Date: 2010-06-28. Docket: 08-CL-7446. Master R.A. Muir | Link
Motions to require the defendant and the plaintiff answer undertakings and questions refused and taken under advisement on their respective examinations for discovery. The action relates to claims of conspiracy, fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and other related causes of action with respect to business ventures for the purchase and development of oil and gas properties. In applying the test for relevance, the Master was mindful of the principle of proportionality and the objective that discovery be conducted with regard to cost and efficiency. The defendants sought access to all books and records of a company under the control of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs agreed that the documents are relevant, but were only prepared to make a “reasonable and proportionate” degree of disclosure. They suggested that disclosure and access be limited to records relating to items or transactions valued at over US$5,000. The defendants were prepared to agree to a materiality threshold of US$1,000. The Master found that “a party who seeks to limit the production of relevant documents on the basis of proportionality must put forward at least some evidence addressing the Rule 29.2.03 factors”. The plaintiff did not put forward this evidence. Further, this action involves at least tens of millions of dollars and there has already been extensive oral and documentary discovery. The additional production of these documents is proportional to the proceedings, thus the plaintiff was ordered to produce the information and documentation for items or transactions valued at over US$1,000.00.