September 16 , 2022

Reviewing Latest Changes

August 22 , 2022

First Steps in Problem Solving

July 28 , 2022

Checklist of Powerful Procedural Principles

March 22 , 2022

Repeating a Cross-Examination Question

January 25 , 2022

Enforcing Land Sales Becomes Easier

January 5 , 2022

Proving a Settlement After a Mediation

November 16, 2021

Types of Injunctions

October 1, 2021

Orders After Litigation is Over

August 11, 2021

Discoverability for Limitation Periods

August 5 , 2021

Releases of Claims

June 7 , 2021

Language Used Still Matters

May 17 , 2021

Serving Uncooperative People

April 15 , 2021

Death and After-Life of Contingency Agreements

February 22 , 2021

Legal Analysis

February 2 , 2021

Costs Clarified at Last

January 4 , 2021


December 10, 2020

Traps and Confusion in Service Times

November 24, 2020

Don't Cut Corners

October 2 , 2020

Consent Orders

August 4 , 2020

Electronic Hearings

July 21, 2020

Ceasing to Act

June 29, 2020

Writing Skills

June 29, 2020

Keeping Up With the Law

June 22, 2020

Assets as a Test for Security for Costs

June 19, 2020

What is This Case About?

June 11, 2020

Cross-Examining Child Witnesses

May 20 , 2020

Formal Offers

May 13 , 2020

Vexatious or Self-Represented Litigants

January 7, 2020

G.S.T. and Costs

December 20 , 2019

Electronically Navigating the

October 7 , 2019

Questioning is a Bad Word

July 29 , 2019

Dismissal for Delay

May 7 , 2019

Rule 4.31 Fallacies

March 18 , 2019

More Dangers in Oral Fee Agreements

February 11 , 2019

Weir-Jones Decisions

January 9 , 2019

Discouraging Settlements

November 30, 2018

European Court Helps You Twice?

November 23 , 2018

Courts Overruling Tribunals

November 16 , 2018

New Evidence on Appeal

October 30 , 2018

Schedule C's Role

July 17 , 2018

Loopholes in Enforcing Settlements

May 7 , 2018

Enforcement of Procedure Rules

April 16, 2018

Limping Lawsuits are Often

April 3 , 2018

Court of Appeal Tips for
Summary Decisions

March 19, 2018

Serious Dangers in Chambers

February 13 , 2018

Court Backlog

December 18 , 2017

Lowering the Status of Courts

September 15 , 2017

Access to Court Decisions

July 4 , 2017

Strictissimi Juris

June 14 , 2017

Why Don't Your Clients Settle?

June 5 , 2017

Gap in Rules About Parties

June 5, 2017

Personal Costs Against

April 26, 2017

Clogged Courts

April 11, 2017

Dismissal for Want of

January 6, 2017

Incomplete Disclosure

December 15, 2016


November 23, 2016

Is Contract Interpretation Law?


Côté’s Commentaries

© J.E. Côté 2016-2022


A. Introduction

Ever since early 2020, many changes have been needed to allow for the pandemic. Now that it seems to have gone away, some of those temporary special procedures and restrictions have been undone. And meanwhile, the courts have been implementing other long-planned improvements. Then very recently, changes in terminology have arisen, some because of the unfortunate death of the late Queen.

Some of the various changes have been published as announcements to the Bar and public, not yet as changes to the Rules of Court.

B. Changes in Names

As provided in the Court of Queen’s Bench Act, on the recent death of the Monarch, the name of the Court of Queen’s Bench changed. It is now the Court of King’s Bench. Documents filed or to be filed, should be headed “Court of King’s Bench”, even for existing lawsuits started under the old name. And a former reference to “Her Majesty the Queen” should now be “His Majesty the King”. However, for now the Court Clerks will not reject a document because it still refers to the old name of the Court or Monarch.

For 150 years, many Canadian courts have had judicial officers to decide procedural matters. They were called Masters or (in Alberta) Masters in Chambers. Since they were in effect a type of (provincially-appointed) judge, this name was puzzling for non-lawyers. They still continue their work, but in Alberta they are now called Applications Judges. The court asks that they be addressed in court as “Judge” or as “Your Honour”.

C. Some Changes for Filing Documents with the Court

For a few years, documents filed with the Court of Appeal have been accepted only by electronic means (the “CAMS system”). That continues. Rules of Court to make this electronic filing permanent are being drafted.

The Court of King’s Bench probably still accepts documents filed in hard copy, stamping a copy of them as filed. Formal orders (reflecting decisions made by Justices or Applications Judges) may be filed in either form, but the Court encourages filing them electronically, indeed will probably insist on that. Electronic filing in King’s Bench can be done by email or on the Filing Digital Service. If an urgent order (same day or next day) has been granted and during the Regular Chambers hearing the Justice signed it in paper form, litigants may come to the Urgent Counter (in Edmonton or Calgary) or the regular counter (in other King’s Bench courthouses). But a non-urgent order signed in paper should be scanned and then filed electronically with the court.

The Court of King’s Bench also handles surrogate matters. From September 13 2022, applications for probate will have to be filed using the Surrogate Digital Service, not in hard copy. If it is impossible to do that electronically, a lawyer may file it in hard copy along with a form explaining why using the Surrogate Digital Service for it is impossible. A suggested explanatory form is on line, but expected to change from time to time.

D. Hearings

Appeals to the Court of Appeal are once again being heard live, in a courtroom, with the counsel or parties and the judges all physically present. But all applications heard by one Justice of Appeal are still being heard online. So are judicial dispute resolutions and appeal conferences in family appeals.

Trials in the Court of King’s Bench are again being heard live with everyone present in the courtroom. For other matters, the Court of King’s Bench has on its website a part called “Hearing Guidelines”. It lists which other matters are heard online, or live, or are hybrid.

During the pandemic, the Court of Queen’s Bench had heard long or complex family and civil applications (so-called “specials”) in writing only, with no oral argument, even by telephone or video. That ended September 6 2022. Argument will be both written and oral, and the oral part will ordinarily be heard live in a courtroom.

Urgent without-notice (ex parte) applications will still be heard in urgent matters chambers.

Regular chambers hearings and family law chambers in King’s Bench will again hear applications for consent orders (except protection orders), fiats (on notice), and adjournment applications. These will no longer be heard in urgent-matters chambers. But a request to adjourn an application off a list more than 5 days away may, if desired, be submitted via an online form.

E. Conclusion

The above is just a summary. The Court of King’s Bench website gives fuller details, requirements, and forms, for that Court. The website seems complex, but a little persistence will usually yield the correct answer. It is wise to check from time to time, as changes are occurring rapidly. Not all are online, and checking with court officials is sometimes wise.

– Hon. J.E. Côté

The Commentaries are intended to call the attention of lawyers to promising or threatening developments in the law, in civil procedure, in developing their skills, or simply to describe something curious, funny or intriguing.

Justice Côté recently retired from the Court of Appeal of Alberta and currently acts as an arbitrator, mediator, or referee under Rules 6.44 and 6.45 of the Alberta Rules of Court.

He may be contacted through Juriliber at email: or phone 780-424-5345.