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What are the steps of a Lawsuit in Alberta?

Lawsuits are an area that, thankfully, many people don't have to deal with. There are two potential forums for lawsuits, so we will touch on both.

Provincial Court

Provincial Court claims are restricted to $50,000 and under. These claims use an expedited process. A Civil Claim form is filled out as well as a dispute note; filing fees are paid. The parties receive a notice as to whether there will be mediation, a pre-trial conference or some form of trial. Documents are exchanged, but questioning does not take place. A trial is heard; appeals at this level are at the Court of Queen's bench

Court of Queen's Bench

This is the superior trial court in Alberta. Lawsuits can be started with a statement of Claim (or Originating Application depending on the issue). A Defence is issued. The parties exchange their documents through Affidavits of records- the Plaintiff has 90 days and the Defendant has 60 days. Questioning occurs, undertakings are given and answered, and then the matter is set for trial. In the lead up to trial expert reports are given and the trial date is set down.

Queen's Bench Trial

Civil trials in the Court of Queens bench start with an opening statement , setting out what you are planning on saying. Witnesses are called by the Plaintiff and cross examined by the Defendant. The Defendant then calls its witnesses, who are cross examined by the Plaintiff. The parties give Closing Arguments, summarizing and advocating their position. After this point the judge makes a decision.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.

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