Settlement conferences

At each step of the file, the Tribunal offers the parties the option of taking part in a settlement conference presided by a judge.

This service is provided free-of-charge in all of the judicial districts of Quebec.

What is a settlement conference?

A settlement conference is a dispute resolution mechanism, similar to mediation, that allows the parties to resolve their dispute in an informal setting without going through a trial, thereby saving time and money. The settlement conference aims to enhance communication between the parties in order to help them negotiate, identify their interests, evaluate their positions and explore mutually satisfying solutions to their dispute.

During the settlement conference, the parties are present and are usually assisted by their attorneys. The settlement conferences are held in camera and are confidential. Therefore, the presiding judge, the parties, and their attorneys are obliged to respect the confidentiality of any information disclosed during the conference.

How to request a settlement conference?

A settlement conference is a voluntary process. All parties to the dispute must give their consent before the conference can take place.

A party can request a settlement conference, after having consulted the other parties, by sending a written request to the Tribunal at the following email address:

The President of the Tribunal will evaluate the request. If she considers that the settlement conference is an appropriate means to solve the dispute, she will designate a judge to preside the conference.

The clerk of the Tribunal will invite the parties and their attorneys to appear before the judge designated to preside the settlement conference.

What happens if the parties agree and resolve their dispute?

If the settlement conference leads to a resolution of the dispute, an agreement is drawn up and signed by the parties and their attorneys, if any. A "Notice of Settlement" is then filed at the Office of the Court of Quebec.

What happens when the parties do not agree?

If the settlement conference does not enable the parties to resolve their dispute, the litigation continues before the Tribunal. The clerk of the Tribunal will invite the parties and their attorneys to a formal trial that will be presided by another judge, assisted by two assessors.