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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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  #1  
Old 06-02-2011, 07:50 AM
rmccallion rmccallion is offline
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Default Trial Management Conference Brief

Just preparing now and I have some questions. First of all, there aren't a lot of issues here. I'm the father (custodial parent). The only two issues we have left are the equialization payment and how much and how long I should be paying "spousal support".

The only witness that I would call is my mother who I want to testify that she lent us money - this would affect the equalization payment. Other than that, I can't think of what other "witnesses" might be required from either side. How would a witness benefit either the issue of equalization payment or if I need to pay spousal? Also - and this is an important question - if I think of a witness later, can I add them, or are only those wtnesses listed on Form 17E allowed?

With the outline of the opening statement, what's the purpose of having this defined for the trial management conference? Again - I can make changes after if necessary, I'd assume?

The whole of Part 3, I really don't know how to answer/fill out. I think that basically I'd answer "No" to all of the question in part 3 but I just don't have a sense as to what types of "expert reports" might be presented. Once again, what if I discover after the Trial Management Conference that there is some report that we'd need?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Rick
  #2  
Old 06-02-2011, 10:13 AM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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How long were you married? Does your ex work? How much does she make (on average)...how much do you make (ballpark). What would someone with her skills/training/education be able to make in your area? Has a lawyer run the numbers through divorcemate? What do they say?

Does your ex currently pay you child support?

All those are pertinent items...your mother will need to file an affidavit regarding the money you are owed, and you can put her on the witness list if necessary for that purpose. Unless there are other factors at play (ie. one of you sold assets before equalization was done and you need to call them to testify on the amount/arrangements if such is being contested)
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:24 AM
rmccallion rmccallion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBDad View Post
How long were you married? Does your ex work? How much does she make (on average)...how much do you make (ballpark). What would someone with her skills/training/education be able to make in your area? Has a lawyer run the numbers through divorcemate? What do they say?

Does your ex currently pay you child support?

All those are pertinent items...your mother will need to file an affidavit regarding the money you are owed, and you can put her on the witness list if necessary for that purpose. Unless there are other factors at play (ie. one of you sold assets before equalization was done and you need to call them to testify on the amount/arrangements if such is being contested)
Thanks for the response. Answers:
Married for 13.5 years, separated for 4 now. She has been working for 6 years now and is making 60K, I make 85K. With her salary, I think it's safe to assume that her staying at home hasn't impacted her career.

My ex "pays" child support, but from that, she deducts that maximum amount as per DivorceMate, despite there being no written agreement nor court order saying she's entitled. This is the whole reason why I've brough this to the courts. Divorcemate says I should "owe" around $350/month but my case is that she hasn't demonstrated entitlement and I contend that there is an inherent bias in Divorcemate as I'm the custodial parent. I have an affidavit from my mother stating that she had lent me $10,000, they contend it was a gift/forgiven loan as I haven't been able to regularly pay it back.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:23 PM
SillyMe SillyMe is offline
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So how does a Trial Management judge make sure the parties are ready for trial? Well, with a form of course. Unfortunately I can’t put up the form because it is marked up with all my schit. This is the form the judges use during trial management; it is their job to make sure the parties are prepared for trial. I was lucky to get this as, I have never seen it included in any court file, thought it might be useful for those heading to trial as a shopping list of what the judge will be using.

Y & N = check boxes
…. = space to write in

1. Preliminary Matters

Counsel retained (check boxes)
Disclosure completed
Assessments completed
Valuations completed
Settlement conference held
Child Protection case
Indian status Y & N
If Yes, band served Y & N

2. Issues

This box is numbered 1-4 but with lots of space to write notes;

example of mine; custody jc vs sole re child
claim & counter claim for child support

3. Pleadings

Amendment needed? Y & N Date to Amend
Financial statements updated? Y & N

4. Admissions (summarize or attach list of admitted facts)

By applicant...
By Respondent...

Have requests to admit been served? Y & N
If no, time limits for: Applicant...
Respondent...
Statement of agreed facts (SAF) to be served and filed by (party)....
by (date).....SAF must be put into or with trial record.

5. Exhibits Proposed
All evidence to be relied upon at trial will be served by the following dates:

Applicant....Respondent...

Proposed exhibits not be coil bound - must be able to remove or add documents.

Reports or business records to be relied on? Y & N
If yes, may they be introduced without calling of record keeper? Y & N

Medical Reports with notice of intent served? Y & N
If no, by what date?....

6. Presentation at Trial

Order of presentation....
Children's Lawyer....
Written opening statements (check box) or oral (check Box)
If written, to be served by:
Applicant....
Respondent.....
Will written opening statements be put into trial record? Y & N
If not, when will written opening statements be available for judge?.....

7. Witnesses
a) Applicants witness list
(a table with 4 columns labled) Name of Witnesses, Topic about which witness will testify, Current time estimate (In chief & In cross)
Respondents witness list
(Same as above)

b) special arrangements re witnesses
i. Amplification devices...
ii. Interpreters (provided by court or party?)...
iii. Wheel chair access...
iv. Judges' order as incarcerated...

c) Will any witnesses evidence be given in chief by affidavit? Y & N
If so, affidavits for applicant will be served by...
Affidavits for respondent will be served by....

d) Experts
For Applicant
1. Name/Report Delivered/Qualifications Accepted/Date opposing counsel to advise....
to be qualified as:....
2......

