The New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (New SRO) uses Case Center, formerly CaseLines, for document presentation during enforcement or registration hearings. Case Center is a cloud-based digital document submission, sharing and presentation platform that allows users to upload, share and present documents electronically. In proceedings, Case Center is used to submit, share, present, view and refer to documents in electronic, hybrid and in-person hearings.
Case Center is used in addition to video conferencing platforms, such as Webex, used in the organization’s electronic and hybrid proceedings (see the Hearing Committee Best Practices for Electronic Proceedings).
A “participant”, as used in this document, includes parties to a proceeding, their legal counsel, agents, support staff, witnesses, hearing panel members, a court reporter and registrar, but does not include members of the public or media who may be admitted to a hearing room to observe rather than to participate in the proceeding.
Case Center is used both for hearing preparation and during the hearing itself. Parties and panel members can make private notes, highlights, sticky notes and other annotations on documents. These annotations are private and can only be viewed by them or specific persons or groups with whom they wish to share.
During a hearing, participants use Case Center to review and present evidence, submissions and authorities. Case Center has functionalities that allow a presenter to direct all persons logged into the case to a specific page or point in the materials. For example, if counsel want to refer a witness to paragraph 25 of a particular document, they can direct everyone and make sure that their witness as well as the hearing panel and opposing counsel are all on the same page— without ever accessing personal computers or sharing their own screen.
Below are Case Center’s best practices applicable to the New SRO proceedings.
- A laptop, desktop computer or tablet is required for all participants to access Case Center.
- A good Internet connection (LAN, Wi-Fi or LTE) is required to log on to Case Center to access hearing documents. You can check your Internet connection from the Case Center “Review” screen.
- Although not required, for better experience in electronic and hybrid hearings, participants may use a second or larger monitor or device. This will allow accessing a video/audio platform (e.g., Webex) and viewing documents (in Case Center) on separate or larger screens.
- If you have been identified as a participant in a matter proceeding on Case Center, you will receive an email invitation from <[email protected]> providing instructions on how to register and access your matter on Case Center. Select the “Register” button on the Home page and enter your details. An email will be sent to the registered email requesting verification. You need to register only once. You can also register in advance as a Case Center user by visiting canada.caselines.com. Once registered, you will have access to all cases you have been invited to on Case Center.
- All matters proceedings on Case Center are created and managed by the National Hearing Officer (NHO) for hearings proceeding under the Investment Dealer and Partially Consolidated Rules and the Corporate Secretary Office (CSO) for hearings proceeding under the Mutual Fund Dealer Rules. Access to cases must be requested from and granted by the NHO and the CSO.
- Each case contains the following:
- master bundle – a repository of documents (a banker’s box in the world of hard copy documents), where all case documents are stored
- sections – electronic file folders to organize the documents contained within the master bundle
- sub-bundles – a collection of documents (an accordion folder in the world of hard copy documents), filtered from the master bundle, specific to a category or user group (e.g., Enforcement, Respondent, Panel, Witness, Exhibits etc).
- Only the NHO / CSO or case administrator has access to the master bundle. The NHO / CSO is responsible for creating sections and sub-bundles for each matter in Case Center. Participants, depending on their role, have access to relevant sections and sub-bundles of the case.
- Case Center has two main work areas, both accessible from “Case Home” or “Case List”: “Review Evidence” (or “Review” screen) and “Update Case” (or “Update” screen”).
- The case structure and naming/numbering conventions for Case Center used in enforcement and registration proceedings are set out in the attached Appendix – Standardization.
- Uploading documents to Case Center is mandatory in all matters proceeding on Case Center. Exceptions may be made in cases where parties face extraordinary circumstances preventing them from accessing Case Center.
- Parties should upload and test their documents as soon as practicable or at least seven days before the scheduled hearing to enable an effective use of the platform at the hearing.
- Parties should not send their documents to the NHO / CSO via email. Parties are also not required to provide paper copies of their materials unless specifically requested by the hearing panel and/or the NHO / CSO.
