Case Conferences

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does a case conference judge being “seized” mean?

    It means that the case conference judge must preside at all future case conferences and will hear all motions in the family proceeding.

  • What happens at a case conference?

    Case conferences are informal proceedings just between the parties, their lawyers, and the judge. You have a chance to discuss your case with the judge, get input on probable outcomes of your case, and possibly reach an agreement with the other side. It also gives the judge a chance to monitor the progress of your case and give directions on the court proceedings. You should be careful about any agreements that you do make at a case conference. These agreements become consent orders and are enforceable at law.

    Trial dates or final hearing dates must also be set by the case conference judge at the first case conference.

    The judge at the case conference will write a Case Conference Memorandum and give it to the parties after the case conference. This memorandum sets out any agreements or directions from the case conference.

  • Can I bring a friend to a case conference?

    Only you, your lawyer if you have one, and the other party with their lawyer will be able to attend the case conference with the judge. Case conferences are not open to the public. Having proceedings closed is supposed to encourage open discussions between the parties. Anything discussed at the case conference is “without prejudice”, meaning it can’t be referred to at motions or at trial. The case conference judge will not be the judge for future motions or trial.

  • What do I do if I don’t agree with something in the case conference memorandum?

    If you believe that the Case Conference Memorandum does not accurately reflect what happened at the case conference, you must notify the court within 14 days of receiving the memorandum. You may ask the court to re-open the case conference to deal with the matter in dispute. The other party must respond within 7 days of receiving your objection. Their response is provided to the court and the objecting party.

    The case conference can only be re-opened to deal with an inaccuracy. The case conference can’t be re-opened because you are not satisfied with what happened at the case conference, or if you change your mind about an agreement that you entered into.

    The case conference judge may confirm the original case conference memorandum, revise the case conference memorandum, or re-open the case conference to address the objection.