The Ontario E-Hearings Task Force, comprised of members of the Ontario Bar Association working with other lawyer associations from across Ontario have developed a guide for best practices for remote hearings, which includes practical tools like checklists and technology information. The purpose of these materials is to provide guidance to anyone who is considering preparing for and participating in a remote hearing. These Best Practices are intended to apply to any remote hearing and to be platform neutral.
The guidance in these Best Practices is subject to the discretion of the judge hearing the matter and to the province-wide and regional Practice Directions, Notices to the Profession and Rules of Court, as applicable. These Best Practices describe what counsel and parties should do in the context of remote hearings, where practicable. However, in certain cases, it may not be possible or appropriate to implement all of them due to factors such as: (a) the nature or complexity of the matter, and (b) parties’ or counsel’s circumstances or resources. Further, the courts may show flexibility and creativity when determining the requirements of a particular matter, which may facilitate the holding of a remote hearing.
These Best Practices will be reviewed periodically to take into account developments related to remote hearings, including evolving knowledge, experience and best practices stemming from the increased use of remote hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The Best Practices for Remote Hearings, Second Edition (PDF)
The Overview of the Best Practices for Remote Hearings (PDF)
Checklist: Preparing Your System for a Remote Hearing (Word)
Checklist: Counsel Preparation in Advance of Meeting with Adjudicator (Word)
Checklist: Matters to Consider Reviewing with Judge In Advance of Hearing (Word)
Checklist: Preparing Your Witness for a Remote Hearing (Word)
Sample Virtual Hearing Protocol (Word)