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Proposals - Court Procedure

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: Special Chambers is working well
Court Procedure - Dec 22, 2021

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)3 Comments

This time the QB Family Law Consulting Committee is seeking feedback regarding chambers. They're looking for both criticism and praise of what does work well, and any suggestions about how to improve the process. I will pass along your feedback, or you're welcome to provide feedback directly to Teri Burant at tburant@emeryjamieson.com or 780-970-6291. Please provide feedback by January 18, 2022.

67% in favour out of 9 votes


Proposal: Regular Chambers is working well
Court Procedure - Dec 22, 2021

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)0 Comments

This time the QB Family Law Consulting Committee is seeking feedback regarding chambers. They're looking for both criticism and praise of what does work well, and any suggestions about how to improve the process. I will pass along your feedback, or you're welcome to provide feedback directly to Teri Burant at tburant@emeryjamieson.com or 780-970-6291. Please provide feedback by January 18, 2022.

60% in favour out of 5 votes


Proposal: Keep family docket's method of addressing disclosure in place as is
Court Procedure - Nov 8, 2021

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)4 Comments

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 tburant@emeryjamieson.com or 780-970-6291.

69% in favour out of 16 votes


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

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)4 Comments

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 tburant@emeryjamieson.com or 780-970-6291.

46% in favour out of 13 votes


Proposal: Keep using videoconferencing for Regular Chambers
Court Procedure - Nov 8, 2021

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)5 Comments

I have mixed feelings about this one, I might even vote against my own proposal, but thought I'd put this proposal out there to see how others feel.

I miss discussing resolution at the courthouse steps when lawyers and clients were often all present and the reality of risks on each side set in, the rapport building coming from seeing our colleagues in person, being able to hand proposed forms of orders to judges, the lack of tech problem interruptions, and the effect of the Courthouse's formal setting upon clients.

But videoconferencing means that clients are no longer charged for travel, that small town and otherwise distant distant lawyers aren't disadvantaged, that we don't have to spend a lot of time choosing what documents to print and then organizing those documents, and that we can keep an eye on our emails at the same time. Given that our practice area focuses on individual services and not billion dollar corporations, affordability of legal services may be a paramount consideration.

81% in favour out of 16 votes


Proposal: Introduce a mandatory "meet and confer" requirement
Court Procedure - Aug 20, 2021

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)1 Comment

One of the justifications for Docket is that each side often fails to communicate prior to court. In many US States they compel settlement meetings, at the outset and/or before each court application. There would be additional rules to address family violence.

From Thomson Reuters: "In many courts, the parties must meet at the outset of a case to discuss various matters, including: a) The nature and basis of the parties' claims and defenses; b) The possibility of settling or resolving the case; and c) Discovery issues, including:
the preservation of discoverable information; and
a discovery plan. A meet and confer often saves the parties time and money by resolving issues, including how they will conduct discovery, early in the case. Most courts also require parties to meet and confer before making discovery and other motions in an attempt for parties to resolve their disputes without the need for judicial intervention."

93% in favour out of 58 votes


Proposal: Family Docket Court should be disbanded.
Court Procedure - Aug 19, 2021

Anonymous10 Comments

Morning Chambers was always a place where you could get procedural direction, but it was also a place where substantive but basic matters could be dealt with too. Now we have Docket, and Docket Bypass, and I just don't see the point.

53% in favour out of 38 votes


Proposal: Concise letter filing deadlines should be a couple of weeks before the hearing, not following the triggering date
Court Procedure - Aug 15, 2021

Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Alberta)3 Comments

It used to be that filing deadlines ran backwards from the special chambers hearing, rather than running from the triggering date when special chambers is booked. Back then, we were able to push clients to negotiate by pointing to all of the money that they'd have to spend on us if they didn't reach a resolution. Now litigants tend to be so focused on meeting deadlines and drafting that there seems to be less negotiation during the first couple of months, and then once there's some breathing room, they've spent so much on lawyers that they seem to be more likely to want to see the decision (a sunk costs fallacy).

I understand the rationale of wanting all of the facts on the table so that lawyers can provide proper opinions to their clients, and wanting to decrease adjournments caused by late filing, but delaying the concise letter deadline, and calling them briefs again, would help to promote settlement by creating a cost which clients can avoid if they cooperate. It's also less costly to prepare the concise letter closer to the hearing, because it minimizes the number of times that we have to go through all of the materials and decisions.

96% in favour out of 28 votes












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