The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across the full spectrum of our lives, from personal to business.The past few weeks have raised many issues, and legal questions. There are many variables at play including the “curve” of the virus, the recommendations and regulations of public health authorities, and the economic support provided by the government. For many, the pandemic has introduced new legal challenges. For others, existing challenges have been exacerbated. As the full effects remain to be seen, our lawyers are monitoring the situation and will continue to share insights and tailored legal support to help you navigate your concerns, challenges and potential risks for both you and/or your business. Below are quick links to common legal challenges presented by COVID-19.
- What happens if I am laid off because of COVID-19 while on parental leave?
- How does the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Work? Am I eligible?
- How is the WSIB treating COVID-19 claims?
- Canada’s recently announced student benefit program – how will it work?
- Can my employer reduce your wages due to COVID-19?
- Can workplace harassment still occur if I am working from home?
- Can I still close a deal while social distancing and business closures?
- Do all real estate contracts have a Force Majeure clause?
- Who is accountable for impacts due to delays on projects?
- What happens if my conditional on financing, but banks are reluctant to finance given the state of the economy?
- Can I still get divorced or separated during the pandemic?
- How do I navigate custody with public health social distancing guidelines and bylaws?
- If a parent is laid off or has reduced hours because of COVID-19, how will it affect the child support agreement?
- Which types of cases are considered urgent within Ontario Family Courts?
Legal System Operational Updates
Can my case still move forward? Can new cases be started?
The short answer is yes. All cases can still progress, and new cases can be started – but it may not be business as usual due to some changes in the legal system due to COVID-19. Courts across Canada have been taking extraordinary measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Rest assured that in all instances the measures have ensured that the legal system can still move forward, and outlets have been created for urgent matters. Below is a round up of the status of common processes. Our legal team is monitoring the situation very closely. We are adapting our own processes as needed to adjust to these changes, and are in constant communication with our clients.
- Discoveries and mediations are proceeding. While these typically take place at a Court Reporting facility, they are continuing, but virtually.
- The Superior Court of justice is suspended until further notice, subject to very specific emergencies that have been set out by the court
- The Superior Court of Justice has expanded the list of documents that can be filed. For the full list, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/file-civil-claim-online
- Claims can also be issued online in the Small Claims Court. Related files can also be filed online. For a list of these documents, please visit: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/e-filing/small_claims_e-filing_user_guide.html
In situations where court proceedings have been halted, the Chief Justice has indicated that virtual and remote alternatives are being explored.
Do I have to wait to start a new case or claim?
There is no need to wait to start a claim. Our lawyers are fully equipped to work on your file while operating remotely. While each case is different, in most situations it is better to initiate your case earlier rather than later in anticipation of increased demand when social distancing is over. If you are unsure or have any questions, please contact us to set up an appointment.