Personal injury lawyers in British Columbia best pay attention as you are now  required  by the rules of court to attend a Trial Management Conference( TMC) in Supreme Court if you plan to go to court. This amazingly also applies to litigants with no legal representation.  Judges have to attend the TMC and can make sweeping orders regardless of the desires of the parties to the lawsuit.  Rule 12 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules allow a judge at a TMC to make orders respecting one or more of the following:
(a) a plan for how the trial should be conducted;
(b) whether or not the trial or any part of it is to be heard without a jury, on any of the grounds set out in Rule 12-6 (5);
(c) amendment of pleadings within a fixed time;
(d) admissions of fact at trial;
(e) admission of documents at trial, including

(i)  agreements as to the purposes for which documents may be admitted, and

(ii)  the preparation of common books of documents and document agreements;

(f) imposing time limits for the direct examination or cross-examination of witnesses, opening statements and final submissions;
(g) directing that a party provide a summary of the evidence that the party expects one or more of the party’s witnesses will give at trial;
(h) directing that evidence of witnesses be presented at trial by way of affidavit;
(i) respecting experts, including, without limitation, orders that the parties’ experts must, before the service of their respective reports, confer to determine and report on those matters on which they agree and those matters on which they do not agree;
(j) directing that the parties present opening statements and final submissions in writing;
(k) respecting when and how an issue between the party filing a third party notice and the third party may be tried;
(l) adjournment of the trial;
(m) directing that the number of days reserved for the trial be changed;
(n) directing the parties to attend a settlement conference;
(o) adjourning the trial management conference;
(p) directing the parties to attend a further trial management conference at a specified date and time;
(q) any other matter that may assist in making the trial more efficient;
(r) any other matter that may aid in the resolution of the proceeding;
(s) any orders the judge considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Civil Rules.
Although judges are not parties to the lawsuit and cannot suffer any cost consequences for their decisions, the civil rules allow judges to effectively take over the case planning process from the parties. Orders at TMCs could lead to costs, expenses and further court proceedings that neither party bargained for when getting into the ligation.
Judges are specifically exempt from liability for their decisions and cannot be sued for causing added expense or delay to a proceeding and have all the powers and privilegesof our supreme court. This  legal frontier in British Columbia will test the integrity of our our best judges, personal lawyers and citizens and will test the boundaries of congeniality between personal lawyers. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Is attending a Trial Management Conference on a simple personal injury case a waste of court resources?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment