a case conference is an early opportunity to meet with the opposing party to obtain assistance for the following purposes:
- Identifying the issues that are in dispute and those that are not in dispute
- Exploring ways to resolve the issues that are in dispute
- Ensuring disclosure of the relevant evidence and information
- If possible, having the parties agree to a specific timetable for the steps to be taken in the case before it comes to trial
Lawyers who provide Private Case Conferences
You should be aware that at a Case Conference the Court does not have jurisdiction to make Orders on issues that are contested except for Orders related to ensuring relevant financial disclosure.
The Court can also make Orders that are on consent. Now that the Court has reduced the services being offered, and the resulting delays, a private case conference can be conducted by a senior lawyer to meet the requirements of the Family Law Rules which require the parties to have a case conference before your case can move towards the next step.
Unlike a Case Conference conducted by a judge, a lawyer conducting a private case conference cannot make an Order. However, if the parties can agree on terms, that agreement can be converted to a formal court order on consent.
The lawyers with the VFLP can conduct Private Case Conferences in circumstances where both parties are represented by lawyers. Unlike a Case Conference conducted by a judge, a lawyer conducting a Private Case Conference cannot make an Order. However, if the parties can agree on terms, that agreement can be converted to a formal court order on consent by way of a “14B” motion form to be submitted to the court by one of the party’s lawyers. Once a Private Case Conference is completed, the lawyer conducting the Case Conference will send a confirmation to the court on the attached form.