24 Jul Case Planning Conferences

In one of our firm’s recent cases (Stewart v. Robinson, 2014 BCSC 959), ICBC tried to set down an unnecessary Case Planning Conference over our objection.  ICBC’s case plan proposal addressed dates for the exchange of further lists of documents and for completion of examinations for discovery, all of which were proceeding without controversy.  It was our opinion that the parties were capable of managing litigation without a Case Planning Conference and Master Bouck agreed.

At that same time, counsel for ICBC also sought an order prohibited by law – an order that required the Plaintiff to list the areas of expertise of all of the experts each party intended to call at trial.  Such a request is contrary to established law (Dhugha v. Ukardi, 2014 BCSC 387).

Master Bouck ordered $750 costs against the Defendant and commented as follows:

42. Except for proceedings under Rule 15-1, a CPC is not mandatory at any point in a proceeding. Such a conference may be ordered by the court, but that was not the case here. While litigants should have unrestricted access to the courts, there ought to be some reasonable purpose for the CPC before the resources of the parties and the court are engaged.