In: Events, General

Last week, we attended two Ontario Legal Conferences hosted by the Ontario Bar Association located in Toronto, Ontario from February 8 – February 10, 2023. The first conference had sessions concerning Family Law, Trusts, and Estates Law (days one and two), and the second sessions were Municipal, Planning and Environmental Conferences (days two and three). Both were well attended, and I went to several sessions that were quite informative.

Conference 1: Family, Trusts, and Estates Law Conference

There were many great sessions between these two areas; I was intrigued by much of the discourse in Family Law. The most exciting session I attended during conference 1 was the Estates and Family Law Considerations for Fertility Law, Surrogacy Arrangements and Multi-Parent Families session. Although I am not in family law, this session was an excellent opportunity to learn how family law deals with all the changes within the modern human family and births in the contemporary period. The speakers addressed how technology has revolutionized the definition of the family, the law’s response to it, and the legal issues that need to be considered due to these changes. Most eye-opening was the discussion about what happens to genetic material on separation or death. The speakers addressed the caselaw around this and noted that it continues to grow in prevalence due to technological changes. They informed us of cases that revealed that after the death of a parent if their genetic material remains, there can be claims for property of the dead by any child who comes about from the genetic material. And crucially, estate claims could be made up to three years after death. Technological changes have resulted in more claims around individuals who served as surrogates, but later became interested in being in the offspring’s life. This discussion was particularly important for today, and the future as this will become a significant issue in the years to come. Given what we do at NearZero Discovery (the combination of law and technology), this was a different perspective and application of law and technology.

Conference 2: Municipal, Planning and Environmental

The second conference ran from February 9 – February 10, 2023, offering a Municipal & Planning live stream and an Environmental live stream. It was interesting to learn about the different ramifications of corporate purchases and sales along with the importance of proper planning both individually and municipally. There were also some thought-provoking discussions on the consequences of not doing appropriate due diligence in terms of potential environmental issues arising after a property’s sale or purchase. For example, what recourse does a purchaser have if they found spillage from their property unto neighbours after purchase? This would contrast with the options if the purchaser knew about these issues before the purchase. For most of these, it depends on the specifics of the case. However, it was great to go through the case law on these issues and see how it is tackling these ongoing problems. There were also some good discussions for young lawyers on ongoing environmental issues, such as dealing with limitation periods and working with unrepresented parties.

Outside of The Sessions

Outside the actual learning sessions, it was an excellent opportunity to connect with other lawyers in these disciplines. Although I do not practice in these fields, I was there as a representative of NearZero Discovery since we served as a sponsor for the second conference. The conferences also allowed lawyers to connect with the sponsors and learn about the services they provide. At NearZero Discovery, our team used this conference to explain the unique e-discovery services we provide lawyers and the potential cost savings and benefits of using our services for their e-discovery needs.

Would you like to learn more about our services? Email [email protected] or call 289-803-9730. We would be happy to share more details about our self-service or fully managed eDiscovery services!