The Advisory: Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2011

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Court of Queen’s Bench To Hire Case Management Counsel

THE COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH recently determined a pressing need for two Case Management Counsel (CMC) positions. It had become apparent that a significant portion of judicial time was being taken up with the administration of what are often the Court’s most challenging files.

In October 2010, its Business Case to the Justice Ministry was successful, and the Court will be hiring one CMC in each of Edmonton and Calgary. Members of the Bar will have the benefit of enjoying a quick first-point-of-contact to schedule meetings with the case management judge, and to discuss other avenues in the effort to resolve issues.

The CMCs will be hired on a 24-month pilot project beginning in early summer in both Edmonton and Calgary. Their job will be to ensure that case management files are resolved in a proportionate, orderly, focused and expeditious manner. At this stage, the CMC is a court officer appointed pursuant to section 18 of the Court of Queen’s Bench Act. For now, their duties will not include the power to make procedural or costs orders. At the end of the pilot period, however, their role will be re-assessed and the addition of these powers, which may require a statutory amendment, will be re-visited.

For the present, lawyers will likely find that CMCs can help them to:

  • narrow or resolve issues between the parties
  • assist in developing a litigation plan
  • provide guidance to the parties, and
  • monitor the timely management of the litigation

The CMC positions will be advertised soon, interviews will be scheduled for sometime in April, and the incumbents should be installed by early summer.

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