In Innocon Inc. v. Daro Flooring Constructions Inc., 2021 ONSC 7558, Justice F. L. Myers writes that “Parties should expect case conferences to be used to resolve summarily procedural issues with greater frequency. With current backlogs and resource limitations, there is simply no judicial time available to schedule short motions especially those which, like here, are tactical and do not advance the resolution of the case on its merits”.
Case conferences are on the rise for good reason. They help move cases forward by:
- (a) providing an opportunity for issues to be settled without a hearing,
- (b) providing an opportunity for court orders and directions to be made that move the case forward, and
- (c) by providing a forum for the parties to address issues that are impeding the orderly progression of a matter to a hearing on the final merits.
To get the most out of case conferences, the courts should implement case management software that nudges litigants towards timely adjudication. In “For Rules in Technology, the Challenge is to Balance Code and Law“, Ephrant Livi writes that code is law”… it is “obvious” that technology dictates behaviour with rules that are not value neutral”. We need an approach that combines technologists, lawyers, and behavioural psychologists and economists into writing code that embeds social values and prevents private interests from dominating. We need a software that facilitates case conferences to be heard efficiently and effectively.