Building on a resolution of the Canadian Bar Association’s national council, the OBA’s Women Lawyers Forum and Civil Litigation Section recently proposed amendments to the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction to accommodate the needs of lawyers appearing in court while pregnant in letters to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Absent official guidance on how counsel should approach choosing their attire or address the issue when appearing before the courts while pregnant, the OBA’s goal was to bring clarity and guidance that counsel could rely on while pregnant.
Both the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario responded favourably to this request. The Court of Appeal for Ontario has posted a notice in the Practice Direction and Guidelines section of its website. The Chief Justice and the judges on the Regional Senior Justices Council have also indicated that they will follow the same practice as the Court of Appeal.