February 13 2013

Court Suspends Mandatory ADR

The Court of Queen’s Bench suspended the sections in the Alberta Rules of Court requiring Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution, before Civil matters can be set for trial. The memorandum from the Court’s Chief and Associate Chief Judge, indicated that the sections would not be enforced until such time as “the judicial complement of the Court and other resources permit.”

Some believe this may be a play by the Court to relieve the strain on an already stressed system. Since the New Rules of Court were implemented in November 2010, there has been a huge, and unsatisfied demand for JDR’s (Judicial Dispute Resolution) with insurers only recently relenting and beginning to agree to more mediations to meet the mandatory requirements of the Rules.

This new move by the Court may help relieve the backlog, or it may move the pressure point back to there being a large backlog of claims waiting for trial dates. Either way, the Courts are clearly short on resources and will be continuing to ask an already stressed government for more funding.