Types of appearances
Conferences are opportunities to help the parties settle some or all of the issues. The goal is to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.
The first hearing that you’re likely to have to go to is a case conference. Generally speaking, before a case can go to trial, the parties may have to attend three conferences:
– a case conference
A meeting between a judge and the parties or their lawyers, or all together, to identify disputed issues and explore methods of resolving those issues in a timely manner.
– a settlement conference
A meeting between a judge and the parties or their lawyers, or all together, to identify any issues that can be settled or any facts agreed upon and the evidence that will be relied on for the outstanding issues.
– a trial management conference
A meeting between the judge and the parties or their lawyers, or all together, to facilitate an orderly trial and explore possibilities for settling the matter.
A motion is a hearing before a judge for an order while the parties are waiting for the case to reach trial. Some of the orders that may be requested are orders for temporary custody, temporary access, temporary child support and disclosure of information. There are many other temporary orders that may be requested, and the ones mentioned are just some of them. The Family Law Rules state that a case conference must be held before a person can bring a motion.
Motions are held in open court, meaning that anyone may be present in the courtroom, including the parties and lawyers for all the other cases that are scheduled in that particular courtroom.
Dispute resolution conferences
In some parts of the province, if the purpose of your court case is to change a previous order, you may be required to attend a dispute resolution conference. A dispute resolution conference is a conference similar to a case conference. However, the person presiding at the conference is a senior family law lawyer who is known as a dispute resolution officer.
Trials and other hearings are generally open to the public. At the end of the trial, the judge may make an order and will read his or her decision out loud in court. The written copy of the judge’s decision and his reasons for making it is called an “endorsement.”
A judge’s decision has to be made into a formal court order that is signed and sealed by the court. However, the judge’s decision is effective as of the date that it is made.