Adding to this growing database of caselaw considering the relationship of Rule 7-6 and Rule 11-6(4), reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court, Chilliwack Registry, demonstrating that “responding” independent medical exams will not be granted as a matter of course.
In the recent case (Godfrey v. Black) the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision. She sued for damages. Her pleadings specifically identified an alleged TMJ Injury. In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff was examined for discovery with respect to her TMJ pain. She also served an expert report addressing this injury in compliance with the time-lines set out in the Rules of Court.
The Defendant brought an application for the Plaintiff to be assessed by a TMJ specialist of their choosing. Their application was brought after expiry of the 84 day expert report service deadline They argued an exam was necessary in order to obtain a responding report under Rule 11-6(4). Master Caldwell disagreed and dismissed the motion finding no sufficient evidence was tendered to explain the need for a physical exam. In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:
 I am told that the pleadings, when they were issued, specifically identified among other things injury to the temporomandibular joint (“TMJ”). That, it is said, and I agree, put the defence on specific notice that there was an issue relating to the jaw and the TMJ…
 There is no evidence before me to indicate why this particular dental expert believes it necessary for him to do a physical examination of the patient. In fact, the instruction letter from counsel specifically asks for among other things a critique of the report of the first dentist. Many of those bullets which appear in the letter which I will not make further reference to appear able to be done on the basis of a criticism of methodology or findings as opposed to requiring an independent examination of the person of the plaintiff…
 I have been referred to several cases, but the one which I find the most helpful is the case of Wright v. Brauer, 2010 BCSC 1282 a decision of Mr. Justice Savage in similar circumstances where he was dealing with a trial date in the near future and an examination such as this where there was no medical evidence as to why a physical examination was necessary in order to provide a truly rebuttal or critical report…
 In my view, the same reasoning applies in this case…
 This application comes late in the day, a year after the defence was well aware that TMJ was an issue that should be looked into. Had they wished to get a full report, they were well able to make that application or the request earlier. I am not satisfied on the material that there is a basis for me to infer from the submissions of counsel or the material filed that an independent medical examination of the person of the plaintiff is required in order for this dentist to provide a truly rebuttal report.
These reasons are unpublished but as always I’m happy to share a copy with anyone who contacts me and requests these.
Tag: Rule 11
Although the BC Supreme Court Rules have strict requirements with respect to the admission of expert opinion evidence Rule 11-7(6) gives the Court a wide discretion to dispense with these if “the interests of justice require it“. Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, demonstrating this discretion.
In this week’s case (Milliken v. Rowe) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2007 collision. At trial the Plaintiff presented expert opinion evidence from a privately retained physiatrist. The Plaintiff’s treating orthopaedic surgeon was also called to the stand, however, he was not called as an expert witness but rather as a witness of fact. Despite this limitation the Court exercised its discretion under Rule 11-7(6) and permitted the treating surgeon to give opinion evidence addressing diagnosis and prognosis. In doing so Mr. Justice Davies provided the following reasons:
 Dr. Zarkadas was not called as an expert witness at trial but he is obviously a well-qualified orthopaedic surgeon. He is also Ms. Milliken’s treating physician concerning her right shoulder difficulties.
 As such he was able to assist me in assessing Ms. Milliken’s future prospects if the surgery is undertaken or if it is not. To that extent, his more immediate involvement with and treatment of Ms. Milliken allows insight that was not previously available to Dr. Andrew Travlos (adduced as opinion evidence by the plaintiff) arising from his examinations and enquiries six months earlier.
 In those circumstances, notwithstanding the failure of the plaintiff to seek to have Dr. Zarkadas qualified to provide opinion evidence, I determined to receive his evidence concerning his diagnosis and prognosis related to Ms. Milliken’s right shoulder injuries.
 I did so over the objection of the defendant because of my belief that the determination of damages in this case should be based upon the best evidence available.
 In my opinion, the ability to achieve a just result should be served, rather than thwarted, by the application of procedural rules.
 The Court’s power to exercise discretion to allow relief from the harsh consequences of non-compliance with procedural rules recognizes that principle.
 I also, however, recognized that the defendant could be prejudiced by the admission and consideration of Dr. Zarkadas’ prognostic evidence if not given an opportunity to answer it.
 I accordingly provided the defendant an opportunity to consider whether to call rebuttal evidence before rendering judgment.
 I was subsequently informed that the defendant did not intend to do so.
