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Court Appearances in Ontario: Conferences, Motions, and Trials

Types of Court Appearances:


Conferences provide the concerned parties with important chances to settle disagreements amicably. The main goal is to come to a solution that both parties can agree on. It is likely that you will attend a case conference as the first hearing. Generally, parties are needed to attend three different kinds of conferences before to going to trial:

- Case Conference: A meeting where a judge convenes with the parties or their attorneys to pinpoint contentious points and swiftly investigate possible solutions.

- Settlement Conference: A hearing called by a judge to identify matters that are amenable to settlement, establish mutually accepted facts, and choose which evidence to use in cases that remain unresolved.

- Trial Management Conference: A scheduled meeting to evaluate settlement options and expedite trial proceedings between the court, the parties, and their representatives.


In order to get orders while awaiting trial, motions require hearings before a judge. It is possible to ask for a variety of interim orders, including ones pertaining to information disclosure, child support, access, or custody. A case conference is required under the Family Law Rules prior to the filing of a motion. All parties, including counsel for other planned cases, are permitted to attend these open court meetings.

Dispute Resolution Conferences

In certain jurisdictions, if the aim of a court case is to modify a prior order, attendance at a dispute resolution conference may be compulsory. These conferences resemble case conferences but are presided over by a senior family law lawyer acting as a dispute resolution officer.  


Hearings and trials are normally public events. Following the trial, the judge renders an oral ruling in the courtroom. The written version, called a "endorsement," provides a summary of the judge's ruling along with its justification. A judge's decision is only effective when it is first rendered; it does not need to be formalized into a court order.

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