The rules of civil procedure for courts in some provinces have recently been amended to add specific reporting and certification requirements to be used in submitting expert opinion evidence for the courts. These amendments themselves do not amend the Standards published by the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Generally speaking, the Standards establish minimum reporting requirements and ethical rules. Therefore, the court's own rules amendments are supplemental reporting and ethical obligations to the Standards. Rules not adopted in all provinces may soon be coming to your local courtroom. Therefore, when acting as an expert it is important to know the rules you must work within to ensure your opinions are accepted and relied upon by the courts.
From the Counsellor’s Desk Expert witness – scope of work robert Patchett, LL.B. Counsellor, Professional Practice T he rules of civil procedure for courts in some provinces have recently been amended to add specific reporting and certification requirements to be used in submitting expert opinion evidence for the courts. These amendments themselves do “When acting as an expert, it is important to know the rules you financing appraisal report. For example, in providing your opinion, you are expected to describe your research and to list in the report every document you relied on in forming your opinion. This might include the search string on MLS and the results report not amend the Standards published by the must work within to and printout of each property so that you Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC). Generally ensure your opinions can explain why you chose those specific speaking, the Standards establish minimum properties for your report. This level of reporting requirements and ethical rules. are accepted and relied detail implies that a form report may not be Therefore, the court’s own rules amendments upon by the courts.” sufficient. are supplemental reporting and ethical At the same time, these new rules should obligations to the Standards. benefit appraisers in the sense that the The role of an expert witness is to provide in the rules. In Ontario, for example, at rule homeowners that are provided a copy of your independent and unbiased opinion to the 4.1, it sets out that the duty prevails over any report from the lender will be restricted in court within one’s area of expertise; as such obligation owed by the expert. This is now their ability to use these reports in litigation, an expert should never assume the role of set out in a specific form to be filed with the since they are not prepared for that express advocate.1 This is straightforward and mirrors courts and in expert reports. purpose. Thus, if you are subpoenaed to give an appraiser’s ethical obligations. “Because the
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