TMC Judge Has Power To Address Admissibility of Expert Reports

Rule 12-2(9) provides the Court with broad jurisdiction to make orders at a Trial Management Conference.  Reasons for judgment were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, confirming this power includes the ability to determine the admissibility of expert reports ahead of trial.
In the recent case (Tran v. Cordero ) the Defendant raised an admissibility concern regarding the Plaintiff’s expert report alleging bias.  The Defendant argued that ultimately the trial judge will need to decide the admissibility issue.  Mr. Justice Savage disagreed and found the Rules allow this to be dealt with by the presiding judge or master at a Trial Management Conference.  The Court provided the following reasons:
[2]             The second matter concerns an objection to admissibility of the plaintiff’s treating physician’s expert report.  The defendants say that one of their objections to admissibility of this report is the relation, which is described as a familial one, between counsel and the plaintiff’s treating physician.  That relation it is said may give rise to the issue of bias which would prevent the admission of the report.  Counsel for the plaintiff says this has been known and not until today, at the Trial Management Conference, raised as a factor regarding admissibility of the report.  The defendants say this is not a matter I can deal with, but must be left to the trial judge.
[3]             I am advised that this is a ten day jury trial.  In my view this objection is of such a fundamental nature to the ability of the trial proceeding fairly that it must be raised and determined prior to trial. In my view, the Court is clothed with the requisite jurisdiction under Rule 12-2(9).  In the circumstances it would further the object of these rules, particularly the ability to justly, fairly, and efficiently determine the issues on the merits at trial, that if the defendants intend to rely on this objection, that the application must be made and set down for hearing prior to trial and within two weeks of today’s date.  I so order.   

bc injury law, Rule 12, Rule 12-2, Rule 12-2(9), Rule 12-2(9)(i), Rule 12-2(9)(q), TMC, Tran v. Cordero, Trial Management Conferences

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ERIK
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Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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