Until this changes, smart Ontario lawyers keep their hammers and chisels handy, just in case one of the Court Offices decide that is the best way to communicate.
Inga B. Andriessen, JD