Carfra Lawton LLP | Victoria BC

Defendant’s Request for Further Examination for Discovery Dismissed

In Henneberry v Humber 2014 BCSC 1133 a fast track action, the plaintiff was examined for discovery for the full two-hours allowed. The rules limit an examination for discovery in fast track to two hours unless the court otherwise orders or the parties consent.

The defendant sought further time for discovery, saying that the case was complicated, liability was in issue, and the plaintiff refused to admit facts which could have shortened the length of the discovery.

Justice Romilly reviewed the first discovery transcript and found many instances where counsel for the defendant squandered the opportunity to full take advantage of the two hour limit. Justice Romilly refused to provide the defendant further time for discovery because counsel had spent far too much time pursuing unproductive trains of inquiry. As a result, the two hour limitation passed by without counsel for the defendant being able to deal with all the issues.

This decision highlights that counsel must be disciplined in fast track examinations for discovery, avoid seeking evidence that may not be admissible at trial and ensure that each of the essential issues is covered in the first two hours.

Case law update by: Fareeha Qaiser