- The documents uploaded to Case Center are not considered to be “filed” pursuant to the Rules and do not form part of the hearing record unless specifically requested by the party and accepted by the NHO / CSO for “filing” or marked as exhibits and entered into the record at the hearing.
- The uploaded documents will not be available for the hearing panel’s review prior to the commencement of the hearing unless the party uploading the documents expressly requests that they be shared in advance. Uploading documents to Case Center is similar to submitting documents “for identification” purposes, some or all of which may be marked as exhibits into the record during the hearing.
Documents’ Format and Size
- Documents can be uploaded in multiple formats, including Word (.doc), Excel (.xlsx), Adobe (.pdf), as well as emails, audio/video files and other forms of media.
- To ensure documents are quickly processed by Case Center and accessible for review immediately after the upload, large documents (over 1,000 pages) should be split into smaller parts (500 pages or less). Each document should be no more than 2GB.
- Parties are responsible for uploading their documents using the naming conventions found in the Appendix - Standardization.
- Uploading documents and updating your case or documents is done in the “Update” work area. To access it, find your case on the “Case List” and select “Update Case”.
- To upload documents, find your case on the “Case List” and select “Update Case”:
- go to “Sections” at the top of the screen
- select the appropriate sub-bundle, e.g., Respondent, Enforcement
- click “Upload File(s)” next to the relevant section.
You can click and drag documents into the box or click “Add Files” and select the files you want to upload.
- Prior to uploading your documents, ensure you have selected the correct section and sub-bundle. If you have uploaded the wrong document, or uploaded your document in the wrong section, you can move it by going to “Section”, “Update All Documents” and choosing “Move”. This will allow you to select the appropriate section. Once moved, review the section to ensure the document was moved and it is properly numbered. This will ensure that all documents are organized and easily accessible during the hearing.
- Each document will be automatically numbered and indexed in the table of contents created in Case Center and found on the left-hand of the “Review” screen. The index is based on the names of the files uploaded by the parties and, if needed, individual index entries can be modified and re-ordered after the files have been uploaded.
- It is possible to maintain bookmarks created in PDF documents uploaded to Case Center. When uploading your PDF documents, use “Upload bookmarked PDF into a single section” instead of “Upload File(s)”. Selecting this feature will prompt Case Center to detect first-level bookmarks and split the PDF document into separate documents. These newly separated documents will be organized numerically in the table of contents. Any hyperlinks within these documents will remain intact. Documents should include only first-level bookmarks; do not use second-level bookmarks as that may prevent Case Center from properly reading the bookmarks and uploading the documents into appropriate sections.
- Case Center’s numbering is applied once documents are uploaded to the system. This will automatically generate an index. Do not use tab numbers in the description of your bookmarks (e.g., Tab 1, Tab 2 etc.). If you choose to include tab numbers in the description of the bookmarks or have a cover and/or index page, you may need to re-number your documents manually after uploading to ensure that document numbers match your tab numbers (i.e., Tab 1 is indexed as #1, etc.). In this case, your cover and/or index pages can be numbered “00-C” and/or “00-I”.
Hyperlinks to Online Sources
- Legal authorities can be hyperlinked, where possible, to public sources that allow free access to the documents (i.e., New SRO website, commissions’ and tribunals’ websites, courts’ websites, CanLII, e-Laws, etc.). Case Center recognizes and maintains all publicly available hyperlinks.
Hyperlinks to Other Documents
- If your authorities or other documents are not available online, relevant excerpts and documents may be pre-uploaded to Case Center and hyperlinked to the main document using the platform (e.g., cases uploaded to the Book of Authorities can be hyperlinked to citations in the Written Submissions).
- To create an internal hyperlink:
- pre-upload the document you would like to hyperlink to Case Center (e.g., Book of Authorities)
- open the document and scroll to the particular page or paragraph and click on “Copy Link” under “View”
- insert the link into your main document (e.g., Written Submissions), which is not yet uploaded to Case Center
- upload the main document to Case Center and test your links (note that hyperlinks may take some time to load).
