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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 12-01-2009, 11:49 AM
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Default Case Law, Case Conference and Mediation

Case conference is Dec 7, I am self-representing (seeking ss and equalization) and nervous as hell. I am confident in my pleadings to the court but am wondering about case law. At what point is case law brought into light, at case conference? Do I come up with particulars or wait to see what my ex's lawyer brings to the table for discussion first (including any case law examples)? Also, how important is case law? I have studied extensively just in case and will be prepared if need be, but will it be at this first meeting or later meetings?
I had an impromptu meeting with his lawyer and she was trying to sway me into accepting a meeting with my ex, herself and myself prior to case conference to see if we could come to a settlement. Ordinarily I would agree to this, however, from their past history of delays and ridiculous without prejudice statements I strongly feel that it would be in my best interest to discuss matters with a mediator. I have contacted them by letter stating I would be open to offers but discussions are best suited with a mediator in the room. Will the court look at this unfavourably (as though I was being 'difficult')?fficeffice" />>>
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free-spirit View Post
Case conference is Dec 7, I am self-representing (seeking ss and equalization) and nervous as hell. I am confident in my pleadings to the court but am wondering about case law. At what point is case law brought into light, at case conference? Do I come up with particulars or wait to see what my ex's lawyer brings to the table for discussion first (including any case law examples)? Also, how important is case law? I have studied extensively just in case and will be prepared if need be, but will it be at this first meeting or later meetings?
I had an impromptu meeting with his lawyer and she was trying to sway me into accepting a meeting with my ex, herself and myself prior to case conference to see if we could come to a settlement. Ordinarily I would agree to this, however, from their past history of delays and ridiculous without prejudice statements I strongly feel that it would be in my best interest to discuss matters with a mediator. I have contacted them by letter stating I would be open to offers but discussions are best suited with a mediator in the room. Will the court look at this unfavourably (as though I was being 'difficult')?fficeffice" />>>
Based on my experience, you will actually see little accomplished at the Case Conference. The case conference is, essentially, just there to make everything has been filed with the court. My case conference was 10 minutes at best. Have they filed any motions that they want ruled on at the Case Conference? In fact, it would have been over in two minutes were it not for the fact that my ex would not agree to any set times that I could see my son...my lawyer pushed the issue and got the judge to make a temporary order on that.

Unless you settle ahead of time, after the case conference, the court will likely put your issue over to a settlement conference...which is almost the same as mediation, but, with a judge present. The judge sits on the floor at the same level as the parties and will make suggestions (forcefully if they feel a certain way) to you both. The judge can make orders at the settlement conference. They will do this first in an attempt to avoid sending your matter to a potentially lengthy/expensive trial. I also found that the judge who resided over the case conference had little to no patience in comparison to the settlement conference one; just something to keep in mind as you're representing yourself.

You could propose a meeting with a mediator; I don't see them looking unfavourably on that. In doing so, at least you're attempting to discuss the issues outside of court. Also, I don't see anything wrong with a meeting between your ex and his lawyer...just don't allow yourself to be pushed into anything that you don't feel comfortable with. When I went through the courts, both my lawyer and my ex' lawyer met several times to discuss settlements...sometimes with us present and sometimes not. I think your ex' lawyer is trying to treat this the same way that she would if you had representation. Either way, your ex' lawyer should submit a formal offer to settle with their case conference brief...why don't you ask for it and then look it over? If you're willing to spend the money on a mediator (which can get expensive) it might be worth spending a few hundred dollars to have a lawyer look at the offer and advise you.

In terms of case law, you're not going to need to quote case law unless your issue ends up in a trial. Hopefully, you can come to a resolution before getting to that point.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:48 PM
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My case conference lasted over an hour, with the lawyers meeting with the judge, the judge giving some solid advice and settlement opinions, the lawyers came back to me and my ex (in separate rooms) and then went back to the judge again to clarify options. The judge then made an order for interim support, and spoke to my ex and me telling us to slightly adjust our custody schedule (the adjustment solving some ongoing friction).

We then are scheduled for another conference in March (should be the settlement conference but I don't have the papers here). The judge stated she hopes she doesn't have to see us then.

The conference was a wake up call for my ex, who had all arguments cut to ribbons by the judge. Perhaps I had a better experience because our situation was fairly black and white from a legal standpoint and my ex just needed a boot in the rear. I'm hoping we can settle now before the new year.

