Many people represent themselves when involved in a civil claim at Provincial Court. The Provincial Court civil process tends to be less complicated and thus easier to navigate without legal counsel. One of the steps in the Provincial Court process that many people are not familiar with is a Pre-Trial Conference.
In our area (particularly in Alberta), each civil claim is set for a Pre-Trial Conference once a statement of claim and dispute note are filed. This conference is a form of alternative dispute resolution, and its purpose is to attempt to settle the matter without a trial. Prior to the conference, the Plaintiff and Defendant must exchange all the evidence they are relying on, as well as file this material with the Court.
During a Pre-Trial Conference, the Plaintiff and Defendant meet with a Provincial Court Judge. The Judge will have reviewed each party’s evidence and will discuss the trial and settlement processes with the parties. The parties are also given a chance to discuss the possibility of settlement after hearing the Judge’s comments on their positions and evidence.
Pre-Trial Conferences are often successful in resolving a claim through settlement, and they help to decrease the costs of litigation, both in terms of monetary and time expense.
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