Date: 2010-11-15 Docket: 10-47905 Master MacLeod. | Link
This is a construction lien action that has been made subject to a case management timetable. While claims and defences in construction lien cases are often summarized in a Scott Schedule, a table showing original specification, defect claimed and corrections required, the parties decided to exchange production. The plaintiff has brought a motion for a further a better affidavit of documents and more "focused" production, but has not met and conferred with the defendant or agreed to a discovery plan. At para 14, the Master says, "Discovery planning is intended to permit the parties to map out the most efficient and effective way to organize the production and discovery needs of the particular action having regard to the complexity of the records, the issues in dispute and the amounts at stake. It cannot be an adversarial exercise. Planning is also intended to minimize the need for court intervention but obviously there will be situations in which there are legitimate disagreements. In a case managed environment a case conference may resolve this and in other cases the same end may be achieved by a motion for directions. Specific direction could have been sought on any of the occasions that this matter was previously before the court.  A case conference or a motion for directions may well involve competing discovery plans but establishing efficient and effective procedures for these matters must not itself become an occasion for adversarial advocacy. If that occurs the whole point of the exercise will be defeated. Certainly obtaining direction from the court should not normally require lengthy affidavits, voluminous documents, factums and briefs of authorities. A contested motion is a poor planning forum." The motion was dismissed and the parties "directed to confer and to consider how the action may be focused, streamlined and resolved and in particular how production and discovery can be most cost effective and efficient".