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N.S. Supreme Court offering virtual judicial settlement conferences during lockdown

Wednesday, May 05, 2021 @ 12:16 PM | By John Chunn

Effective immediately, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (General Division) announced that it will permit virtual judicial settlement conferences for non-urgent matters where the presiding judge, counsel and the parties all agree to proceed virtually. In most instances, Microsoft Teams will be the videoconferencing platform used to hear these matters.

According to a press release from the Nova Scotia Judiciary, the Supreme Court (General Division) continues to operate under an essential services model in all locations, as outlined in the notice that went out on April 28, 2021. In-person proceedings are limited to urgent and essential matters, as deemed by a judge. Non-urgent matters, other than judicial settlement conferences that can proceed virtually, will not be held, unless a judge decides otherwise. These matters will be adjourned and rescheduled.

Not all Supreme Court judges are able to conduct virtual matters at this time. Counsel who have a matter that they feel would be appropriate for a virtual settlement conference should contact the Office of the Prothonotary at the Halifax Law Courts to obtain a list of judges who are able to preside over virtual matters.

To review the various Nova Scotia Judiciary directives related to COVID-19, please click here.

On May 4, Nova Scotia’s government reported 153 new cases of COVID-19. As of then, there were 1,060 active cases; 29 people were in hospital, including eight being treated in Intensive Care Units.