7 Hour Examination For Discovery Cap Does Not Permit Discovery Splitting
Important reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, further clarifying the examination for discovery limit in the new Rules of Court. In short the Court held that notwithstanding the time limit, generally only one examination for discovery is permitted.
In today’s case (Humphrey v. McDonald) the Plaintiff alleged injury following a collision. In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff attended an examination for discovery. It did not exceed the 7 hour cap set out in Rule 7-2(2). Defence counsel brought an application seeking further discovery. The Plaintiff opposed. Madam Justice Gray dismissed the application finding that generally only one discovery is permitted. The Court provided the following useful reasons:
 Defence counsel responds that it is implied that examinations should not be scheduled if it was abusive, but apart from that, a party can schedule multiple examinations for up to seven hours in total.
 In my view, the use of the plural “examinations for discovery” has to be read in the context of the entire sub-rule. It makes reference to examinations under other sub-rules, which relate to re-examination in subsection (17), in subsection (22) to informing himself or herself and it being adjourned for that purpose, and subsection (24) continuing an examination for discovery following receiving a letter.
 In my view, the sub-rule does not suggest that there should be more than one examination for discovery of a party. A party should be able to know whether they are finished with examinations for discovery or whether more are pending.
 I do not accept the interpretation of the sub-rule advanced by defence counsel. Since defence counsel has effectively conceded that it has had one examination for discovery of the plaintiff, the defence application to have a further examination for discovery of the plaintiff is dismissed.