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Has the era of a one-sided expert report ended ?

People enter litigation when they have been unable to resolve their affairs through other less adversarial and inexpensive means, such as negotiations or mediation.  Once litigation commences, the litigants expect a judge to use her wisdom and experience to assist them in settling their matter before trial, or rendering a decision after trial. 

In many cases, there are issues that fall beyond the wisdom and experience of a judge.  In these cases, the judge may require an expert opinion.  The valuation of a pension may require an actuary.  The valuation of real estate may require an appraiser.  The valuation of a business may require a Chartered Business Valuator ("CBV").  The determination of a self-employed person's income for support purposes is often not based on his Income Tax Return and may also require an expert opinion from a CBV.  In Family law cases, who has custody of a child and what that child’s residential schedule will be after separation, are other areas for the involvement of an expert, such as a social worker or psychologist with expertise in child development. This is especially needed where there are clinical issues in the family such as mental illness, addictions, domestic violence or relocation.

Historically, a spouse and his lawyer would identify the issues in a case and then determine what evidence was needed to support his claims.  With the issues listed above, it was customary for an expert to be retained to provide an expert opinion to support the position of the spouse at trial.  

The Family Law Rules established a protocol...

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