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July 14, 2010

Discovery by Videoconference

Midland Resources Holdings Ltd. v. Sharif (2010), 99 O.R. (3d) 550 (S.C.J.).

In this case, the plaintiff was living in Moscow and had a medical condition and his physician recommended against lengthy airplane trips. He brought a motion seeking to be examined for discovery by videoconference.

Justice Newbould granted the motion and refused to follow a prior Master's decision that held that video conferencing should be used rarely. The Court held that given the high costs of modern litigation, videoconferencing should be encouraged. The Order was granted pursuant to r. 34.07(1)(f).

It seems that in modern litigation it is increasingly common for parties to be outside of Ontario. Videoconferencing can be useful in such cases to help decrease some of the costs in litigation, which accords with the new emphasis on proportionality and access to justice.

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