New amendments to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure: What to know
On January 1, 2019, several new amendments to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure came into force. The following changes are particularly notable:
1) New deadlines for supplementary expert reports
New deadlines are now in effect for the service of supplementary expert reports and responding supplementary expert reports (pursuant to Subrule 53.03 (3), as amended).
As set out previously under the Rules, an expert may not testify on an issue unless that testimony is first set out in an expert report (or leave is granted by the trial judge). If an expert’s testimony is expected to go beyond the original expert report, a supplementary report must also be served on every other party prior to the trial.
Pursuant to the new amendments, supplementary reports, if relied upon, must now be served on every other party to the action not less than 45 days before the commencement of the trial. Additionally, responding supplementary reports, if relied upon by a responding party, must be served on every other party to the action at least 15 days before the commencement of the trial.
2) Automatic dismissal of Divisional Court cases
A Court Registrar is now authorized to automatically dismiss Divisional Court cases that are not set down for a hearing within five years. Allowing a case to be dismissed due to lack of action continues to be a common source of malpractice claims against litigators, and lawyers are advised to ensure such deadlines are properly diarized.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with all the new changes as described by the Ministry of the Attorney General.