Advice from the Bench & leading Practitioners. Advocacy & Best Practices during the Pandemic; to Zoom or not to Zoom. |

Advice from the Bench and leading Practitioners. Advocacy and Best Practices during the Pandemic; to Zoom or not to Zoom.

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Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 0.5
30 minutes
Substantive: 0.5
40 minutes
Barbara Legate
Kelly Tranquilli
James Zegers
Middlesex Law Association
70 minutes
$99.00 plus tax
MLA's 2020 Straight From the Bench Conference
Includes Handouts

In providing advice to the bar regarding preparing for virtual hearings, Madam Justice Tranquilli discussed the importance of concise, quality written material on long motions/applications.  Her Honour suggested bookmarking PDF motion records and facta, properly naming electronic documents, and hyperlinking authorities cited in facta.  Her Honour also encouraged counsel to consider filing a compendium for lengthy motions/applications. 

In terms of the hearing itself, Justice Tranquilli suggested using the case management provision in the Rules of Civil Procedure if necessary to have counsel speak to the presiding justice in advance to agree upon mode of hearing and any procedural issues contemplated.  During the hearing, Justice Tranquilli reminded counsel that the hearing is treated as if it were in a court room. While gowning has been suspended, business dress is expected and only water is to be consumed.  Background noise and lighting should be considered if proceeding via videoconference.

Barbara Legate highlighted the key features outlined in the lengthy report entitled best practices for remote hearings created as advocacy moved online.  Checklists and an executive overview are included in her materials.


Barbara Legate

Barbara Legate practices medical negligence and personal injury with an emphasis on serious infant and child injuries in London at Legate Personal Injury Lawyers. She was called to the bar in 1981. The Best Lawyers in Canada has named her Lawyer of the

Year in Southwestern Ontario in personal injury in each of 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021. She is named in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Medical Negligence and Appellate Practice and is L’Expert Ranked. Barbara is certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. She is an invited fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, honouree at the 2009 Celebration of the Personal Injury Bar, recipient of a Diamond Jubilee award for work in brain injury prevention. She has held a number of positions of leadership in the legal profession including President of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and Director of the Advocates Society (Ontario). She has presented papers on advocacy, evidence, and substantive law of negligence, limitation periods, practice and ethics. She developed and heads the Legate Medical Negligence Moot at Western Law and is a frequent lecturer at the law school. She has contributed two chapters to Ontario Courtroom Procedure, and was a member on the joint Advocates Society- OBA task force to develop Best Practices for Remote Hearings. Barbara initiated the Helmets on Kids campaign in London, now a province wide project which gives away bike helmets to needy children. Her interest in children has lead to philanthropic, volunteer and charitable work benefiting disadvantaged children and families and most recently through work as a Director of the Children’s Health Foundation in London.

Justice Kelly Tranquilli

Justice Kelly Tranquilli received her Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from Carleton University. After briefly working in journalism and communications, she earned her LL.B. with distinction at Western University, where she received numerous academic awards including civil procedure, tort law, estate law, labour law and legal writing. She received the Ted McGrath award for criminal procedure at her call to the bar in 1998.

Justice Tranquilli practised civil litigation at Lerners LLP in London, where she was a partner from 2008 until her appointment. Her practice included medical malpractice and personal injury litigation, insurance, appellate law and professional regulation. She remained engaged in legal education, teaching insurance law at Western University Law School for several years and chairing and contributing to continuing legal education programs through the Middlesex Law Association and Advocate's Society.

She is dedicated to her community, serving as Chair of the London Health Sciences Foundation and on the board of directors of the Grand Theatre. Justice Tranquilli and her husband Fred are proud parents of three sons who are always quick to point out when their parents are taking themselves too seriously

James Zegers

James Zegers was called to the Bar in 1995. He practices criminal law exclusively. He has been laying low during the Covid-19 pandemic, but is now ready for action. He is the past-President of the Middlesex Law Association and the former Music Director of Court House Rocks.

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