(Update November 16, 2011 – The case discussed in the below post has now been published and full reasons for judgement can be found here)
One of the patterns that is becoming very clear under the New Rules of Court is that Parties ignore the 84 day requirement for exchange of expert evidence at their peril.
Often times Defendants apply for an order compelling a Plaintiff to attend an Independent Medical Exam beyond this deadline. Numerous cases have considered such applications with the argument that an assessment is necessary in order to obtain a ‘responding‘ report under the more generous 42 day deadline of Rule 11-6(4). Reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, considering and rejecting such an argument.
In today’s case (Scott v. Ridgway) the Plaintiff was injured and sued for damages. In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff served the report of a vocational consultant. The Defendant applied for an order to compel the Plaintiff to attend an independent exam in order to obtain a responding report. The Defendant brought the application after the 84 day deadline. Madam Justice Kloegman dismissed the application finding that prejudice is not enough to compel an IME for the purpose of a responding report. The Court provided the following useful reasons:
 I am not persuaded that the plaintiff is required to attend before Dr. Banks in order for the defendant to file a responsive report. I am aware of the prejudice claimed by the defendant that their expert’s opinion may be given less weight because of lack of examination of the plaintiff. However, if they are prejudiced, it is of their making and not the result of any conduct of the plaintiff.
 The rules are clear. They must be obeyed in the absence of special circumstances. There are no special circumstances here that would allow the defendant to file a report containing fresh opinion. The defendant will be restricted to analyzing and respond to the plaintiff’s report.
I should note that some previous cases have ordered physical examination for responding report purposes, however, in such cases the Court was presented with affidavit evidence from the proposed expert explaining why such an examination is necessary.
In today’s case the Defendant did provide an affidavit from a doctor but the court placed no weight in it and criticized it for being “lifted from another affidavit sworn by another expert in another case with other expertise than that of Dr. Cook”.
Today’s reasons are unpublished but as always I’m happy to share a copy with anyone who contacts me and requests these.
Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, excluding an expert report from evidence for multiple short-comings. The Court’s criticism included the fact that the report failed to properly set out the expert’s qualifications, offended the ‘ultimate issue‘ rule, failed to list documents relied on in forming the expert’s opinion and lastly for being ‘advocacy‘ in the guise of opinion.
In this week’s case (Turpin v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company) the Plaintiff purchased travel insurance with the Defendant. While on a trip to California she fell ill and required medical treatment. Her expenses quickly grew and exceeded $27,000. The Defendant refused to pay relying on a pre-existing condition exclusion in the policy. The Plaintiff sued and succeeded.
In the course of the trial the Defendant tried to introduced a report from a doctor of internal medicine to “provide an opinion as to whether (the Plaintiff’s) medical treatment between October 5, 2007 and October 9, 2007 was the result of a pre-existing condition as defined in the Travel Insurance Policy“.
Mr. Justice Wilson ruled that the report was inadmissible for multiple reasons. The case is worth reviewing for the Court’s full discussion of the shortcomings of the report. In my continued effort to highlight expert reports being rejected for ‘advocacy’ I reproduce Mr. Justice Wilson’s comments on the frowned upon practice of experts using bold font to highlight portions of their opinion:
 Finally, the plaintiffs object that the report is advocacy on behalf of the defendants.
 This objection is based, in part, upon the author’s use of bold font and italicized portions of the report.
 In Warkentin v. Riggs, this court was faced with an expert’s report which adopted “… a particular format”:
He uses bold font to highlight words and phrases which benefit the plaintiff’s claim and support his diagnosis. This is apparent in his review of Ms. Warkentin’s history and medical reports. That which is contrary to the plaintiff’s claim or does not support his diagnosis is either omitted or presented in non-bolded font. This emphasis in support of the plaintiff’s claim and the exclusion of contrary matters is advocacy.
I adopt those comments as applicable in this case.
 This use of emphasis is not a practise to be encouraged. In this case, it may have been introduced by counsel’s letter of instructions, which suggested that the author may “indicate the relative degree of importance of any particular fact or assumption”.
 If the author of the report regards a factor as a major premise leading to the conclusion, then it should be so stated. Not left to unexplained emphasis in the body of the report.
 It was for those foregoing reasons that I ruled the report inadmissible.
Reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, appointing a joint expert witness against the wishes of a Defendant in an on-going legal dispute. Although this recent case is not a personal injury claim I summarize the findings because it is the first case I’m aware of appointing a joint witness in a contested application under the ‘new’ BC Supreme Court Civil Rules.
