In British Columbia and Ontario small claims court, there is something called the trial management conference.
The trial conference is informal and is geared towards trying to resolve the problem. During the trial conference, it is possible to ask questions of the judge. Many people self represent in small claims court. They will do the reply or claim themselves and will go as far as the settlement conference. However, once things get towards the trial conference and trial, many decide to hire a business lawyer. If you need a lawyer anywhere in BC, Alberta, or Ontario, contact us.
We will connect you with a lawyer that will give you a free 15-minute consultation. You can then hire a lawyer if you both get along well. Our website contains general legal information, but not legal advice. You will need to speak to a lawyer when getting ready for a trial.
Do you know anything about getting ready for trial? Do you know how to set a court date? What about how to call witnesses during a trial? The court process is not as simple as many people believe it to be. You will have to provide an opening statement during a trial. You need to make sure it counts.
At the minimum, get legal coaching from a lawyer. This will save you a lot of money. Also, keep in mind there are some judges out there that are offended by self-represented individuals. It’s not fair, but it happens more than you would think. Some judges think you need to earn the right to speak to them (by having a license to practice law.)
We have lawyers in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Victoria. We also have lawyers in Edmonton that can help you.
Trial Management Conference Lawyers
- small claims court
- supreme court
- provincial court
- superior court
- queen’s bench court
- family law
- criminal law
- civil law
Opening Statement And Setting The Trial Date
During the conference, the judge will not be able to make a final ruling unless both parties consent. The judge can make orders that will make things easy. At a trial conference, the judge will review the claim and figure out how long the trial needs to go on. The judge will also decide on what issues do not require evidence.
The judge will also explain what paperwork should be submitted to the other party before trial (discovery.) Also, what evidence needs to be shown to the judge during the trial.
There are a number of forms you need to file before the trial conference. One is the trial statement form. You cannot be late in filing documents. In this form, you will write out a few pages about the events that happened.
Small Claims Court Trial Management Conference
There will be a different court process for family court, criminal court, supreme court, and provincial court. In this article, we are focusing on the small claims court and the BC supreme court. This is the trial management conference for a civil dispute. Let’s say someone is suing for $30,000. They are told they need to go to the conference. A trial conference is a 30-minute meeting with a judge that takes place before the trial. The trial conference often saves time and reduces the amount of time during the trial.
Preparing For Trial Management Conference
Attending the trial management conference is mandatory. If someone has a lawyer they normally do not have to go. However, they should make themselves available to be called by their lawyer. Sometimes someone can attend the conference by telephone or video chat. If you don’t show up, you will likely have to pay the other side’s legal fees and won’t have your voice heard.
The judge will likely make decisions about if the witnesses can provide written submissions or need to appear in person. There will also likely be time limits set for certain things. This may include the opening arguments, closing arguments, and examinations of witnesses.
Trial Management Conference Brief
Here are a few terms associated with a trial management conference…
- attending the trial
- family law, criminal law, or civil law
- the supreme court or provincial court
- getting ready for trial
- making sure witnesses are present at trial
- setting a court date
- figuring out the specific legal problem
- plan to call witnesses
- review expert reports
- preparing your opening statement
- trying to settle the case
- being clear on the court process
We can help you with getting your trial management conference brief ready in Ontario. Our lawyers can also help you with preparing for the trial management conference. You can learn more about the law by seeing our videos.
Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law