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What changes should be made to family law?

These proposals let family law lawyers discuss and vote on what changes they think should be made to the law or court procedures. The results can be viewed and shared with legislators and the Courts. The proposals put forth are written by member lawyers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or its administrators. You can view more proposals or make a proposal yourself.

Proposal: Keep the desk NTD process
Court Procedure - Nov 8, 2021

46% in favour out of 13 votes

Ken Proudman - view Arbitrator profile
   Edmonton, Alberta

The QB's Family Law Consulting Committee is seeking feedback relating to the family court disclosure process, so I thought I'd post this here so that I could pass along any feedback. Please provide any feedback before Nov 17, 2022. Alternatively, you can send your feedback directly to Teri Burant at or 780-970-6291.

0 14 months ago

Christopher King
  CK Family Law
   Edmonton, Alberta

In the majority of cases agreeing to exchange disclosure at Docket is sufficient. However, with a difficult opposing party or no need to attend Docket, the Notice to Disclose (via desk application) lacks the teeth and efficiency of the old Notice to Disclose with a Court date. On the issue of disclosure specifically, I'd prefer a method to bypass Docket entirely to address disclosure issues.

0 14 months ago

Wayne Barkauskas, K.C. - view Arbitrator profile
  Wise Scheible Barkauskas
   Calgary, Alberta

I agree with Christopher, but also, if we ever get to a place where Masters could take on some of the workload, as this is a procedural and evidentiary issue, perhaps Masters could manage bare disclosure applications.

0 14 months ago

Stephen Harfield
  Queck & Associates
   Sherwood Park, Alberta

Generally the court maintains the ability to hear applications with documents only under 6.9(1)(c). So it is hard to know what is being voted on - removing that actual section? Or just how the courts are using that current section for the NTD desk process.

I always think it is good to keep the option. I do not like that the desk process is often not very timely, doesn't often deal with costs well, and doesn't have an easy way to be "turned off" if the other side provides disclosure eventually. But maybe it can be useful if both counsel agree, or as a soft motivator. However docket as a soft motivator has been what I have preferred.

As with any process things would certainly improve with better filing times. Maybe we would use the desk application process if we knew we could get things filed right away, and that judges would get to the orders right away and sending them out right away. Frustration with the process may not entirely be with the actual NTD desk application or the concept behind it.

0 14 months ago

Dawn Nelson
  Dawn L. Nelson, Barrister & Solicitor
   Edmonton, Alberta

Family Law lawyers should be exchanging disclosure automatically and voluntarily, given that it is a mandatory step anyway. If that can't happen, then use the desk process. I haven't had to use the desk process very often, but when I do, I find it is relatively efficient. Send the draft order in with a clause for costs and costs get ordered.

1 14 months ago

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