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Update on Rules of Court and Court Closures

On March 17, 2020, Regulation 36/2020 was created, resulting in certain changes to the Rules of Court. The following is a summary of those changes:

Rule 2.23 – amended to restore the Court’s discretion to allow a non-lawyer agent to appear in litigation involving other persons, subject to the Legal Profession Act 

Rule 4.16 – amended to permit case conference and case management judges to order parties to participate in an alternative dispute resolution process. The relevant considerations for such an order are listed. 

Rule 10.10(2) – amended to allow lawyer’s charges to be reviewed within one (1) year of the date the account was delivered to the client (changed from 6 months). 

Rule 10.33(2) – amended to conform that both formal and informal offers (ie. offers that do not confirm with the Formal Offer requirements of Part 4, Division 5 of the Rules) can be considered by the Court in making a costs award. 

Rule 11.26 and 11.27 – amended to confirm that service of documents outside of Alberta on signatories to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters must comply with the Hague Convention’s requirements for service of that particular country and that country’s specific declarations to the Convention. 

  • In particular, the Court can no longer rely on Rule 11.27 to validate service of a document to a party in a Hague Convention Contracting State unless the document has been served through the proper Hague Convention channels; 
  • Division 8 is added to provide guidance on how service is to be achieved in a Hague Convention Contracting State 

Schedule “C” Tariff of Recoverable FeesEffective May 1, 2020, the following changes have been made: 

  • The ‘column’ thresholds have been adjusted (ie. Column 1 now covers matters up to $75,000) 
  • The individual tariff amounts have been increased by approximately 35% to account for inflation, and apply to all assessable items whether before or after the effective date (subject to any agreement or Court order providing otherwise)