The Discovery Process – BC Supreme Court
Are you trying to learn about the discovery process in BC? Have you finished pleadings, negotiation has failed, and now you are trying to set court dates? Setting court dates can be a challenge because the person who is liable or at fault often wants to avoid court at all costs. They might know they will need to swear things under oath, and that they can get in trouble for lying in court.
There are many ways someone can delay going to court.
If you have a small claims matter, the procedures are much more simple. The maximum amount for small claims matters vary depending on which province you live in. Superior trial court is much more strict than small claims court.
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A lot of the process is similar for lawsuits and family law. If you are going through the litigation process in BC, you should bookmark our blog page. We release information and articles that will be helpful to you many times per week. Check the blog page every week to see if there is something you can use.
Represented litigants are people that have lawyers representing them. Self represented people have no lawyer.
The Discovery Process
Normally the first step of discovery is to disclose all the documents that might be used in the court hearing. You should disclose as much as possible, if it is relevant to what you are trying to argue. You will also need to describe what you are sending to the other side, and then send all the evidence.
Then there will be a meeting where each side can ask the other side a series of questions. This can be done in person or by written questions. If it’s by written questions, it’s called interrogatories.
Documents can include pictures, text messages, emails, phone records, AGM notes, recordings and many other things.
Civil Lititgation – Pro Bono
Rules of civil procedure are complicated, but don’t expect to get legal aid or pro bono. I know someone who was looking for pro bono for a business lawsuit, and they reached out to:
- The business law clinic at UVIC
- The law centre at UVIC
- Pro Bono BC
- UBC Law Centre
All of them sent referrals to each other. They are mostly interested in first nation matters, criminal law, and family law. They won’t help with business law. Even the business law clinic doesn’t provide civil litigtation legal advice.
Counterclaims can be effective in slowing day the court date. Most of the time the person being sued brings a counterclaim for a very weak reason. But it’s effective because you don’t have to present evidence during pleadings. Most of the time there will be no indication that the defendants planned to sue the defendants by counterclaim until the defendants are sued themselves. The counterclaim is normally retaliation for the lawsuit.
An example we saw was that the defendants had 14 months to start preparing their evidence for disclosure. In the pleading both sides asked for documents and provided them. Both sides should have been ready for disclosure. One side refused to do disclosure, so it was necessary to start a motion in the courts to get a date for disclosure set.
The side that wants to go to court might only want five-ten days of court. This is because the shorter the amount of days in court, the easier it is for the supreme court to book. Therefore, you can get court dates much faster. When one side asked for six weeks in court, it was an obvious delay tactic, as there was no way the defendants could afford a six-week trial. The plaintiffs had countless evidence that the defendants were broke.
The Discovery Process- Interrogatories
This is a collection of written questions to be answered in writing to the other group. They can only be used with the court’s permission.
Examination for discovery is a meeting where a group asks a series of questions to an opposing party.
Our Law Firm
Please note our law firm doesn’t do hearing appeals. The Supreme Court of BC is very complicated, and many people want to hire a lawyer, but cannot afford it. We offer self-represented coaching, which means you can hire a lawyer for as many or as few hours as you need. They can explain things to you.
*The articles are proving general information on general litigation in the Supreme Court Of BC. It’s not describing the rule. You should speak to an expert (a lawyer) who will ask you questions about your case and provide legal advice. Non-lawyers can only provide legal information, but not legal advice. You can see a list of our lawyers on our “about” page.
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