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Letter: Skype works well in court

|Written By Paul Parlee

In the April 23 article, “Family law case to feature testimony via Skype,” it is observed that it wasn’t the first time the province’s courts have allowed evidence-in-chief and cross-examinations by Skype.

In fact, in the trial of B. v. B. in the Superior Court of Justice in Stratford, Ont., the parties agreed and Justice Roland Haines allowed an expert witness (a notary practising in Holland) to give his evidence-in-chief, cross-examination, and re-examination by Skype.

Court was convened after the technological arrangements were made and tested. The trial judge could see the witness.

The witness could see the examining lawyer (there were three parties and counsel involved) and the other counsel could view the witness all on screen.

Apart from some of the technological challenges, the evidence of the witness by Skype worked remarkably well.

The witness was not put to the trouble of travelling from Holland to attend court in Canada and the parties were saved the expense of bringing the witness here.

All of this was achieved without, in any way, compromising justice thanks to the court’s willingness to be flexible by adopting new technology.

Paul Parlee,
Parlee Law Offices
Professional Corp.
Stratford, Ont.
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