In my BF, yesterday was supposed to be the day to beginning updating the BC Civil Litigation Guide about the new changes to SCBC rules of court that should come into effect on July 1, 2017. (My academic work makes it easier when I recruit for firms.)
This year, I have nothing to update except for reviewing ANs and PDs. True, there is no rule that says rule changes need to come into effect on July 1 each year.
And it has been like that for a long time.
That there won't be any this year should not come as a surprise. We can point to the results of our recent provincial election; though if the government wanted to, they could have easily legislated the changes before the election, just like in 2013.After asking around at the Ministry of Justice, I concluded that there are other significant issues that have led to no rule changes at this time.
I pressed my source for a probable date, the short reply: can't say when.
You remember the excitement last March 31 2016 when the SCBC Rules Committee, comprised of judges and senior counsel, resigned en masse to protest our government’s decision to repeal a change to costs for fast track actions and changes to the civil tariff, Appendix B, party and party costs scheduled to come into effect July 1, 2016?
On December 19, 2016, our AG announced that they have formed a B.C. Supreme Court Rules Committee to provide advice and make recommendations on changes to court rules that are fair, sustainable and have the public’s confidence.
This led me to write: SCBC Rules Committee: Who's In Charge? (read it here). SCBC CJ Hinkson in responding to my question went further to say: "For now, I am the liaison between our Committee and hers, so if you have suggestions they can be directed to my attention."
Now what? It is possible that the SCBC will rely on issuing AN, PDs and NTPs. It appears to be the case when I compare 2016 to year to date of 2017.
While it has not issued any ANs in 2016, it has issued #13 and 14 (see below) this year; it issued 2 PDs last year and #52 to 54 this year; and it issued one NTP in 2016 and none this year.
I reached CJ Hinkson yesterday, his answer: "As yet, there is nothing that I can report."
Administrative Notice 14: a reflection of slippage in practice standards?
It appears that the standards for court filings coming from firms may be slipping. This is my read on the latest Administrative Notice from Chief Justice Hinkson as he observed that "often these have no external cover page which identifies who filed it and to what court proceeding it relates. On many occasions, no contact information for counsel or the parties is provided. This is troublesome and time consuming for the registry."
AN 14 became effective on June 12, 2017.Rare it is to see an administrative notice used as a reminder from his court.
So please take heed on the stipulated requirements for an external cover page which will aid the SCBC in the more efficient management of these documents, which in turn, aid you.
Click here for your copy of the notice.
I can't go to the beach just yet, the rule changes in the PCBC need attending to.
To learn more about AN, PDs and NTPs; the intricacies of chamber applications; and trial preparation rules; please refer to your copy the BC Civil Litigation Guide. Here is how to order a copy of BC Civil Litigation Guide.
As well, if you are interested in training in the fundamentals of civil litigation, write me.