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SCC Decision: March 6, 2008

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Research articles : 

Juman v. Doucette, 2008 SCC 8
Click here to link to the full judgment.
(Civil procedure / Discovery / Implied undertaking of confidentiality)

Methodical document disclosure under the British Columbia Rules of Court

Research articles : 
Michael Dew is a Vancouver lawyer who practices in all areas of civil litigation (including ICBC cases). Click here for contact information and further details about Michael’s practice.
1. Introduction
Document disclosure is a central element of civil litigation and many commercial cases involve hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of documents. On such cases, it is essential to be methodical when reviewing client files and listing relevant documents. This article summarizes some of the basic principles of the British Columbia law of document disclosure and explains some strategies for managing document disclosure.
2. The law of document disclosure
2.1 Everyone’s approach is different
There is no single "correct" approach to document disclosure. Indeed, almost every lawyer will have their own approach; a somewhat disconcerting thought given the importance of document disclosure to the civil litigation process. However, the British Columbia Supreme Court has explained that listing and disclosing documents is a task that calls for flexibility and ingenuity:

The implied undertaking revisited

Research articles : 
One of the greatest tools of modern civil litigation is the discovery process. By increasing the availability of information, reducing inequalities in bargaining power and minimizing the element of surprise, discovery helps to improve cost and time efficiency and ultimately facilitates the truth-finding process. From a public policy standpoint, the discovery process is crucial because of these benefits. For the parties to a dispute, however, the intrusion on privacy caused by discovery may act as a deterrent to full and honest disclosure or as an incentive for private dispute resolution.

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