Lawyer using video call technology due to Covid-19 distancing measures

COVID-19 Forces Lawyers to Embrace New Technologies

The practice of law is by its nature a conservative endeavor; resistant to adaptation and slow to accept change. This is largely a positive attribute as it prevents radical changes and keeps the legal system functioning in a consistent and predictable way.

But there are ways that this conservative tendency has not been positive. One example of this is lawyers’ slow adaption to technological change. To this day, service of legal documents by fax is the norm. For any millennials reading this who have never heard of a fax, for our purposes consider it an old fashion form of email that was popular in the 1980’s.

With the Covid-19 epidemic shutting down Ontario Courts and disrupting life as we previously knew it, the legal profession is being forced to adopt more current technological standards.  

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Major Junior Hockey players on the ice

Are Junior Hockey Players Employees Like The Rest Of Us?

It is a cold January evening somewhere in Ontario. You are sitting in an arena with thousands of other fans. You have paid good money for tickets, for popcorn, hot dogs and maybe even a beer. A large number of the crowd bought and paid for sweaters, toques, ball caps, and scarves bearing the colours and logo of their chosen team. You (and the thousands of others) have paid a pretty penny, but it is all worth it - you get to see the fastest team sport on earth, the owners and coaches and other team staff are making a good living, and the players are living their dream and are surely earning a good wage – I mean we all know how much high-level athletes earn right?

That last part may be true at the highest levels of professional hockey but, in this scenario, you happen to be watching a game at the elite level of Junior Hockey in Ontario – one of the traditional stepping stones to pro hockey. There are millions of dollars being spent by the fans, so those young men, aged 16 to 20 must be sharing the wealth, right? Well, maybe not to the degree that you might think.

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Car with a damaged front end that has been in a collision

Accident Or Crash?: Why Words Matter When Discussing Harm Caused By An Automobile Collision

It may seem like a simple and inconsequential matter, but we have a policy at Bonn Law to never refer to a collision as an “accident”. The word accident implies that no one was at fault. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are very few incidents that occur that cause harm to others that are true “accidents”. In every case the incident was preventable and only occurred due to the inattention, carelessness or lack of care by one party.

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Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19: Are You Entitled To Compensation For Lost Business Income?

In my last blog, I lamented the profits that auto insurers will undoubtedly make in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. In this blog, I would like to take a step back and acknowledge that, despite the potential for profit in some areas, it is not going to be smooth sailing for the insurance industry through the COVID19 pandemic.

With thousands of businesses across the country forced to shut their doors, business interruption insurance claims are expected to skyrocket.

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The Critical Importance Of Face-to-Face Law: Reflections From A Defence Lawyer

“I miss the whispered conversations in overcrowded hallways, the atmosphere, as thrilling here, as always…..”

A quote from “Sunset Boulevard” by Don Black, Christopher Hampton and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The last time I was in Court was March 15, 2020. Looking back on it, it seems like another lifetime, and of course, it was. For me, it was the last normal day before the full impact of COVID-19 hit home. It was the last time I saw my colleagues and friends; advocated in front of a judge for a client; went into battle. It was the last time I was a courtroom warrior. I miss it quite desperately.

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Collateral Damage In The Wake of Covid-19: Were The Precautions Worth The Risk

We are all going through a difficult time, none more so than our healthcare professionals. They are on the front line, putting themselves at risk to help others and our communities. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, doctors and hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and discharged patients to make room for the anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients. An influx that never materialized. While it is very good news that we were not inundated with COVID-19 patients, hospital operating rooms are 30 to 50 percent empty.

The reality is that there are many more victims of COVID-19 than those who are infected. The collateral damage may turn out to be worse than the direct impact of the virus itself.

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Hot Coffee Spills and Other Motor Vehicle Mishaps: What are Your Options?

Tim Horton’s recent coffee cup lid redesign has resulted in people finding their take-out coffee lids unexpectedly coming off their cups and causing spills. A number of people have called us in the past 12 months with reports of significant burns caused by the lids popping off. In many cases, the victims are in their cars when the lids come off causing serious burns and injuries.

Several websites have reported on coffee spill issues, including Change.org which has a petition signed by over 1,800 people asking Tim Horton’s to bring back their old lids because the new lids spill more often. CBC and The Globe and Mail have both released articles in the past 16 months reporting on issues of Tim Horton’s coffee being too hot and of complaints of the lids leaking or spilling on customers.

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In Defence of Tradition: Modernizing The Ontario Legal System In The Face Of Covid-19

COVID-19 has necessarily caused the Ontario court system to frantically scramble to modernize how matters are heard and resolved. The law is based on tradition. Sometimes the desire to preserve tradition causes those involved to fear change.

Before Covid-19, almost everyone involved in the civil justice system in Ontario recognized that the system was slow and antiquated but there was no real incentive to change. We lumbered along with cases moving at a snail’s pace. The cost to pursue a civil case was too expensive for most people to even consider. In my field of medical malpractice and personal injury, we don’t charge our clients for the ongoing litigation and are only paid if there is a successful outcome. This is the only way for those injured or who suffer loss at the hands of another person or corporation to obtain any access to the courtroom and seek justice.

However, with the courts essentially shut down and prohibitions on in-person meetings, the civil justice system has been forced to adapt.

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