A fully functioning electronic filing system would make dealing with the courts a lot easier, says David Outerbridge in Law Times

Has Ontario Finally Got the Message About Court Technology?

April 02, 2012

Lawyers who have struggled with the court system's outdated technology have found their own ways to get around the problems identified by Superior Court Justice David Brown in his scathing ruling about the search for a missing document this month.

"It is sort of standard practice at our firm to take an extra copy of the materials to court because of the possibility that the judge may have never gotten the materials that get filed because the mislaying of paper files is a relatively frequent occurrence," says David Outerbridge.

David, who's also chairman of the joint e-discovery implementation committee of the Ontario Bar Association and The Advocates' Society, has had his own experiences with the hiccups of the system. He believes creating a fully functioning electronic filing system of the sort called for by Brown will make dealing with the courts "a heck of a lot easier."

Another area of technological advancement that Ontario falls short is in electronic trials, according to David. When he tried to run one, he had to bring his own computers, duct tape the wires down because the court was ill-equipped to handle them, and still had to present documents in paper form.

He notes there's only one courtroom for civil matters in Ontario equipped to handle electronic trials. However, he says it's rarely in use because it's so small.

Read the full article here.

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