Expert witness - scope of work by ProQuest


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									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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