Family Law Drafting Basics 2023

Course Date: May 18, 2023

Full Course Materials
Total: 5h 34min
Total Ethics: 1h

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:10)

Nadia MyerthallProgram Lawyer, CLEBC, Vancouver
Todd R. Bell
Farris LLP, Vancouver

Tips for Avoiding Common Drafting Errors (9:10 – 9:30)

The Honourable Madam Justice Wendy A. Baker Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver

Pleadings and Affidavits (9:30 – 10:30)

  • pleadings generally
  • prudent practices
  • drafting guidelines and pitfalls
  • reviewing and amending pleadings
  • useful examples
  • other useful court forms
  • affidavit drafting

Karen F. Redmond  Redmond Family Law, West Vancouver

BREAK (10:30 – 10:40)

Drafting Correspondence (10:40 – 11:25)

  • the basic rules of drafting
    • grammar
    • style
    • layout
  • professionalism in letters, emails, and other correspondence
    • when to use letters vs. emails
    • maintaining collegiality, civility, and courtesy
    • communicating with clients, counsel, and the court
    • managing correspondence
  • comments on content
    • mandatory, helpful, unnecessary, and inappropriate content
    • settlement proposals
    • without prejudice communications

Annie C. KaderlyAaron Gordon Daykin Nordlinger LLP, Vancouver

BREAK (11:25 – 11:35)

Drafting Financial Statements (11:35 – 12:30)

  • form 8 (SCBC) and form 4 (PCBC) a wish list or an accurate reflection
  • what information must you obtain from your client
  • what information should you obtain from your client
  • what documents should you request when reviewing the other party's financial statement
  • using information in the other party's financial statement to your advantage
  • avoiding your form 8 or form 4 being used against your client
  • brief overview of imputing income from expenses shown
  • consequences of inadequate and late financial disclosure
  • common problems and unusual situations

Nikki L. Charlton Farris LLP, Vancouver

LUNCH (12:30 – 1:10)

Drafting Agreements (1:10 – 2:00)

  • cohabitation agreements, marriage agreements, separation agreements
  • independent legal advice
  • lessons from the case law 

Lindsey A. Cruickshank  Cruickshank & Company, Vancouver

BREAK (2:00 – 2:10)

Drafting Orders and Minutes of Settlement (2:10 – 2:55)

  • drafting court orders and minutes of settlement (and when to use them)
  • pet peeves of the Registrars
  • settlement conferences
  • judicial case conferences
  • mediation briefs
  • tips on avoiding client complaints

Meghan J. Selinger Silver Selinger LLP,  Vancouver

BREAK (2:55 – 3:05)

Drafting for Ex Parte and Urgent Applications (3:05 – 3:55)

  • the ethical obligations inherent to ex parte applications
  • how to properly advance an urgent issue
  • the "do's and don'ts" of drafting content for ex parte applications
  • how to say no to your client: don't risk being the lawyer who cries wolf

Drafting Judicial Case Conference Briefs and Arguments for Short Chambers Applications

  • when are each necessary
  • when they are, what ought to be included in each and what ought not be included
  • doing the cost-benefit analysis for the client

Todd R. BellFarris LLP, Vancouver

Concluding Remarks (3:55 – 4:00)

Todd R. BellFarris LLP, Vancouver