In the recent case (Leer and Four L. Industries v. Muskwa Valley Ventures Ltd.) the Plaintiff and Defendants had a falling out in their commercial dealings. The Plaintiff sued seeking an order that the Defendant “purchase his shares at fair market value“. At a Case Planning Conference the Plaintiff sought an order that a joint business valuator be appointed to value the shares. The personal Defendant “vigorously oppose(ed)” the idea of a joint expert.
Ultimately Master Scarth granted the order and in doing so provided the following useful comments of general interest in applications for joint experts:
 Rule 5-3(1)(k)(i) provides that at a case planning conference, a judge or master may order that expert evidence on any one or more issues be given by one jointly-instructed expert. Given the prohibition in Rule 5-3(2)(a) against hearing an application supported by affidavit evidence at a case planning conference, the court is required to rest any exercise of discretion on the pleadings and submissions to the extent that they do not require recourse to affidavit evidence: Przybysz v. Crowe, 2011 BCSC 731 at para. 59; Vernon v. British Columbia (Liquor Distribution Branch), 2010 BCSC 1688; and Jurezak v. Mauro, 2011 BCSC 512 – considering Rule 12-2(11)…
 Rule 11-3 was recently considered in Benedetti v. Breker, 2011 BCSC 464. Master Baker noted that while joint experts are not new to litigation in British Columbia, the new rules clearly have brought greater focus and emphasis to the appointment of joint experts and invite wider application of that process: paragraph 11…
 The personal defendants object to paying for expert evidence which is part of the plaintiffs’ case. Why should they pay for a report which the plaintiffs require? The answer is because it is a proportionate way to conduct this proceeding.
 Read together with Rule 1-3 which sets out the object of the rules, Rule 11-3, like joint expert rules in other jurisdictions, is intended to reduce litigation costs and promote the conduct of a proceeding in ways consistent with the amount involved. While in this case, the amount at issue is not yet resolved and will not be until an opinion has been obtained, the buyout of Royer in 2009 gives some indication that the amount is likely modest. In such circumstances, proportionality suggests that an effort should be made to avoid duplication of the costs of obtaining an expert report which is the likely outcome if a joint report is not ordered.
 It follows that the parties are required to share the cost of the expert, at least at the outset. The ultimate determination as to costs is for the trial judge.
 I will add that a report as to value may benefit all parties in another way. The value of Leer’s shares has been an issue and a topic of discussion between the parties since 2009, when the personal defendants offered him a buyout. A valuation will provide the parties with the information required to settle this longstanding dispute, and may promote that result.
 I conclude that it is appropriate to exercise my discretion in favour of the plaintiffs and to make the order set out in Rule 5-3 that expert evidence as to valuation of Leer’s shares be given by a jointly appointed expert.
One of the New Rules which has received more attention than most is Rule 11-6(4) which deals with responsive reports. The issue of whether the Court could order a Plaintiff to undergo a physical exam for a responsive report has been considered a good half dozen times. In short the authorities have held that such an order is possible but the Courts have been conservative in making these orders to date. Further reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing this topic.
In this week’s case (Mahil v. Price) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2007 motor vehicle collision. The Defendants did not order an independent medical report in the timelines allowed by Rule 11-6(3) and brought a motion for an exam less than 84 days before trial. They argued that they only wished to obtain a ‘responsive’ report and that the report would comply with Rule 11-6(4). Mr. Justice Voith held that such an appointment was permitted and allowed the order. In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:
 Rule 7-6(1), formerly Rule 30, allows for the conduct of an independent medical examination. The object of Rule 30 was succinctly described by Finch J.A., as he then was, in Stainer v. ICBC, 2001 BCCA 133 at para. 8:
…the purpose of Rule 30 is to put the parties on an equal footing with respect to medical evidence. …
 The object of placing the parties on an equal footing is, however, only achieved in real terms if the parties also adhere to those rules which govern the timely exchange of both initial expert reports and responsive expert reports.
 The important relationship of what was Rule 30 and what is now Rule 7-6(1) and those Rules which pertain to the time limits for the exchange of expert reports has been recognized in other decisions. In Wright v. Brauer, 2010 BCSC 1282, Savage J. said at para. 9:
In the context of an action seeking compensation for personal injuries, the parties are on equal footing with respect to medical evidence if they can independently obtain medical evidence and if such evidence is served in accordance with the Rules.
