Proportional Litigation

The Federal Court has issued a practice notice on streamlining discovery and case management called “Case management: Increased Proportionality in Complex Litigation before the Federal Court”. The guidelines and recommendations, arising from the Court’s Case Management Working Group, include limits on documentary and oral discovery and refusal motions.

Chief Justice Crampton’s preamble to the notice (PDF link) states in part:

This Notice to the Profession sets out the Working Group’s initial recommendations, which are designed to modernize and improve practice and procedure, with the overarching goal of achieving increased proportionality in proceedings before the Court. Additional matters will be the subject of future consultation and Notices to the Profession.

The topics covered are:

  • Earlier trial judge management
  • Short notice wait list for earlier trial dates
  • No new demonstrative evidence at trial
  • Limits on documentary discovery
  • Limits on oral discovery
  • Limits on refusal motions
  • Limits on appeals of interlocutors orders of prothonotaries
  • Stricter enforcement of the limit on number of experts
  • Science and technology primers prior to trial
  • Early consideration of mediation in all actions