Veit J

6.40: Appointment of court expert
6.41: Instructions or questions to court expert
6.44: Persons who are referees
6.45: References to referee
6.46: Referee’s report
8.4: Trial date: scheduled by court clerk

Case Summary

The Parties were involved in disputes concerning agreements relating to a large industrial site in northeast Edmonton. In earlier proceedings, the Court had determined that the Defendant was entitled to terminate certain agreements with the Plaintiff and to have damages assessed by a Referee. The parties were unable to agree on a specialist Referee or even a competing list of potential specialist Referees from which the Court could choose. Justice Veit noted that Referees are dealt with under Rules 6.44-6.46. Her Ladyship observed that, while the Court can make determinations about some types of assistance in the absence of consent by the parties, for example Rules 6.40(1)(3) and 6.41(2) with respect to Court appointed Experts, Rule 6.44(d) is categorical: consent of the parties is required to appoint a specialized Referee.

In the absence of consent from all parties, only a Court Clerk or a Master could be appointed as a Referee. It was likely that Expert opinions would be required with respect to the kind and the cost of the work to be undertaken on the industrial site, which could give rise to credibility issues. Veit J. held that there was no benefit to the parties or to the justice system to have the assessment of damages made by a Master acting as Referee. Instead, the Defendant’s Claim for damages would be tried in Court, and the parties were directed to file a Form 37 indicating their readiness for Trial.

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