 In the case of Mackichan v. June and Takeshi, 2004 BCSC 1441, Master Groves, as he then was, said at para. 11:
… It is not simply a question of putting the parties on a level playing field at this stage, it is a question of really balancing the prejudice which will result to the defendants in not having a report and the prejudice that will result to the plaintiff in having a report prepared late which would no doubt, I expect, cause an adjournment of the trial.
 If the defendants have Dr. Gropper prepare a properly responsive report, and if that report is delivered in accordance with the Rules, the interests of both parties are concurrently advanced and safeguarded.
 I have, based on a request I made, been advised by counsel for the defendants that Dr. Gropper would be able to deliver his report in advance of the 42 days provided for in Rule 11-6(4).
 Notwithstanding some misgivings about some of the issues advanced by the defendants, I do not believe that it would be either prudent or appropriate for me to pre-determine that the specific concerns raised by the defendants will not, in fact, be properly responsive to the Reports.
 I have, however, earlier in these reasons, identified with some precision the very narrow issues that the defendants assert they wish to respond to in the Reports. These reasons should provide some safeguard against Dr. Gropper’s report extending or straying beyond its permitted ambit, whether inadvertently or otherwise. I note, as did Saunders J., as she then was, in Kroll v. Eli Lilly Canada Inc. (1995), 5 B.C.L.R. (3d) 7 at para. 7 (S.C.), that truly responsive evidence:
… does not permit fresh evidence to masquerade as an answer to the other side’s report.
 I am therefore prepared to grant the defendants’ application. Costs are to be in the cause.
When the New Rules of Court were introduced last year changes were made to the timelines to exchange expert reports. An 84 day deadline was set out in Rule 11-6(3) and a shorter 42 day deadline is set out in Rule 11-6(4) for “responding reports“. The first reasons for judgement that I’m aware of were released today by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, addressing whether to admit a late report under the “responsive evidence” exception.
In today’s case (Crane v. Lee) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2005 motor vehicle collision. The Defendant ran a stop sign and admitted fault for the crash. The Plaintiff’s expert provided evidence that she suffered from soft tissue injuries and a herniated disc. The Defendant obtained an expert report which contradicted this finding and served this report less than 84 days before trial. The Defendant argued that the report was responsive and should be admitted. Mr. Justice Smith disagreed finding the report went beyond the narrow circumstances permitted in Rule 11-6(4). In excluding the report the Court provided the following reasons:
 At the opening of the trial, counsel for the plaintiff objected to and sought a ruling on the admissibility of a medical report that the defendant intended to rely upon. The report had not been served within the 84 days required by Rule 11-6 (3) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009. Counsel for the defendant relied upon rule 11-6 (4), which reads:
(4) Unless the court otherwise orders, if a party intends to tender an expert’s report at trial to respond to an expert witness whose report is served under subrule (3), the party must serve on every party of record, at least 42 days before the scheduled trial date,
(a) the responding report, and
(b) notice that the responding report is being served under this rule.
 Rule 11-6 (4) is intended to apply only to evidence that is truly responsive or in rebuttal to specific opinion evidence tendered by the opposite party. It is not intended to provide defendants with a general exemption from the basic time limit for serving expert reports that is set out in Rule 11-6 (3). Defendants who delay obtaining or serving expert evidence until after the plaintiff’s opinions have been received, then attempt to introduce all of their expert evidence as response, do so at their peril.
 In this case, I found that the report was not limited to true responsive evidence. It stated the author’s opinion on the nature and cause of the plaintiff’s injury?the central issue that both sides had to address from the outset?and was based upon a review of all the medical records, including some not referred to by Dr. Field in his report. As such, I considered it to be a free-standing medical opinion that ought to have been served pursuant to Rule 11-6 (3). I ruled the report inadmissible, with the result that there was no expert evidence before me to contradict Dr. Field’s opinion.
