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Judicial vacancies jam Ontario courts: lawyers

Alex Robinson - Monday, May 23, 2016

Nine judicial vacancies are slowing down Ontario’s courts, leading to long waiting times, lawyers say.
More than six months into its mandate, the federal government has yet to fill vacancies on the provincial courts’ bench — seven in the Superior Court, one in the Court of Appeal, and one in Family Court.

Criminal lawyers and civil litigators say this is contributing to a significant backlog of cases in the Superior Court, causing delays that often last months and sometimes years.

“It impacts on the whole system,” says Ed Upenieks, president of the Ontario Bar Association.

“When you have delays, justice delayed is justice denied.”

Michael Lacy, a par...

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More aboriginal students needed in Ontario law schools: academics

Adam Fiddler knew he wanted to be a lawyer from the time he was eight years old.

Labour Pains: Enforceability of termination clauses

Written employment contracts are relationship management tools. Their goal is to provide certainty of the terms of employment. If an employment contract fails to conform to the provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, it will be invalidated. A recent case in point is Garreton v. Complete Innovations Inc., 2016 ONSC 1178, where the Divisional Court confirmed that a termination provision’s “potential” violation of the ESA in the future is sufficient to void it. Notably, it clarified that the termination provision’s conformity to the ESA is to be assessed as of the time the employment contract was executed and not at the time of the employee’s dismissal.

Focus: Are devices collecting information on you?

Personal and business devices that are enabled through the Internet are expected to have a huge presence over the next decade, expanding the ways information about individuals is collected without their knowledge and opening up new security risks and concerns about privacy.

Inside Story

Monday, May 24, 2016

Law Times reported the Ontario government has announced complainants will be able to file and pay fees online for small claims up to $25,000. Readers were asked if they thought further digitization of other types of court records should be a priority for the government. About 87 per cent said yes, further digitization of court records is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. Only 13 per cent said no, while digitization is important, the expense and time will cost is less important than other justice initiatives that sorely need attention.

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Law Times poll

Law Times reports that there are currently nine judicial vacancies slowing down Ontario’s courts – seven in the Superior Court, one in the Court of Appeal and one in Family Court. Is this personally affecting your practice?
Yes, the vacancies in the provincial court are affecting my practice. This is a source of frustration due to long wait times for me and my clients.
No, the vacancies are not affecting my practice. I commiserate with my colleagues but this has no effect on me.