The Court has approved:
a) an increase in Mandatory Early Intervention Case Conferences from 4 per week to 6 per week in Edmonton and Calgary, effective September 1, 2018; and
b) Mandatory Pre-Trial Conferences in some family matters in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer, effective September 1, 2018.
Increase in Mandatory Early Intervention Case Conferences
Since the Court of Queen’s Bench Mandatory Early Intervention Case Conference (EICC) Pilot Project began on September 1, 2017 (NP#2016-08), the Court has been conducting 4 EICC’s each week, on matters referred into the project from regular family chambers.
Commencing September 1, 2018, the Court will be conducting 6 EICC’s each week. Two of the six EICC’s each week will be referred based on written request. That request may be made by completing the form entitled “Request for an Early Intervention Case Conference (EICC) In a Family Proceeding”, and providing it to the Case Conference Coordinator in the applicable city.
The form is attached to this Notice and can also be found on the Alberta Courts website.
All requests will be considered by a designated Justice in each city. Written confirmation will be provided if the matter is accepted into the EICC project. Counsel must then appear in regular family chambers with the acceptance letter for the purpose of confirming the date for the EICC and to obtain an Order and an information package for each of the parties.
Mandatory Pre-Trial Conferences in Family Matters
Effective September 1, 2018, pre-trial conferences in family matters will be mandatory in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer, where one or both parties wish to schedule a trial date in the following circumstances:
1) all files where there are one or more self-represented litigants; and
2) all files that are being scheduled for trial for 3 days or more.
For those matters for which a mandatory pre-trial conference is required, a trial cannot be scheduled until after the pre-trial conference has taken place and the pre-trial conference Justice has confirmed that the matter is ready to be scheduled for trial.
This initiative does not apply to files under Case Management.
The objectives of the pre-trial conference will be as set out in Part A of Q.B. Family Law Practice Note 3. Part B, paragraph 6 of the same Practice Note will also apply.
The attached Family Pre-Trial Conference Summary must be completed and exchanged between the parties and provided to the Court seven (7) days before the pre-trial conference.
Mandatory Pre-Trial Conferences will take place in a courtroom and the parties must be in attendance. The Conference will be held “in camera”. The parties/Counsel will not have access to the digital recording or a transcript of the proceedings without leave of the Court.
The Justice who hears the pre-trial conference shall not be the Trial Judge unless Counsel and both parties agree in writing and the Justice agrees to hear the matter.
The pre-trial conference Justice may provide a memo concerning case management directions to the Trial Coordinator, the Trial Judge, and the parties (through Counsel where retained) in advance of the trial, but this document will contain no reference to any settlement issues or discussions.
Questions or concerns with respect to any of these or other initiatives of the Court of Queen’s Bench may be made in writing to the Chief Justice or Associate Chief Justice.