The Court accepted the evidence from the Plaintiff’s expert and in assessing non-pecuniary damages of $100,000 Mr. Justice Smith provided the following reasons:
 On review of all the evidence, I find that the accident for which the defendant has admitted liability caused soft tissue injuries to the plaintiff’s neck and upper back, which eventually resolved, and a herniated disc in the lower back that continues to cause pain and limitation. To the extent that the accident may have aggravated a pre-existing condition, I find that in the years immediately preceding the accident that condition was minimally symptomatic and there is no evidence that it would likely have become worse but for the accident. I accept the uncontradicted evidence of Dr. Field that the plaintiff’s current pain is likely to be permanent…
 The injury the plaintiff suffered has had a significant impact on her enjoyment of life. She has back pain on a daily basis, fluctuating according to her activities. She has lost what was formerly a very active lifestyle, giving up some activities that she formerly enjoyed, while continuing some others on a reduced level, accepting the trade-off of increased pain. The only medical evidence before me is that this condition is likely to be permanent. She also suffers severe anxiety while driving, particularly in situations similar to those that gave rise to the accident, although there is no evidence that this condition is necessarily permanent…
 Taking into account the effect of the plaintiff’s injuries on her lifestyle, the permanent nature of her pain and the psychological impact, including her driving anxiety, and considering the cases cited, I assess the plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages at $100,000.
As previously discussed, expert witnesses have a duty to be objective when giving their evidence and opinions in a BC Supreme Court trial. Rule 11-2 specifically sets out that “In giving an opinion to the court, an expert appointed under this Part by one or more parties or by the court has a duty to assist the court and is not to be an advocate for any party.”
If experts fail to abide by this requirement they risk having their opinions rejected and further being criticized by the Court. Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, highlighting such a result.
In last week’s case (Marchand v. Pederson) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2007 motor vehicle collision. It was a rear-end collision and fault was admitted. The trial focused on the value of the Plaintiff’s claim.
The Court heard competing expert witnesses with the Plaintiff’s physiatrist (Dr. Apel) providing evidence that the collision caused various injuries including fibromyalgia.
This opinion was contradicted by a physiatrist retained by the Defendant (Dr. Nowak) who provided an opinion that the collision played a lesser role in the Plaintiff’s symptoms.
Dr. Nowak’s opinion was largely rejected with the court placing little weight on it. Non-pecuniary damages of $65,000 were awarded with the Court providing the following reasons in assessing damages and criticizing the defence expert:
 I find Dr. Nowak’s evidence to be problematic. He initially refuses to answer a question based on assumptions. It is clear that he is wrong in his reading of the intake report of Dr. Kinakin where he assumed that the pain was remaining constant. He is not accurate in the date of the last chiropractic treatment. I am of the view that Dr. Nowak is more of an advocate than an expert and I give very little weight to his evidence. I prefer the evidence of Dr. Apel when it comes to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the other conclusions reached by Dr. Apel. I am satisfied that the plaintiff may have improved somewhat from her last visit with Dr. Apel but I am satisfied that she continues to suffer a long term disability in respect to the fibromyalgia in the lower and upper back. I accept Ms. Phillips’ functional capacity evaluation and the limitations that the plaintiff has in respect to job opportunities because of her physical restrictions. I am also satisfied that the report of Dr. Wallace is fair and balanced and should be given a great deal of weight. I accept the plaintiff’s evidence that she stopped seeing her chiropractor, Dr. Kinakin, because she no longer had pain, but the chiropractor asked her to continue to see him because he was of the view that she had subluxation, which is poor posture so he was giving her treatment for that. She confirmed that she did not have any pain when she stopped seeing Dr. Kinakin. I accept her evidence….
 The function of non-pecuniary damages is to compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities. Taking into account the relatively young age of the plaintiff (she is now 24 years old), the chronic nature of her injuries, the severity and duration of her pain, her disabilities, her emotional suffering and loss of her social and marital life, I am of the view that a proper award would be in the amount of $65,000.
When a Plaintiff is cross examined in the trial of a personal injury claim can opinions from medico-legal reports from prior litigation be introduced into evidence without complying with the notice requirements set out in the Rules of Court? Reasons for judgement were recently released by the BC Supreme Court addressing this issue.
In the recent case (Hosking v. Mahoney) the Plaintiff was injured in three separate motor vehicle collisions. The first collision was in 2000, the second in 2001 and the third in 2004.
The Plaintiff advanced claims for compensation as a result of all three collisions. In the course of the first two claims the Plaintiff’s physician authored a medico-legal report in 2003 addressing the extent of her injuries. The Plaintiff settled both these claims prior to her third collision.
