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Apr 12, 2021

Adam Black quoted in article on forged evidence tactics in virtual hearings

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Adam Black was quoted in a Daily Commercial News article on forged evidence tactics in virtual hearings. 


The use of virtual court hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven very efficient. In many ways, the legal process has, in fact, been more effective than before. For example, experts can now provide testimony and evidence that distance and logistics might have otherwise made too costly for either the complainant or defendant.

Although seen as a positive development overall, the courts are understandably strict about how legal representatives, their clients and witnesses present themselves. Typically, the complainant and defendant each sit in separate rooms with their own video and audio feed. Legal representatives are also separated from their clients, as are any witnesses. One obvious reason is to prevent coaching or witness tampering that might go unseen or unheard.

“In pursuit of fair and just outcomes, judges must assess the reliability and credibility of the evidence,” writes Adam Black of Torkin Manes LLP. “In a world of deep fakes and artificial intelligence, that task is made immeasurably more difficult.”

Black references a child custody dispute that drew the attention of Justice Heather McGee of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice after a high level of forged evidence presented by the applicant was exposed.

The implications of Judge McGee’s remarks concerning “forged” and “bogus” documents could equally apply to commercial disputes.

“In an era of ‘fake news’ it should come as no surprise that from time to time, courts will be presented with fake evidence,” Judge McGee wrote.

Black adds his concerns regarding the challenges of virtual hearings and the matter of witness coaching.

To read the full article, please visit Daily Commercial News website.

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