26 August 2010

Deadlines for Comment to Legal Aid Commission

The public hearing process of the Public Commission on Legal Aid will begin on 20 September and end on 12 October 2010, after stops in Vancouver, Terrace, Prince George, Williams Lake, Kamloops, Kelowna, Victoria, Cranbrook and Chilliwack.

If you would like to give your comments to the commission in person, you must complete an Expression of Interest Form and have that in to the commission by 1 September 2010. Written submissions are due by 31 October 2010 and may be submitted by email to legalaid@publiccommission.org or by post to:
Public Commission on Legal Aid
10th Floor, 845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 5T3

14 August 2010

Parenting Coordinators Publish Admissions Criteria

The BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society has updated its website to publish the criteria for admission to the society as a parenting coordinator and application forms for download. According to the website, the minimum requirements for admission are:
  1. membership in a self-regulating professional organization
  2. maintenance of professional liability insurance
  3. significant experience in a family practice focusing on separation and divorce
  4. training in parenting coordination
  5. training in mediation, arbitration and other dispute resolution processes
  6. awareness of a variety of psycho-social issues relevant to parenting coordination
The society has also announced its adoption of the Guidelines for Parenting Coordination (PDF) of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts as the practice standards of its members.

03 August 2010

Rules on Chambers Applications Amended

By now most people involved in the family law justice system are aware that the new Supreme Court Family Rules which came into effect on 1 July 2010 have one particularly important flaw: the timelines for chambers application procedures in Rule 10-6 don't work. On 29 July 2010 an Order in Council was passed which ought to correct the timelines. Here are the key changes.

Calculation of Time:
Time is now calculated as "business days," meaning days when the court is open for business. Weekends and statutory holidays are no longer counted.

Notice of Application:
The length of this form is now capped at 10 pages. Changes are made to the text of the form to reflect the new timelines.

Time for Serving Notice of Application: Filed copies of the Notice of Application and new supporting affidavits must be served on the application respondent:
  1. for interim applications, at least 8 business days before the date picked for the hearing;
  2. for summary trials, at least 12 business days before the hearing date; and,
  3. for applications to vary a final order, at least 21 business days before the hearing date.
Responding to an Application: The application respondent must now serve two copies of his or her Application Response and new affidavits on the applicant. A new subrule, (8.1), says that these materials must be filed in court and served on the applicant:
  1. for interim applications, at least 5 business days after service of the Notice of Application;
  2. for summary trials, at least 8 business days after service; and,
  3. for applications to vary a final order, at least 14 business days after service.
This replaces the rule which allowed an application respondent to delay delivering his or her responding materials until two days before the hearing regardless of when they were available.

Responding to a Response: The applicant is required to file and serve copies of any new affidavits prepared in reply to the application respondent's materials by 4:00pm on the day that is one business day before the hearing date.

Application Records and Application Record Indices: The applicant is required to both file an Application Record in court and serve a copy of the index on the application respondent by 4:00pm on the day that is one business day before the hearing date.

These changes, including the change to the Notice of Application, have now been incorporated on my website into the chapters New Rules 101 and The Legal System > Interim Applications.