- Ensure you are logged on to Case Center and select your matter in the “Case List” before the start of the hearing. You can see your upcoming cases in Case Center by clicking “View Hearings” at the top of the screen. This page provides a list of your upcoming hearings and will include dates and video (Webex) links for virtual and hybrid hearings.
- Once your matter is selected, launch “Review Evidence”. The “Review” area is the main workspace that you will use to navigate around the case.
- During the hearing, select the “Hearing” sub-bundle in the “Review” work area.
Presenting or Following a Presentation
- Parties presenting evidence and making submissions at the hearing can direct a hearing panel and/or witnesses and other participants to a specific page of a document under “Find” or “Present”, at the top of the screen, and selecting “Direct Others to Page”. This will send a message to all participants offering to take them to the specific page. Ensure you are on the correct page prior to directing others.
- Parties can also use a “Presentation” mode, which allows other participants to follow the presentation “hands-off” during the hearing. To use this feature, click on “Present” and then “Start Presentation”. A red border will appear around the review pane, indicating that you are in a “presenter mode”. All other participants will receive an invitation to follow the presentation and must accept to “Follow Presenter” and choose their name under “Present”. The presenter will be able to see who is following them from the list of names displayed at the top of the screen.
- The “Present” tab can be pinned so that you can always have it open, even as you choose other options. To pin the tab, click on the pushpin icon on the top right.
- When in a presenter mode or directing others to page, ensure you check the groups you are presenting to. You can select only the parties and the panel under “Lawyers, Judges and Court Staff” and exclude witnesses under “Witness”, or present to both.
- If you are not presenting to a witness or directing them to a page, they will not see any documents. Witnesses also will not have the ability to scroll down or navigate to other documents. When presenting to a witness or directing them to a page, their view will be limited to the document or the page shared by you. In a “presentation”, the witness will be limited to the document presented. If using “direct to page” with a witness, you will have to direct the witness to each new page, even if you are scrolling down, as they will not have access to the entire document.
- There may be a short time lag or delay when a presenter moves between the documents or directs participants to a specific page. In all cases, the presenter may need to slow down, take a pause, and confirm that everyone is on the same page.
- It is convenient and effective to use a “Dual Panes“ mode for document review and presentation. To access it, clink on the “Dual Panes” icon in the top right corner of your reading window (i.e., small overlapping rectangles ). This will open a second reading pane so that you can view two documents side-by-side.
- Participants can choose either to “Follow Presenter” or be “directed” to a specific page in one reading pane and review other documents simultaneously in the second pane. Two panes are independent of one another. The feature allows participants to navigate and annotate documents in one pane while viewing documents directed to by the presenter in the second pane.
- The dual panes can also be used to conduct searches and view results in separate panes, to compare/contrast documents side-by-side, to review submissions and open hyperlinks to access two documents at the same time, among other uses.
- When documents are uploaded to Case Center, all text within the documents is digitally scanned (using Optical Character Recognition or OCR) therefore allowing searches of all uploaded documents, including emails and handwritten text. You can “Search” the entire case or a particular document or section under “Find”.
Notes and Annotations
- Once documents are uploaded, under “Notes”, you can add, filter and edit notes, annotate documents, and organize your notes so that they make the most sense to you.
- By default, all notes and annotations made in Case Center are private, which means only you as a note-maker can see them. Extra steps are required for notes to be shared widely, i.e., with everyone who has access to the case or a shared group.
- Participants may use different colors for their notes and annotations and, for ease of reference, may assign colors to a particular group (e.g., blue notes for Enforcement, green notes for Respondents, purple notes for panel members).
Marking Documents as Exhibits
- Documents marked as exhibits during the hearing will be stamped as “New SRO Exhibit #... DATE” by the registrar and added to the hearing record. Marked exhibits will be stored in and can be accessed from the “Exhibits” sub-bundle.
