ALLAN v EPP, 2018 ABQB 85

Master Robertson

1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
5.2: When something is relevant and material
5.25: Appropriate questions and objections
5.33: Confidentiality and use of information
5.6: Form and contents of affidavit of records

Case Summary

In an Action involving an oppression claim and a claim for wrongful dismissal, both parties applied for Orders directing that certain questions and Undertakings from Questioning be answered. Master Robertson stated that in such an Application the Court’s role was to determine what is “relevant and material” under Rules 5.2 and 5.6, not to grant final relief or make findings of fact. Master Robertson confirmed that the Pleadings are the starting point to determine whether a document is relevant and material under Rules 5.2 and 5.6.

The Plaintiff’s counsel raised some objections under Rule 5.25(2)(d), arguing that some of the questions had already been “asked and answered”. Master Robertson explained that the correct approach when determining the validity of an objection under this Rule involves a consideration of the abuse resulting from “re-hashing” questions that have been asked and answered. Sometimes re-asking a question is appropriate, but where it is not, the question becomes time-wasting, pointless, and a direct violation of Rule 1.2.

Master Robertson rejected the argument that some Undertakings were being sought for an improper or collateral purpose and noted that, as provided in Rule 5.33, any information or record obtained in the course of litigation cannot be used for any other purpose. Master Robertson noted that a breach of an Undertaking, such as the deemed Undertaking in Rule 5.33, is contempt.

Master Robertson considered the relevance and materiality of each of the specific questions in dispute and decided each separately.

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