White Burgess Langille Inman, carrying on business as WBLI Chartered Accountants, et al. v. Abbott and Haliburton Company Limited, et al.

(Nova Scotia) (Civil) (By Leave)


Evidence - Expert evidence, Admissibility, Civil procedure.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

Evidence - Expert evidence - Admissibility - Civil procedure - Striking part or all of affidavit - Objection to report and advance ruling - Appellants applying to have respondents’ action dismissed summarily - Respondents filing expert’s report supporting their position by way of affidavit - Appellants’ preliminary motion to have report expunged from record granted on basis that affidavit fell short of requirement that expert's evidence must be seen to be independent - Whether Canadian courts should, in the exercise of their gatekeeper function, exclude a proposed expert who clearly lacks the requisite independence to qualify as an expert - Civil Procedure Rules, N.S. Civ. Pro. Rules 2009, rules 39, 55.

The respondents brought an action in professional negligence against the appellant accountants, who applied to have the action dismissed summarily. To defend the motion, the respondents commissioned an expert in forensic accounting. Her report, supporting the respondents’ position, was filed with the court by way of an affidavit. The appellants then applied by way of preliminary motion to have this report expunged from the record. The motion was granted. The Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal and, in a majority decision, allowed the appeal on this ground, concluding that the motions judge erred in excluding the affidavit.