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Inventory of Reforms

BC Small Claims Court Settlement Conference (Rule 7)


Small Claims Court Rule of Court introducing mandatory settlement/trial conferences.

Permanent implementation

British Columbia

Small Claims Court

1993: Rule 7 came into effect

Small Claims Rules, B.C. Reg. 261/93.
Online Help Guide
Small Claims Procedure, Law Students’ Legal Advice Manual (Victoria: Law Students’ Legal Advice Program, 2008). [Small Claims]

The purpose of a Settlement Conference is to encourage the litigants to settle the lawsuit and avoid the time and cost of a trial.

Description of Reforms:
Settlement conferences are mandatory in all non-pilot project registries, for all cases except motor vehicle accident cases in which only liability for property damage is disputed (Rule 7(2))…

Typically, a settlement/trial conference is scheduled for half an hour before a judge in a conference room at the courthouse. The judge at the settlement/trial conference will not be the judge at trial, if a trial is necessary.

At the settlement/trial conference, the parties will sit at a table with a judge. The judge will say a few words and ask each party to give a brief summary of their case. The judge may then lead both the claimant and defendant into a discussion on what, if anything, the parties can agree on. If the parties agree on the final result, the judge will make the order. However, the parties may agree on some issues and leave issues in dispute to be resolved at trial. The judge will assess how much time is required for trial (Small Claims at 28-29).

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in May 27, 2013