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For Consultation: Mandatory Dispute Resolution Before Entry for Trial Proposal for Pilot Project Effective January 1, 2019

Jul 9, 2018

In an effort to promote resolution and to reduce lead times in short and long civil trials in Calgary and Edmonton, the Court of Queen’s Bench is proposing to revoke the suspension of enforcement of Rules 8.4(3)(a) and 8.5(1)(a) of the Alberta Rules of Court, which was set out in Notice to the Profession NP#2013-01.

Under the resulting proposed pilot project which would commence January 1, 2019, there would be a requirement to file a Form 37 or 38 before booking a Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) for all non-family civil matters. The requirement of a Form 37 reflects the current shortage of judicial resources to address the expected increase in demand for JDR’s. It is hoped that this requirement could be lifted when the Court receives its full complement of justices.

Form 37 will therefore be amended to provide as follows:

The parties WILL PARTICIPATE in at least one of the dispute resolution processes described in Rule 4.16(1), details of which are: BY A DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS BOOKED THIS DATE, TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE A TRIAL IS HEARD.

In the Judicial Centres of Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, the Senior Supervising Justice may initiate a Rule 4.10 Case Conference for any trial that is scheduled for one week or longer, after the Form 37 or 38 has been filed, for the purpose of canvasing JDR and ADR options. In all other Regional Judicial Centres, the parties may apply to the Chief Justice (in Centres north of Edmonton) or Associate Chief Justice (in Drumheller) for a Rule 4.10 Case Conference for the same purpose.

Family matters would be exempt from the requirement to file a Form 37 or 38 before booking a JDR because the Court is focusing its efforts on the early resolution of family cases. Family JDR’s will be scheduled as part of the Family Law Resolution Week (see Notice to Profession and Public NPP 2018-03) in Edmonton and Calgary commencing September, 2018. In the Judicial Centres of Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, the Senior Supervising Justice may initiate a Rule 4.10 Case Conference for the purpose of canvassing JDR and ADR options. In all other Regional Judicial Centres, the parties may apply to the Chief Justice (in Centres north of Edmonton) or Associate Chief Justice (in Drumheller) for a Rule 4.10 Case Conference for the same purpose. Family JDR’s will not be booked unless:

  • current financial disclosure is exchanged and complete;
  • current s. 31 MPA property statements or equivalent have been exchanged in proceedings involving a property dispute, supported by documents (RRSP/investment statements, etc); and
  • any PN7 or PN8 ordered has been completed and received by the parties.

As noted, the Court is proposing to lift the suspension of enforcement of Rules 8.4(3)(a) and 8.5(1)(a) effective January 1, 2019. The Court encourages feedback from the Bar and from the public in advance of the implementation of this proposal. Comments or concerns may be sent to Darryl Ruether, Executive Legal Counsel, at: darryl.ruether@albertacourts.ca.