Family law updates from the Superior Court of Justice and LAWPRO
Family law lawyers – please note the following updates from the Superior Court of Justice:
- The SCJ’s Binding Judicial Dispute Resolution pilot for family cases is now available in Barrie, Oshawa, Peterborough/Cobourg/Lindsay, Cornwall, Ottawa and both regions in the north. Family lawyers in those regions should consider using it to reach a streamlined disposition of their less complex family cases. To learn more about the JDR pilot, please see this SCJ practice advisory.
- DROs still have capacity and in all centres have quicker dates than judicial case conferences. In most centres you can also use them on applications on consent of the parties. The SCJ asks that parties please consider doing so.
- Court-connected mediation remains underutilized. They are in the process of returning to in-person as well as virtual services. Please consider using them. As a reminder, if parties attempt mediation but can’t get to a resolution, they can ask permission to skip straight to a settlement conference assuming no motions are needed (see FLR 17(7.1)).
- The SCJ needs lawyers to consult in advance of family conferences so that time can be used more effectively. Note amendments to FLR 17(3.1) that clarified this requirement and added additional consequences for failure to confer.
For more general family law training, note that the April 2022 Tips with LAWPRO and TLA: Family Law Tips event is now available as a replay. It is eligible for 1.5 hours of professionalism CPD credit and for LAWPRO’s Risk Management Credit.