On May 18, 2021, the Federal Court (FC) issued amended Case and Trial Management Guidelines for Complex Proceedings (the Updated FC Guidelines).

As we previously reported, the FC first issued the FC Guidelines to consolidate and address topics in earlier FC Notices to the Profession.

Notable amendments:

The Updated FC Guidelines include the following notable changes:

1. Examinations for discovery are to be conducted by way of a single comprehensive examination [1] . Second round discovery will need leave of the FC;
2. Parties are required to prepare and deliver claim charts two weeks before trial;
3. Parties are encouraged to explore requests to admit. Blanket denials and uncooperative behaviour will be subject to sanction, including elevated costs;
4. Parties seeking to file more than one compendium must seek leave from the FC;
5. Leave from the FC should be sought at least two weeks before trial if counsel intends on presenting a slide deck in addition to its compendium.

The FC Guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the FC COVID-19 Consolidated Directions (which we discussed here). The FC COVID-19 Consolidated Directions take precedence over any conflict.

Finally, the Updated FC Guidelines clarify that they are intended to complement the Federal Courts Rules and are not intended to constrain the discretion of judges or prothonotaries.


[1] Time limits are subject to the FC’s Order(s).