We are enduring historic times; an unprecedented era requiring everyone and every institution to adapt--and we are having to do so on the fly. Life as we knew it has changed; whether it returns to what it was is anybody’s guess.
The legal profession is not immune. Although we lawyers are considered to be an ‘essential service’, the way we practice most certainly required change. Currently, lawyers should not be conducting in-person meetings. Meetings are now handled through Zoom (or other video-conferencing technologies).
Meetings are one thing; executing important documents—‘executing’ means signing, dating and witnessing—is another. Formerly, a sine qua non of executing documents: the lawyer, and possibly a second person, needed to be physically present to be witnesses. Obviously, one is throwing caution to the wind during this pandemic era meeting with clients to execute documents. The law (in ‘Darwinian’ fashion) has adapted and done so very quickly.
It may not be ‘business as usual’ with the courts during these trying times, but judges are still hearing urgent matters. Although the urgency threshold is high, one issue being dealt with by the courts is the restriction on contact between a parent and a child.
 Please see my blog entitled “The Court System During the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
It is not ‘business as usual’ with the courts. Courthouses throughout Ontario are closed. They are scheduled to open at the beginning of June; but the reopening is always subject to change, dependent on how our COVID-19 situation pans out.
Although the Courts are physically closed, judges are still hearing urgent family matters via either tele-conference or video conference. The keyword is ‘urgent’.
Blake R. Lyngseth, Ottawa lawyer & mediator. Blogs primarily on issues of Ontario & Canadian family law & estate law.