Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ontario Justice of the Peace Bans Lawyer's Laptop

A bizarre ruling, reported by National Post:

An Ontario stunt-driving trial was adjourned before it began yesterday, when a Justice of the Peace banned a defence lawyer from using a laptop computer in his courtroom.

..But before the Crown prosecutor began her case, she objected to the slim aluminum MacBook that defence lawyer Sean Robichaud had just switched on. Justice of the Peace H. Malik agreed that it violated the rule against "electronic recording devices," and ordered him to shut it off. When Mr. Robichaud said it contained his notes and he could not proceed without it, Mr. Justice Malik adjourned the trial until August.

..."It's weird, but you have to understand how slowly the legal profession changes," said Luigi Benetton, technology reporter for Lawyer's Weekly magazine. As he writes in the current issue, the modern hospital operating theatre looks nothing like an operating theatre from 100 years ago, but courtrooms look almost exactly the same.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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