The Courts are Responding to COVID-19

In early 2020, the emerging COVID-19 pandemic resulted in instant changes and restrictions to nearly every facet of our everyday lives, including the operation of the courts in Ontario and elsewhere. As many active court cases including personal injury litigation were put on pause or delayed, it became apparent that the courts would have to modernize in order to facilitate a safe, socially distant resumption of operations.

A number of new virtual measures were introduced in 2020 in response to the pandemic which, as of January 1, 2021, have been enacted as permanent changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure, which govern the operations of the Court system in Ontario, which serve not only to allow safe re-opening of the courts during the pandemic but also to help bring our judicial system into the 21st century.

The new Rules have introduced more options for service of documents, including via email, and further allow orders, judgments and transcripts to be provided via electronic format. Authentication and commission of documents can now be performed virtually without the need of a signor and commissioner to be physically present together.

Attendances which formerly required all participants to appear in-person, including motions, mediations, discoveries can now be conducted via videoconference. Procedures which would have previously required physical attendance at courthouses can now be conducted virtually in front of a judge with virtual sharing of documents using electronic software.

The early success and positive reception to these changes will likely result in further steps being taken to modernize the rules by the end of 2021 or into 2022. At Virk Personal Injury Law, we have taken advantage of these new technologies to expand the ways in which we serve our clients. We are now able to conduct many aspects of your case virtually via videoconference, including an initial meeting to discuss your options following an accident or injury.

Our office is aware of the ever-changing operation of the courts in Ontario and has the technological capability to advance your case in whichever way works best for you.