For Respondent
1. Name/Report Delivered/Qualifications Accepted/Date opposing counsel to advise....
to be qualified as:....
2......

e) By naming a witness in a witness list, the party undertakes to make the witness available to the other party without summons even if the party decides not to call the witness.
Agreed......

8. Children's Evidence

Is there any evidence being sought from a child? Y & N Age....

How will the evidence be introduced?
a) Statement of agreed facts
b) Through Children's Lawyer
c) Khan voir dire
d) Other (specify)....

9. Other Issues to flag for trial scheduling purposes........

10. Possible Problems to Flag for Trial Judge

Evidentiary issues....
Legal issues....
Other.....

11. Trial Record already served and filed? Y & N
If not: Applicant to serve and file by .....
Respondent to serve and file by.....

12. Follow Up TMC Required? Y & N Purpose.....

13. Case books to be filed by the following dates:
Applicant(s)....
Respondent(s)....

14. Adjourned to
Trial scheduling court
Continuing TMC

15. Trial Information
Total trial time.......
Urgency and why......

16. It is ordered that: (check boxes)
Parties shall comply with directions and dates set out above. Consent changes may be requested by motion form (14B)
There shall be no futher motions without permission obtained from the case management judge.
No exhibits may be relied on at trial other than those disclosed as above without a court order obtained from the case management judge or trial judge.
No witnesses shall be called other than the witness on the witness list as outlined above unless a court order is obtained from the case management judge or the trial judge.
Other.....

A copy of this endorsement must be put into the trial record, as it is an order relating to the trial. (See rule 23(1), para. 6.)
If any other endorsements in the continuing record have not been turned into formal orders, consider whether a copy of those endorsements should go into the trial record.
Rule 23(1) para. 5 requires temporary orders relating to a matter still in dispute to be put into the trial record.
  #5  
Old 06-02-2011, 07:45 PM
fieldgrey fieldgrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyMe View Post
So how does a Trial Management judge make sure the parties are ready for trial? Well, with a form of course. Unfortunately I can’t put up the form because it is marked up with all my schit. This is the form the judges use during trial management; it is their job to make sure the parties are prepared for trial. I was lucky to get this as, I have never seen it included in any court file, thought it might be useful for those heading to trial as a shopping list of what the judge will be using.
A trial management conference (TMC) is held to allow the parties and the court to have as much a shot at an orderly trial as possible, including eliminating surprises. Remember that a trial is an argument by evidence. The TMC therefore tries to seek a clear path to trial by addressing:
a. issues with witness giving evidence
b. issues with document evidence

The TMC justice will try to reduce the witness list where possible by questioning redundancy.

The TMC brief is not the final word unless the justice makes orders. Where you are in doubt, leave the form blank. You can't add witnesses, evidence, expert reports later only if the justice specifically orders against it...otherwise you are only restricted by evidence and trial rules in the Family law Rules.

Let's look at the outcomes of a TMC. The justice will probably give the parties guidance through orders relating to standard requirements of trial:
1. deadline for any new evidence before trial
2. deadline for adding witnesses
3. permission for unusual service of witnesses summons if there is a question about ability to serve per FLR
4. the justice will likely direct which forms must be done to ensure complete trial record (such as admits)
5. permission for any motions needed before trial

At the trial mgmt conference your should ask for any orders you want in order to be prepared for trial: disclosure, etc. If you think there is risk for not being prepared because of issues outside your control, ask the justice for leave to file for adjournment based on conditions not be met by either party, etc.

Outlining the opening statement is really just a way of allowing the justice to comment on pleadings and open any issues for review pre-trial. Again, a way of reducing surprises for the trial justice. We did not have ours done and they were presented only at opening of trial.

Expert reports must be given leave by the court - usually required in cases involving CAS, OCL, health, etc. This will be reviewed by the justice. If you discover at the TMC that the opposition is going to seek permission for it, you can ask permission for rebuttal report.

The justice will use your witness lists and time you've allocated for chief/cross exam as a way to allocate court time for the trial. It gives them a sense of whether to instruct the trial coordinator's office to allocate 1, 2 or 10 days for trial. It's not gospel. Ours was changed several times by pre-trial justices.

Witnesses are stand ins for lack of documented evidence. If you don't need witnesses because you've got the documented evidence, then don't feel the need to pile on. By contrast for example, in my case there was a dispute as to the authenticity of employment contracts, so witnesses needed to be called to authenticate the terms of the contract. This was unusual.

So, for the TMC think about what you need to make happen to have an orderly, successful trial. The TMC justice's job is to ensure that happens. Your job is to help the justice help you.

FG
  #6  
Old 06-04-2011, 07:36 AM
rmccallion rmccallion is offline
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Thanks - I really appreciate both this and the previous response. This helps out a great deal.
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