In any family law proceeding, it is almost always mandatory to arrange a Judicial Case Conference (JCC).
But what exactly is a Judicial Case Conference? A JCC in British Columbia is a private and informal meeting between the parties, their lawyers, and a Supreme Court judge or master. It’s an opportunity to discuss and resolve some or all of the issues regarding your case without having to go through further litigation and trial.
What happens in a Judicial Case Conference?
JCCs are confidential and held off the record. Although there is a recording made of the proceeding, you are not allowed to have a copy of the recording without the judge or master’s permission.
The following are examples of what the judge or master may do at a JCC:
(a) Identify issues and explore how they may be resolved
(b) Make orders to which all the parties consent
(c) Refer you to a family dispute resolution professional or a family justice counsellor
(d) Reserve a trial date
(e) Give a non-binding opinion on the probable outcome of a hearing or trial
Outcomes of a Judicial Case Conference:
In a best-case scenario, a settlement would be reached with the judge or master making a consent order on the spot, thus ending the hearing and saving you lots of stress as well as money and time that would otherwise be spent on further legal action.
However, if further legal action and trial is necessary, the JCC provides an opportunity to set a plan for the litigation that will ensure the trial is heard and a decision is made in a just and timely manner.
A Judicial Case Conference is a very important stage of any family law litigation in BC and should be used wisely and efficiently. It always helps to come into a JCC well prepared, with a plan or with strategies as to how to resolve your case.
If you need advice regarding Judicial Case Conferences, consult Vancouver and Burnaby family law lawyer Andrew Rebane at Resolutions Law Corporation, Burnaby, British Columbia at [email protected] or 778-372-7107.