The claim arising from the third collision did not settle and proceeded to trial. At trial the Defendant introduced the prior medico-legal report during cross examination. The Court allowed this and further permitted the previous opinion to go into evidence even though the usual notice requirements for the introduction of opinion evidence were not complied with. In permitting this evidence to be introduced Mr. Justice Warren provided the following reasons:
 I found the medical opinion of Dr. Gurdeep Parhar, the plaintiff’s attending physician for the first two accidents and the author of the medical/legal report of March 10, 2003, important and difficult to resolve with the evidence and submissions of the plaintiff that she had largely recovered prior to the February 2004 accident. This evidence was entered by the defendant when cross-examining the plaintiff and was not rebutted or varied by Dr. Parhar who was not called to testify. The court is entitled to draw an adverse inference when a witness who could provide relevant evidence on an issue before the court, is not called. In my view the defendant was entitled to rely upon the letter and opinion of Dr. Parhar without providing the usual notice. It was a report prepared for and at the request of the plaintiff and it was identified and portions adopted by the plaintiff in cross-examination. The plaintiff had the opportunity to call Dr. Parhar or evidence to rebut the opinion or to object to its introduction prior to its use in cross-examination.
Can the BC Supreme Court order that parties use a joint expert in a personal injury trial against the wishes of one of the parties? Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing this question.
In today’s case (Benedetti v. Breker) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2005 collision. He was 17 at the time and allegedly sustained a brain injury with psychiatric consequences. The Plaintiff brought an application asking that the Court order that Dr. O’Shaugnessy be appointed as a joint expert in the lawsuit. The Defendant objected to having a joint expert. Master Baker dismissed the motion and in doing so found that the Rules of Court do not permit a joint expert to be appointed over the objection of a party unless its done at a Case Planning Conference. The Court provided the following reasons:
 Jointly appointed experts are not new to litigation in British Columbia. In the family law context section 15 of the Family Relations Act has, for over 30 years, provided for the appointment of experts to investigate and prepare custody and access reports. Realty appraisers are also often jointly appointed and instructed in family proceedings. It is not all that unusual to encounter jointly-instructed experts in construction disputes. But the new Rules clearly have brought greater focus and emphasis to the appointment of joint experts and invite the wider application of that process.
 Having said that, I agree with Mr. Nugent that this application does not follow the correct procedure for such an appointment. He is correct in his analysis and that the only provision in the new Rules for the appointment of a joint expert over the wishes of one or both of the parties is in Rule 5-3(1)(k)(i), authorizing the presiding Judge or Master to order
that the expert evidence on any one or more issues be given by one jointly-instructed expert
Rule 11-3, he correctly argues, only permits the court to direct who that expert will be, or other terms ancillary to the appointment. Rule 11-3 assumes that either the parties have agreed to the concept of a joint expert, or that the court has already ordered one in a CPC. Neither of those assumptions apply in this case.
 It is not for me to theorize the reasons behind Rule 11-3’s current form, or why the only provision for the court, of its own volition, to appoint a joint expert is found in the CPC rule. Suffice it to say and conclude that the Attorney General’s Rules Revision Committee’s purpose and the legislative intent was to separate the aspects of the appointment accordingly and to leave the court appointment process in the less formal CPC procedure.
 Even if the authority did lie in Rule 11-3, however, I agree further with Mr. Nugent that it would not be an appropriate order in this case. This jurisdiction is blessed with a choice of numerous medical legal experts who could function as a joint expert in this matter. By no means is Dr. O’Shaughnessy the only suitable choice as joint expert. To appoint him, however, is to deprive the defence of a significant or potentially significant trial stratagem. Wilson, C.J.S.C. in Milburn et al v. Phillips long ago described the purpose of an IME: “…to put the parties on a basis of equality” or, as it is commonly offered in chambers, to level the playing field. The plaintiff has received treatment from at least two psychiatrists and has seen a neuropsychologist (par. 3, above). The former were, to be sure, treating physicians, but it is not clear whether the latter was for treatment or for medical-legal consultation. Given these facts, the defence should not be deprived of unilateral access to the one psychiatric expert that it chose and notified some 15 months before this application.
 The accompanying argument also has merit: should Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s conclusions not assist the defence, counsel can instruct him to not prepare a report. In such an instance Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s objective observations, test results, or the like may well be discoverable but he would not be obliged to give or disclose his opinion to the plaintiff. This is an important tool in the defence toolkit and should not be casually ignored.
 Finally, while proportionality is a laudable goal and should factor into all decisions under the Rules, in this case I doubt its applicability. With five medical reports (privileged to date, recall) with the plaintiff, it seems unlikely that proportionality will be served by directing that a sixth, that of Dr. O’Shaughnessy, be a joint report.
 For these reasons the application is dismissed.