What can one expect from a Motion hearing? Particularly when it's of an urgent nature. Will it be somewhat similar to a case conference or is it a different process altogether?
State/Country relating to question: Canada
It is a different process. Usually the hearing is more formal than a case conference. It will be open to the public.
Usually a case conference proceeds as a fairly informal discussion between the parties and the judge. For a motion, the court has rules as to how the motion is conducted, with the applicant being entitled to speak, the respondent then being allowed, and then a response from the applicant. So it is much more structured then a case conference.
But much of the procedure depends on the judge in court that day. Some will want the procedure to follow the structure, others have no problem departing from it if that seems expedient or reasonable in the circumstances to make sure that both sides have a fair hearing, and the judge has a good understanding of the facts, issues, and the positions or arguments of both sides.
The issues to be covered in a case conference are typically fairly wide ranging, and if other issues come up in the middle of that conference, they can be addressed. If the court or parties needs more information to adequately address issues, the conference can often be adjourned to allow that.
With a motion, the court would only have authority to deal with the issues that are formally set out in the notice of the motion. Again, some judges may bend the rules on this and make an order if it is by consent of the parties (or sometimes even if not) even if this is not something that was raised in the motion. But normally a judge would find that to be inappropriate, as the other side did not have formal notice of that issue or a chance to respond with evidence.
In a case conference, generally the court will hear from the parties, and can take into account any information received. With a motion, the court should properly only consider information that is in evidence. So it cannot consider comments made by a party about a discussion with someone else, if that other person has not given an affidavit and put the evidence directly before the court, and usually the court will not even wish to hear any facts or comments that are not formally before the court in written evidence, and if anyone says something that is not properly in evidence the court will refuse to put any weight on that.
The largest difference with the motion of course is that the judge will render a decision that is totally binding on the parties. Often with a case conference the judge will have no authority to make any rulings (other than perhaps on procedural issues of the litigation) that are not with the consent of both parties.
with over 15 years experience.
Thank you very much, your answer is so wonderfully specific and touches on lots of different stuff that I didn't even think to ask! Greatly appreciated :)