5.36: Objection to expert’s report

Case Summary

The Plaintiff sued a number of Defendants in separate Actions for breach of copyright and breach of contract. The Case Management Judge ordered the trial of two common issues regarding the breach of copyright claim in an attempt to help streamline the Actions and clear the Court’s docket.

In the Trial in respect of the two common issues, Eidsvik J. considered what the effect of the Regulatory Regime was on the Plaintiff’s claims, and whether or not copyright could subsist in seismic materials of the kind that were the subject matter of the Plaintiff’s claims. The evidence during the Trial of the two common issues was considerable, and included the evidence of five experts. During the Trial, the Plaintiff objected to the evidence of one of the experts, arguing that he was biased because he had previously been employed by one of the Defendants. Eidsvik J. determined that the expert’s former employment with one of the Defendants did not necessarily mean that his evidence was biased for the Trial of the common issues. Justice Eidsvik accepted the expert’s evidence, noting that a party objecting to the opinion of an expert must raise the objection in advance of Trial, and must notify the party serving the report. Her Ladyship noted that, although Rule 5.36 does not specifically refer to an expert’s qualifications being objected to in advance, as opposed to their opinion, it is still good practice to make an objection to an expert’s qualifications in advance of Trial, pursuant to Rule 5.36.

Eidsvik J. determined that copyright could and did exist in the seismic materials that were at issue; however, under the existing Regulatory Regime, the Defendants were permitted to disclose these materials after a certain amount of time, and therefore they had not breached the Plaintiff’s copyright.

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