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Lawyer and #legaltech friends in #Alberta. There isn't a lot of good news right now, with #coronavirus or anything else. But there may be an opportunity to do something, and I'd like your help.

Courts are busy places. Social distancing is often not a possibility.
Staying away from court will be a part of good social distancing practice. But staying away from court when you have a date on which you are obliged to appear can exacerbate your existing problems, especially for self-represented litigants.

If a self-represented litigant has a court date that they would prefer to adjourn because they are ill, or because they have young children, or live or work with elderly people, or whyever, the Court would likely be sympathetic.

Judges don't want to get sick, either.

But you need to ASK for an adjournment, and usually in person. Which defeats the point. You can do it by consent, but that assumes the other side is responsive and cooperative. That's not guaranteed.

We have not yet seen any action from the Courts or the Justice Ministry to address how we deal with courts and social distancing. Perhaps someone will come to the rescue, here. Perhaps not.

But the Court of Queen's Bench has within its Rules the ability to order "electronic hearings", which means court-by-phone. An application that a hearing proceed electronically can also be heard electronically.

So you could request an adjournment and/or an electronic hearing, AND an electronic hearing of that request. But you would need to know the rules, and how to fill out and serve the application, etc.

What if we made that easier?

Using @docassemble, I've thrown together a web app to generate applications for adjournment of scheduled court dates.

It's really really simple.

I would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes and do a couple of things:

1. RT this thread.

2. Try the prototype app. It takes about 5 minutes.

It is available at…

3. Let me know if it, or something like it, seems worth pursuing.

4. If so, let me know how you would make it better.

That's it.

It's small. But it's something.

And hey... emergencies are a time when the status quo loses its appeal, and new ideas are easier to adopt.

Who knows? Maybe you, or someone at @AlbertaJSG or @QB_Alberta or @LegalAidAlberta learns something useful by watching us.

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