Perhaps because Judicial Case Managers don’t wear judicial robes, or because they also perform trial scheduling duties in an office environment, some people - both lawyers and non-lawyers - are confused about how they should behave in proceedings before them. In the last few years the Provincial Court has implemented changes to its trial scheduling process to maximize the equitable, efficient and effective use of its judicial resources. As one important aspect of this reform, Judicial Case Managers have assumed increased responsibilities, including presiding over court proceedings in Assignment Courts and Initial Appearance Rooms. This eNews provides advice for everyone on appropriate behaviour when appearing before a Judicial Case Manager.
Respect for court processes is maintained by the behaviour of everyone at a proceeding. Just like Judges, Judicial Justices and Justice of the Peace Adjudicators, Judicial Case Managers are judicial officers who carry out the Court’s daily work. Here are some tips on conduct and etiquette when appearing before a Judicial Case Manager:
- Be neatly dressed in clothing that is appropriate to wear at an office workplace. For lawyers business attire is appropriate.
- Address the Judicial Case Manager as “Your Worship”.
- Unless you have mobility issues, please stand when the Judicial Case Manager enters or leaves the courtroom, and when you speak to the Judicial Case Manager or they speak to you.
- When you speak start by introducing yourself and spell your last name slowly. For example, ‘Your Worship my name is Jane Smith, spelled S-M-I-T-H. I am the [applicant representing myself, lawyer for…].”
- Ensure that all your communications are polite and respectful, and speak loudly enough to be heard by the Judicial Case Manager and the parties.
- While the Judicial Case Manager is speaking or being spoken to please do not have side conversations – they can interfere with people’s ability to hear what is being said.
- Check in with the sheriff and wait in the courtroom until your name or matter is called. Do not interrupt to try and have your matter heard ahead of others. If you are late or need to leave for any reason you can let the sheriff know so the sheriff can pass on that information at an appropriate time.
- If the matter is to be heard by way of video, stand where the Judicial Case Manager can see you while you are speaking to your matter.
- Please be aware of the Policy on Use of Electronic Devices in Courtrooms. In a courtroom or Initial Appearance Room only accredited media or lawyers may use electronic devices to transmit and receive text, and then only in a discreet manner that does not generate sound and does not interfere with the proceedings.
- Once a Judicial Case Manager has made a decision do not continue arguing the matter in court. Speak to duty counsel or attend at the registry if you have further questions.
In smaller courthouses around the province where there is no Judicial Case Manager, Justices of the Peace preside in Initial Appearance Rooms. These tips apply equally to appearances before a Justice of the Peace.