LSO Direction regarding Commissioning of Affidavits

  • March 17, 2020

Please note that as a result of COVID-19 the Law Society of Ontario will interpret the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act as not requiring the lawyer to be in the physical presence of the client. It is still important that lawyers commissioning an affidavit remotely manage the risks appropriately. This includes taking appropriate measures to guard against fraud; identity theft; undue influence; duress; capacity; the ability of the client to retain a copy of the commissioned affidavit and ensuring that the client does not feel that they did not have an adequate opportunity to ask questions or request clarifying information about the documents they have executed.

Further information is available here.

Based on information that the OBA has received from the Courts, where an affadivit before the court has been commissioned remotely or virtually, it is recommended that affiants be available by phone during virtual court proceedings as the judge may require their presence.

In addition to video conference technologies widely available, there are also some technologies that provide specific remote commissioning capabilities. The following two offer these services and are currently offering discounts to new purchasers: and

The OBA Practice Innovation and Technology Committee will be providing further information on these and other technologies in the coming days.