SHAW v SHAW, 2014 ABQB 165


4.24: Formal offers to settle
4.29: Costs consequences of formal offer to settle
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

Ms. Shaw provided Mr. Shaw with a Calderbank Offer, one day before the commencement of Trial, on January 7, 2014. The Offer was not accepted by Mr. Shaw, and a Trial ensued. The global effect of the Judgment following Trial was more favourable to Ms. Shaw than the terms of her Calderbank Offer.

The Court cited Adams v. Adams, 2011 ABQB 812 for the proposition that Costs in an Action for Matrimonial Property Division or Support should not be treated any differently than Costs in other litigation. The Court noted that Ms. Shaw’s Calderbank Offer did not meet the requirements of the Rules of Court under the Formal Offer Rule, Rule 4.24, because the Offer was not served 10 days or more before the start of Trial. Therefore, Rule 4.29, which mandates the Double Costs consequences of a Formal Offer, did not apply. However, Schultz J. stated that the Alberta Court of Appeal has made it clear that even informal offers that arguably do not comply with the Rules can have an effect on Costs.

In the result, the Court concluded that Ms. Shaw was entitled to ordinary fees under Schedule C, Column 1, from the time she retained counsel in this Action until January 7, 2014; and 1.25 times regular Column 1 after the Calderbank Offer was made on January 7, 2014.

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