Law Times

February 23, 2015

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Tablets for jurors touted for civil trials By yamri Taddese Law Times ith photocopying costs in a previous d o c u m e n t - h e a v y case having reached $14,000, lawyer Joseph Obagi was happy to discover recently that the cost of equipping a courtroom, in- cluding the jury, with eight iPads would be just $4,000. "It defies logic for us to continue to destroy forests and think you're saving money," says Obagi, a lawyer at Connolly Obagi LLP in Ottawa. "You're not." Before the parties in a complex personal injury case he was acting in resolved the matter without a trial recently, the plan was to equip the jury, counsel, and the judge with iPads. Superior Court Justice Giovanna Roccamo had allowed a preliminary motion to bring the gadgets into the courtroom and hand them out to the jury. "We found in the last jury trial that we did the jurors ended up with literally seven volumes of ma- terials and so every time you need- ed to reach something, it was inef- ficient and it was very difficult for the jury because the jury is sitting in the jury box. It's not like they're sitting with desks with everything around them," says Obagi. "It slows the trial down," he adds, noting he has used iPads in all of his trials for a few years but this was the first time he suggested jurors do the same. Had the parties gone ahead with the trial, the jurors would have left the iPads in the courtroom at the end of the day. The tablets would display only the exhibit materials with all other features locked up. "The way these iPads are set by our office is they're locked so if you hit the home button, it will ask you for a password and you cannot get out of the screen unless you have that passcode," he says. The plan was to use an applica- tion called GoodReader that would only contain the list of the exhibits. Jurors were directed that they "must follow along," says Obagi. "So if we tell the jurors to go to Tab 192, they can't go to Tab 190." The defence team was at first Untitled-1 1 2015-02-04 1:53 PM Should lawyers deliver clothes to clients? Concern arises after defence counsel arrested at Brampton court By yamri Taddese Law Times hat happened to Laura Liscio, a criminal defence counsel recently arrested at the Brampton, Ont., courthouse, could hap- pen to any lawyer "but for the grace of God," colleagues say. Police arrested Liscio, who's facing charges of smuggling drugs into the courthouse, after she delivered a change of clothing to a prisoner there. Lawyers say the incident raises new concerns around the risk they run in helping families get court-appropriate clothes in the hands of clients in custody. Lawyers who know Liscio describe her as a "hardworking" criminal lawyer who wouldn't intentionally attempt to smug- gle drugs into a courthouse. "But for the grace of God, any of us could be caught like that if we're not alert to checking the clothing," says Joseph Neuber- ger, president of the Toronto Lawyers Association. Criminal lawyer Heather Pringle says she, too, has had to deliver clothing for her clients at courthouses. "You do it to put them on an equal footing as other out-of-custody clients who show up at court dressed respectfully instead of in an orange jumpsuit," she says. "You just want to give them that advantage that someone out of custody has when they show up in a suit and tie and look respectful." Lawyers say their clients' family members, who often live far from prisons, are sometimes unable to make it to the jail during the scheduled time to exchange clothes. Following Liscio's arrest, lawyers are calling for more liber- al rules for clothing exchanges that would mean they wouldn't have to assist with delivery. INSURANCE LITIGATION Appeal court weighs in on counsel's duties P5 LPP DEFENDED Lawyer counters criticism of new program P7 FOCUS ON Family Law/ Trusts & Estates P10 Police arrested lawyer Laura Liscio at the Brampton courthouse earlier this month. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Paperless, page 4 See Absolutely, page 4 Joseph Obagi suggested iPads for jurors in a recent civil matter. PM #40762529 INSURANCE LITIGATION Appeal court weighs in on counsel's duties DM Tools Cloud For details, visit www.divorcemate.com. Work anywhere, anytime, on any device. ntitled-9 1 2015-02-17 3:24 PM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 6 February 23, 2015 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM L aw TIMEs W W

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