How can a client best prepare for virtual court in Canada?

How can a client best prepare for virtual court in Canada?

With the spread of COVID-19, remote court proceedings became the standard method for handling disputes. Even as the spread of the virus subsides, virtual courts are expected to continue. If remote court is becoming standardized, it may be important to know, as a client, how to best prepare or how your lawyer may choose to prepare you.

All lawyers, clients, and relevant witnesses will be asked to appear virtually in court. Each of the members involved in the proceedings have a responsibility to best prepare for virtual court so that it can run as smoothly as possible.

Before your court date, there can be a few things your lawyer may start to organize before you appear in court. It is likely that your lawyer will contact you to discuss the court process and any other information that is important to know before “entering” court. Your legal counsel will also encourage you to ask any residual or pressing questions.

One of the difficult aspects of virtual court is that client-lawyer communication becomes much more difficult. If you and your lawyer plan on contacting each other during the legal proceedings, make sure you have a preferred method to connect when needed.

Right before the virtual court proceeding begins, ensure you are in a quiet and uncluttered space that will have limited or no distractions. Each person involved in virtual court controls where they choose to participate in the proceedings. Make sure it is in a space where you can hear and be heard clearly. What you choose to wear should also be appropriate and replicate attire that would be worn during a standard court proceeding.

When remote court begins, your name should read “last name, first name” and your profile photo (if applicable) should not consist of any unprofessional imagery. For the duration of the proceeding, it is important to remain muted until you are addressed by the court, which in that case, you would unmute and respond accordingly. Documents prepared by counsel that pertain to the case are encouraged and should be ready to be presented, however, witnesses or clients called to the stand are not permitted to look at notes.

Once virtual court ends, make sure you are completely disconnected from all virtual platforms used in the process. You should also expect a call from your lawyer to address the result of the court proceeding and next steps. If you have questions about the events or outcome of court, ask your lawyer or set up another meeting to discuss in further detail.

If you have a legal matter that you believe requires professional assistance, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.