[Please be advised that the information provided is not to be constituted as legal advice]
The Case Conference is the most important step in Family Law Litigation. A Case conference allows you and your lawyer to hear the judge’s perspective on your case at an early stage.
The primary goal at the case conference is to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues. By reaching an agreement, you may be able to avoid expensive motions and move directly to a settlement conference.
The purpose of a case conference is set out in the Family Law Rules.
- Exploring chances of settling the case, at the case conference the parties will hear from a judge, who is willing to explain how they would apply the facts to the case.
- Identifying the issues that are in dispute and those that are not in dispute.
- Exploring ways to resolve the issues that are in dispute. A case conference judge proposes realistic and achievable solutions that are acceptable to both parties and is able to reframe an issue so the parties see it and their role in a new light, paving the way for settlement.
- Ensuring that the parties exchange the relevant evidence. One of the most crucial functions a case conference judge performs is ensuring that full and complete financial disclosure is exchanged.
- Identifying any issues relating to any expert evidence or reports on which the parties intend to rely at trial.
- Noting admissions that may simplify the case.
- Setting the date for the next step in the case.
- Giving directions with respect to any intended motion.
At a case conference, there will also be frank discussions regarding the costs and benefits of settling or proceeding forward.