Miller J

1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
5.34: Service of expert’s report
5.35: Sequence of exchange of experts’ reports
5.36: Objection to expert’s report
5.37: Questioning experts before trial
5.38: Continuing obligation on expert
5.39: Use of expert’s report at trial without expert
5.40: Expert’s attendance at trial

Case Summary

The Plaintiff applied for an Order under Section 17(2) of the Jury Act, RSA 2000 c J-3, seeking to have the trial heard by a civil jury. The Plaintiff argued that he had met the required prima facie grounds to have a jury trial and that the issues in dispute had already, or would be, reduced to the point that a jury would not be too inconvenienced in hearing the civil trial.

The Defendants argued that the Action was “too inconvenient” for a jury trial due to the voluminous expert evidence that would be required. Miller J. noted that the current Rules provide considerable tools for Counsel and the Court to streamline the litigation process. Specifically, Rules 1.2(3) and (4) place a high onus on Counsel to work collaboratively to get to the real issues. Further, much could be done to reduce the number of expert witnesses required. For example, Rule 5.39 allows the report of an expert to be admitted without the need for the expert to testify. Miller J. concluded that many of the issues in Rules 5.34 to Rule 5.40 needed to be addressed in order to determine the number of expert witnesses, the length of the Trial, and the amount of material that would be required for the Trial. His Lordship directed Counsel to consider Part 5, Division 2 of the Rules and collaborate as required by Rule 1.2 to address the issue of the expert reports. The Application was therefore adjourned sine die.

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