EARLY INTERVENTION CASE CONFERENCES

When you are in Family Docket Court in Edmonton or Calgary, the Judge may order you to attend an Early Intervention Case Conference. It is also possible that you and the other party have agreed to attend an Early Intervention Case Conference and have had that agreement confirmed by Consent Order.

The goals of the Case Conference are:

(a) to see if you and the other party can settle some of the matters that you have not been able to resolve;

(b) to talk about options to settle your matters in a way that may not be available to you in a more formal court proceeding;

(c) if settlement is not possible, to hear what the Judge thinks about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the other party’s case, and to hear what the Judge thinks might happen if your matters have to go to a more formal court proceeding or a trial;

(d) if settlement is not possible, to try to reduce the number of matters that have to go to a more formal court proceeding or trial;

(e) if settlement is not possible, to talk about how the cost and time the court proceeding or trial will take can be reduced as much as possible.

You have received an Order with the date and time of your Case Conference.  The Case Conference will take place in a courtroom for one hour. Where in person attendance is not available, you will be provided with a link for participation by video.

You must attend the Case Conference yourself.  You can’t send someone else to attend on your behalf, including your lawyer.  If you have a lawyer, your lawyer should come to the Case Conference with you unless you instruct them not to attend.

If you can’t come to the Case Conference, you must contact the Case Conference Coordinator. If you don’t, you risk the Judge making an order that you pay a fine or costs, or making another kind of order against you. The email address for the Case Conference Coordinators in Edmonton and Calgary are

CaseConferenceCoordinator.QBEdmonton@albertacourts.ca
CaseConferenceCoordinator.QBCalgary@albertacourts.ca

If you or the other party need to delay your Case Conference for a good reason, another Case Conference will be scheduled.  Until you have the Case Conference, you may not be able to take any other step in your court case without the permission of a Judge.

Documents and Information to Exchange

To make the Case Conference work as well as possible for you and the other party, you must do the following:

1) Provide to the other party, any documents, information listed in the Order for your Case Conference, and any other documents needed by either party to address the matters in dispute. You should also provide up-to-date income information to the other party, if not already provided;

2) Complete the Case Conference Summary found here and give an electronic or paper copy to the other party. You must also provide an electronic copy to the Case Conference Coordinator at least 7 days before the Case Conference.

If you do not do these things, you risk the Judge making an order that you pay a fine or costs, or making another kind of order against you.

What Happens at the Case Conference?

The Judge will read your Case Conference Summary before the Case Conference so that he or she is familiar with your case. You should be prepared to talk about ways to resolve your court case without taking more formal steps in court.

If some or all of your matters are settled, the Judge will confirm your agreement in a Report from the Case Conference Justice. This Report will be sent to you by email.

The Judge may also give you directions or make orders about filing or exchanging other documents or about any procedural steps that need to be taken in order to take your matters to a more formal court proceeding or a trial.

The part of the Case Conference that deals with procedural steps is not confidential.  However, anything that you or the other party say about settling any of the matters in your court case is confidential and can’t be repeated in a future court proceeding or at  trial unless a settlement has been reached.

Getting Help and More Information

If you do not have a lawyer, you should probably speak to one and get legal advice before your Case Conference. The following resources may assist you:

  • Legal Aid Alberta, call 1.866.845.3425 (website: www.legalaid.ab.ca)
  • Edmonton Community Legal Centre, call 780.702.1725 (website: www.eclc.ca)
  • Calgary Legal Guidance, call 403.234.9266 (website: http://clg.ab.ca)
  • Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, call 780.451.8764 (website: www.cplea.ca)

If you have questions about the documents and information you need to exchange or questions about the Case Conference Summary, you may contact the Government of Alberta Resolution and Court Administration Services Contact Centre at 1.855.738.4747.