Practice Advisory Concerning Electronic Documents in Commercial List Proceedings

Effective February 11, 2019


This practice advisory applies to all proceedings on the Commercial List. It supplements the Consolidated Practice Direction Concerning the Commercial List, which came into effect on July 1, 2014.

Counsel and parties are advised to refer to The Guide Concerning e-Delivery of Documents in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, as well as relevant parts of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction and any other applicable Toronto Region-specific practice directions or guides. These are all available on the Superior Court of Justice website at: www.ontariocourts.ca/scj.

Digital Hearing Workspace Pilot

The Superior Court of Justice, together with the Ministry of the Attorney General, is launching a pilot project to advance the modernization of electronic delivery of court documents.

As of February 11, 2019, parties and counsel will be required to use the Digital Hearing Workspace to deliver documents electronically to the judicial official and/or other parties or counsel in the matter. The failure of a party or counsel to upload documents to the Digital Hearing Workspace may be addressed by the presiding judicial official. The requirement does not apply to documents properly filed before February 4, 2019.

Instructions on using the Digital Hearing Workspace are in the Superior Court of Justice – Digital Hearing Workspace User Guide at http://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/practice/practice-directions/toronto/digital-hearing-workspace/. For information on preparing documents in Commercial List matters for electronic delivery, please consult The Guide Concerning e-Delivery of Documents in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The Digital Hearing Workspace is not a court filing service. Documents shared in the workspace must still be filed in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure and applicable practice directions.

Electronic copies of documents subject to a sealing order, or for which a request for a sealing order will be made, should not be sent to a judicial official. Such documents should be submitted to the court in the normal fashion for confidential documents.

This pilot is intended to replace electronic delivery by email, USB key and CD-ROM. The Digital Hearing Workspace circumvents the attachment file size limits in email applications and avoids the issues associated with storing and retrieving physical storage media, including USB keys and CD-ROMs.

It is hoped that the pilot will make delivering, storing, organizing and retrieving documents filed in Commercial List proceedings easier for the parties, counsel, judicial officials and court staff involved in these matters.

Date: February 4, 2019

Geoffrey B. Morawetz
Regional Senior Judge
Superior Court of Justice, Toronto Region