Settlement conference chamber

What is a settlement conference?

A settlement conference is an alternative way to settle a dispute between two parties in a non-confrontational way. The conference is chaired by a judge.

What are the legal rules governing settlement conferences?

Settlement conferences are held in accordance with the rules set out in articles 161 to 165 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Who can request a settlement conference?

A settlement conference must be requested jointly by the parties to the dispute. The Chief Justice can then designate a judge to preside the conference.

What are the advantages of a settlement conference?

A settlement conference can help the parties avoid the costs, delays and preparation involved in a trial. The conference is presided by a judge, ans is held at no charge to the parties and without formality. Anything said, written or done during a settlement conference remains confidential.

What is the role of the judge presiding at the settlement conference?

The judge presiding at the settlement conference facilitates a dialogue between the parties and helps them identify their interests, assess their positions and explore mutually satisfactory solutions.

Who takes part in the settlement conference?

The parties and, if they so wish, their attorneys, take part in the conference. Other people may also attend if the judge and the parties consider that their presence would be helpful in resolving the dispute.

Who makes the final decision?

The parties, assisted where applicable by their attorneys, make the final decision.

What effect does the conference have on the proceeding?

The settlement conference does not prevent a date being set for the trial, but the presiding judge may, if necessary, modify the timetable. If a settlement is reached the judge may, at the request of the parties, homologate the transaction.

When should a request for a settlement conference be submitted?

The request can be submitted at any stage of the proceedings. However, no request will be accepted once a date has been set for the trial, except in exceptional circumstances, in which case it is best to check with the judicial district concerned

Can the discussions that take place during the settlement conference be disclosed to a third party or to the court?

No. Anything said or written during the conference is confidential. All the participants in the settlement conference must sign a confidentiality agreement.

What is the procedure for submitting a joint request for a settlement conference?

First, you should check the date available, and then download and complete the form “Joint Request of the Parties to the Chief Justice for a Settlement Conference”. The completed form must be sent to the Settlement conference service or the coordinating judge in the judicial district concerned:

For the districts of:
Montréal, Drummond, Iberville, Joliette, Laval, Longueuil, Richelieu, St-Hyacinthe, Terrebonne, Valleyfield

Service des CRA
Cour supérieure
Palais de justice
1 rue Notre-Dame Est, bureau 1.150,
Montréal, Québec, H2Y 1B6
Phone : 514-393-2021, ext.6
Fax: 514-393-4864                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cour-superieure-cra.mtl@justice.gouv.qc.ca

For the districts of:
Gatineau, Pontiac et Labelle

Contact information for the master of the rolls for the district
Cour supérieure
Palais de justice
17, rue Laurier
Gatineau, Québec, J8X 4C1

For the districts of:
St-François, Bedford et Mégantic

Contact information for the coordinating judge for the district
Palais de justice
Cour supérieure
375, rue King Ouest
Sherbrooke, Québec, J1H 6B9

The request can be sent by mail, E-mail or fax.

Note: It is possible to reserve a date if the form has been signed by all the attorneys or all the unrepresented parties, as the case may be. Missing signatures must be forwarded as soon as possible to the judge designated to preside the conference. However, the Court reserves the right not to assign a date if the form is submitted less than 45 days before the date scheduled for the trial.