- All participants will have access to the matter, including documents marked as exhibits into the hearing record and their private notes after the hearing. No documents should be removed or modified in Case Center at that time.
- The case will be closed on Case Center, removing access to the matter for all participants, 30 days after the completion of the proceeding (i.e., after the final decision is issued by the hearing panel).
- The “Exhibits” sub-bundle may not contain the full and final hearing record of the case. Where a party requires a copy of the hearing record of the proceeding, they should submit a Hearing Record Request with the NHO / CSO as prescribed by the Rules.
When documents are uploaded and viewed on Case Center, participants should consistently use the following naming and numbering conventions for ease of identification and reference.
Note: Party-specific naming conventions, abbreviations and file numbers should not be included in the document titles.
Respondent’s name _ year of the commencement of the proceeding (e.g., Smith_2022)
Simple document/page numbering, starting at 1 or 01 (vs. 000001)
DDMMMYYYY (e.g., 19DEC2022)
Party_Document title_Matter_Date of the document (DDMMMYYYY)
e.g., Respondent_Written Submissions_Smith_16FEB2022
Tab #, Index and Page Numbers
Do not use tab numbers in the description of bookmarks (e.g., Tab 1, Tab 2 etc.). Instead, use a detailed name of the document (per above). Document numbers and page numbers will be automatically assigned by Case Center creating an index and paginating all documents when uploaded.
Sections (see all naming conventions further below)
A = Agreement
BA = Book of Authorities
C = Compendium
DO = Decisions / Orders
E = Enforcement
J = Joint
L = Liability
M = Motion
NOH = Notice of Hearing
O = Other
P = Penalty
PHC = Prehearing Conference/Procedural Matters
PL = Pleadings
R = Respondent / Response
RD = Record
RS = Restricted Documents (open only to the party who uploaded them to Case Center)
S = Settlement
SA = Settlement Agreement
SC = Supplementary Compendium
SOA = Statement of Allegations
SLD = Sealed Documents
T = Transcript
UNRD = Unredacted Documents
WS = Written Submissions
Penalty Hearing (this sub-bundle will be added at the completion of the liability hearing)
Motion/Application Hearing (this sub-bundle will only be added if there are motions/applications)
PL - Pleadings
T - Transcripts
DO - Decisions / Orders
PHC – Procedural Matters (Prehearing Conference etc.)
UNRD - Unredacted Documents
SLD – Sealed Documents
LEC - Enforcement Compendium
LESC - Enforcement Supplementary Compendium
LRC - Respondent Compendium
LRSC – Respondent Supplementary Compendium
LEWS - Enforcement Written Submissions
LRWS - Respondent Written Submissions
LEBA - Enforcement Book of Authorities
LRBA - Respondent Book of Authorities
LEO - Enforcement Other Documents
LRO – Respondent Other Documents
LERS - Enforcement Restricted Documents (can only be seen by Enforcement)
LRRS - Respondent Restricted Documents (can only be seen by Respondent)
Penalty (*penalty sections will be added once a liability hearing is completed)
PEC - Enforcement Compendium
PRC - Respondent Compendium
PEWS - Enforcement Written Submissions
PRWS - Respondent Written Submissions
PEBA - Enforcement Book of Authorities
PRBA - Respondent Book of Authorities
PEO - Enforcement Other Documents
PRO – Respondent Other Documents
PERS - Enforcement Restricted Documents (can only be seen by Enforcement)
PRRS - Respondent Restricted Documents (can only be seen by Respondent)
Motion/Application (*these sections will only be added if there are motions/applications)
MERD - Enforcement Motion Record
MRRD - Respondent Motion Record
MEWS - Enforcement Written Submissions
MRWS - Respondent Written Submissions
MEBA - Enforcement Book of Authorities
MRBA - Respondent Book of Authorities
SA - Settlement Agreement
SBA - Book of Authorities
SWS – Written Submissions
SDO – Decisions / Orders