In a time of social distancing, it’s critical to support our clients and their families. That’s why we are using various digital solutions to continue to resolve ongoing disputes.
Mediation is an important tool to accomplish out of court settlements. It is common across our areas of practice: personal injury claims, insurance denials, estate litigation and commercial disputes, for example.
Virtual mediation is not necessarily new, but it has not been widely used, since most mediations could previously be conducted in-person.
Platforms such as Zoom allow group meetings, as well as private virtual rooms for lawyer and client meetings away from other parties. These processes allow for real-time discussions such as in-person mediation.
Documents can be shared, if necessary, although typically all documents have been shared prior to mediation. The virtual platforms allow mediators and counsel to still use direct communication and negotiation, like in-person mediation.
Virtual face-to-face mediation preserves the personal element which can be very important in mediation, as opposed to negotiation by email or telephone only.
Despite the ongoing global crisis, we continue to protect and preserve our clients’ rights and seek opportunities to resolve claims outside the formal trial process where it is beneficial to our clients.
Many businesses have been forced to close, limit their hours, or reduce their capacity. Despite a vaccine, the economic impact will likely continue, particularly in the face of new strains of the virus.
On January 28, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court addressed “inadequacies in current legal responses to internet defamation and harassment” by creating a new tort of internet harassment and cyber bullying.
While the global pandemic has been incredibly disruptive, the Court is embracing these changes and the legal community is using the tools available to move matters through the court system despite challenges.