Case Summary by Erik Magrakan

Re: Rules 5
Case: Shen v. Klassen

Case Planning Conferences and Transcripts of Proceedings

As recently discussed, one of the changes in the new BC Supreme Court Civil Rules is the introduction of Case Planning Conferences (CPC’s).  Rule 5-2(7) states that “proceedings at a case planning conference must be recorded, but no part of that recording may be made available to or used by any person without court order“.  The first reasons for judgement  that I’m aware of addressing the issue of a court’s discretion to order a transcript of proceedings following a CPC were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry.
 
In last week’s case (Shen v. Klassen) the plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle collision and sued for damages.  In the course of the lawsuit a CPC was held.  The Defendant wrote the Court requesting a copy of a transcript following the CPC.  The plaintiff took no position with this request.  Despite this the Master refused to make a transcript available stating that “I see no basis upon which to accede to the request“.
 
The Defendant appealed.  The Plaintiff again took no position.  Madam Justice Beames allowed the appeal and permitted the Defendant to obtain a copy of the CPC transcript stating that “there is no compelling reason, in my view, for the court to refuse to order a transcript of a CPC where one party seeks the transcript and the other party does not object“.
 
The Court was invited by the Defendant to set out guidelines to be applied in future cases addressing the circumstances when CPC transcripts should be released.  Madam Justice Beames refused to do so noting that it would be inappropriate to do so when the Court only heard one party’s submissions on this issue.
 
I will continue to follow the Judicial development of this rule and write about relevant cases as they come to my attention.  If anyone is familiar with other cases addressing the Court’s discretion to order the release of CPC transcripts I invite you to bring them to my attention.