The Walking Dead: Recent Treatment of Rule 4.33 and Rule 4.31 of the Rules of Court, Alta Reg 124/2010

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Rule 4.33 and 4.31 of the Rules of Court (often referred to as the “drop dead” and “chronic delay” rules) have recently be subject to amendment and judicial examination. This paper provides an overview of the developing law as it relates to the requirements for an application to dismiss an action for delay under rules 4.33 and 4.31. It reviews the 2016 amendments that added a suspension period to Rule 4.33, and discusses the test for a “significant advance” as it relates to Rule 4.33 in the context of recent case law. This paper also discusses the recent relaxation of the test applied by the courts under rule 4.31, and highlights the court’s treatment of inordinate delay, credible excuse, serious prejudice, and faded memories within the context of rule 4.31.

This paper is part of a collection presented at LESA’s Rules of Court 2017 seminar held in Edmonton on April 6, 2017 and in Calgary on April 20, 2017.

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