The Federal Court has posted a FAQ on how it is handling the suspension of hearings and deadlines in view of its Practice Notice posted on March 17 (see earlier post). An amended Practice Notice is expected in the coming days. The FAQ addresses a number of issues including fixed dates: “Any specific date fixed by order or direction for completion of a step in a proceeding that is governed by the Practice Direction is extended for a period equivalent to the Suspension Period.” See the FAQ for more details.
In an announcement late Tuesday, the Federal Court announced that, “All Federal Court hearings previously scheduled to be heard between now and April 17, 2020 are being adjourned sine die” except for urgent or exceptional situations. In addition, “The running of all timelines under Orders and Directions of the Court made prior to March 18, 2020, as well as under the Federal Courts Rules, subsection 18.1(2) of the Federal Courts Act and paragraph 72(2)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, is being suspended for the Suspension Period. All other statutory filing deadlines continue to apply. “
The Federal Court announced that it is suspending in-person hearings until March 27th, stating that, “Court facilities will be closed to visitors, though the Court will remain open for urgent case-related matters. … All General Sittings of the Court are cancelled … All other hearings and trials of the Court previously scheduled to proceed during this two-week period are adjourned sine die” but hearings scheduled by telephone will go ahead. See the notice for details including on electronic filing/service and rescheduling. Federal Court of Appeal issued its own notice and says, hearings, “during the weeks of March 16th and 23rd 2020 remain on the hearing list.” but is making use of video/telephone conferencing and receiving requests for adjournment.
For those following the recent Federal Court of Appeal decision in Canadian National Railway Company v. BNSF Railway Company, 2020 FCA 45, stating, “Protective orders undoubtedly remain pertinent and useful for intellectual property litigants and there is no justification, legal or otherwise, for stifling this long-standing practice” may be interested in my article for Slaw earlier this year on how we got here and the model orders published by the Federal Court. Continue reading Protective Orders
Christine Pallotta of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP was appointed a judge of the Federal Court today. Judicial appointments were also made today in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.
The Federal Court has published ‘Model Orders’ for Protective Orders, exchanging material between parties, and Confidentiality Orders, for filing material with the Court. The website notes that any changes to the model order must be reflected with redlining and the Court may make the final decision on the terms of any order notwithstanding the agreement of the parties.
There are still problems with the Federal Court website, particularly for identifying new proceedings that started since December 13th. Problems also cause some blank updates on watched files. Continue reading Federal Court
Note that there was a problem with the online court dockets for the Federal Court and the Federal Court website will be down for maintenance this weekend.
The Federal Court has published a consultation on its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and is seeking comments until September 13, 2019. The consultation asks what should be the Court’s priorities, including on digitization as well as a reflection on its previous strategic plan.
Janet Fuhrer of Ridout & Maybee was appointed a judge of the Federal Court. Judicial appointments were also made today in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.