As far as case law, the judge was fully aware of what would apply and it didn't seem that anything needed to be said or argued about that. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared! But what will help the most is to have a very well written but concise conference brief. The judge does actually read that and having your point thoughtfully and logically laid out helps a lot. We put a lot of work into mine, while in my ex's it was like each paragraph would be contradicted by the next, flip flopping and seeking something different each sentance.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:34 PM
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Thank you both for such insightful comments and your sound suggestions will be taken into great consideration when I enter Case Conference. My CC brief was admitedly short, but with that said my reply was very detailed. I believe it is with the answers given in my reply and what I suggested in my application (also very detailed), the judge will be well read on the issues at hand. Fact of the matter is I do want this settled and come to a reasonable agreement, it is my greatest hope I will be able to convey that to the court or mediator without selling myself short. Here is where I am at a disadvantage....I honestly do not know what a good offer is!! LOL....I imagine I will know it in my gut when I hear it :-)))))
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:46 AM
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Judges don't have a lot of patience for people who try to tell them what the law is. The idea of having to quote case law can be misinterpreted and backfire.

You do need to be within the law and explain your logical reasons according to the law. You do not need to keep saying "This so because the law says that blah blah blah..." The judge knows full well what the law says. Lay out your arguements in an organized fashion.

Start with the ending, what do want the result to be. Above that list several reasons why you should get that result. In between list the facts that support each reason. Write out your reasons according to any examples of case law you can find, so they look like they fit case law, but don't bother quoting the law. The judge knows the law better than you and the brief should be brief, not a text book.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:55 PM
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Default Served with notice to attend case conference

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
My case conference lasted over an hour, with the lawyers meeting with the judge, the judge giving some solid advice and settlement opinions, the lawyers came back to me and my ex (in separate rooms) and then went back to the judge again to clarify options. The judge then made an order for interim support, and spoke to my ex and me telling us to slightly adjust our custody schedule (the adjustment solving some ongoing friction).

We then are scheduled for another conference in March (should be the settlement conference but I don't have the papers here). The judge stated she hopes she doesn't have to see us then.

The conference was a wake up call for my ex, who had all arguments cut to ribbons by the judge. Perhaps I had a better experience because our situation was fairly black and white from a legal standpoint and my ex just needed a boot in the rear. I'm hoping we can settle now before the new year.

As far as case law, the judge was fully aware of what would apply and it didn't seem that anything needed to be said or argued about that. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared! But what will help the most is to have a very well written but concise conference brief. The judge does actually read that and having your point thoughtfully and logically laid out helps a lot. We put a lot of work into mine, while in my ex's it was like each paragraph would be contradicted by the next, flip flopping and seeking something different each sentance.
______________________________________

I've been served with a notice to attend a Case Conference mid November
After having moved from the matrimonial home for over a year now, and shared parenting 50/50, but no signed FINAL Separation Agreement (ex refused to sign), she is seeking: a. a divorce, b. physical custody of our two kids (claim is she speaks French, I do not: and kids go to French school, so she can do French homework with them), c. Child Support - table amount, d. decision making for school and activities.

I am encouraged that she has initiated the divorce. Based on your personal experience, can you please enlighten me with your opinion?

We attempted mediation with lLA and my ex refused to sign on the revised FINAL, FINAL SA. So, $7K spent, time energy and great detail, and no output. She claims she does not agree to detail, and that it was in my favour.
Is a signed SA required as the basis for a divorce?

A CC seems to have limited benefits from what I've read. Mediation is not legally binding, however arbitration is and requires consent from both parties. Am I accurate. If both parties agree, could a 5 way (2 clients, 2 lawyers and arbitrator) schedule a session/sessions to discuss issues. If this a more efficient and cost effective way to address the issues?

Also, now my ex has initiated the process, should I seek appropriate representation and counter with what I am seeking from her?
As you clarified, the judge cut to ribbons her arguments, and I suspect this is precisely what will happen all of the baseless alleged claims/issues she has made in the CC document (save the request for divorce). It is truly without merit, and certainly not in the childrens' best interests. ie. one claim is for sole custody so her son can live with her in her new community which she just moved to as he wants to play hockey there.

Appreciate addressing the issues and moving the process along in the most cost effective and efficient method possible after an unsuccessful mediation experience. Both parties need to agree to realize mediation success.
I thought this was so, until she held out after both our lawyers provided reasonable feedback.

Appreciate your insight, or PM

Thanks very much
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