The Ethical Lawyer's Guide to the Care & Handling of Expert Witnesses |

The Ethical Lawyer's Guide to the Care and Handling of Expert Witnesses

The Ethical Lawyer's Guide to the Care and Handling of Expert Witnesses

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CPD Accredited Credits
Professionalism: 1.25
Substantive: 0.75
Colleen Burn
Peter Doody
Charles Hackland
Kristin Muszynski
William Simpson, Q.C., LSM
Bonnie Warkentin
Heather Williams
Peter Williamson
County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA)
100 minutes
$139.00 plus tax
CCLA 35th Civil Litigation Conference
Includes Handouts

In the wake of the Court of Appeal decisions in Moore v. Getahun and Westerhof v. Gee, what are the rules when it comes to ethical communications with expert witnesses? Speaking of rules, what are the rules of evidence and civil procedure that apply? What can we now say to experts? How much do we put in writing? How much should they put in writing? Can we comment on their draft reports? What do you do with those draft reports? How do you handle questions about experts at an examination for discovery? How do you qualify an expert witness? Does the expert’s report become an exhibit? What is an effective examination in chief? Can you ask to see an expert’s file and if so, when? When will a judge refuse to hear from an expert and when will any shortcomings go to weight?


Colleen Burn

Colleen has appeared before all levels of Court, including the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Colleen obtained her law degree from Osgoode Hall in 1990 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1992. She joined Doucet McBride LLP in 1995 and became a partner of the firm from 1996 to 2013. Since 2014, Colleen works with partners, Laurie Tucker and Éliane Lachaîne, in a new firm dedicated exclusively to personal injury. Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), Colleen was only the second lawyer in the Ottawa region to achieve the CIP designation. She sits on the board of Vista Centre, a non-profit organization that helps people with acquired brain injuries. Outside the office, Colleen enjoys traveling, canoe camping and volunteering with a girls' hockey team.

Justice Peter Doody

Justice Peter K. Doody was called to the Ontario bar in 1982 and the Nunavut bar in 2010. A partner with the firm Borden Ladner Gervais since 1990, Justice Doody carried on a large and varied litigation practice focused on public and administrative law, commercial litigation, insurance law, and arbitration, together with regularly acting as criminal defence counsel. He frequently acted for governments at all levels and ministers of the Crown. He appeared as counsel in and to a number of commissions of inquiry, including as counsel to former Prime Minister Chretien in the Gomery Inquiry, as a senior Commission counsel in the Elliot Lake Inquiry, and as counsel to the Correctional Investigator in the Prison for Women Inquiry. He has appeared as counsel in all levels of court in Ontario and Nunavut, including the Supreme Court of Canada on a number of occasions. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and Best Lawyers in Canada in a number of categories. He has been a sessional lecturer at the law schools at Queen's University and the University of Ottawa, and in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, in criminal law, conflict of laws, public law, and civil procedure. Justice Doody was appointed in 2016.

Justice Charles Hackland

Justice Hackland was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in October of 2003. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1978 after completing his legal studies at the University of Ottawa Law School (LL.B,1975) and Oxford University (B.C.L.,1977) and articling at the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to his appointment, he was a senior partner at Gowlings LL.P. (Ottawa) specializing in employment and administrative law and the representation of physicians and other professionals. Justice Hackland served as Regional Senior Judge of the Superior Court of Justice, East Region, (2008-14). During that period he served as Chair of the Committee of Administrative Judges of the Small Claims Court. Justice Hackland is currently a member of the Superior Court bench in Ottawa and a member of Deputy Judges’ Council (which administers Ontario’s Small Claims Court), and Chair of the Council’s Education Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the Canadian Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics and is a facilitator in the National Judicial Institute’s Evidence Workshop and Seminar for New Federally Appointed Judges.

Kristin Muszynski

Kristin Muszynski joined Templeman Menninga LLP as an associate lawyer in 2006 and became a Partner in January 2014. Working in the firm’s litigation department, Kristin practices in the areas of insurance defence and family law. Kristin received both her Bachelor of Arts and her Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University. Kristin is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the County of Frontenac Law Association and Canadian Defence Lawyers. She is actively involved with the Frontenac Law Association, and is the vice president of the Association as well as the chair of the Social Committee and the co-chair of the 1000 Islands Legal Conference Committee. Kristin is also a member of the Advocates’ Society where she is a member of the Young Advocates’ Standing Committee. In the spring of 2012, Kristin was appointed to the Ontario Bar Association Council for the East Region.

William Simpson, Q.C., LSM

William Simpson received his LL.B from the University of Ottawa and was called to the Bar in 1967. He is very active with various CLE programs, has volunteered as an instructor with the Bar Admission Course and maintains an active role in the CLE programs of the CCLA, Ottawa Joint CLE Committee (founder), Medical-Legal Society of Ottawa Carleton (founding President), The Advocates' Society and the OBA. Awarded his Q.C. in 1980, William was honoured in 1994 when he became a recipient of the prestigious Law Society Medal (LSM), awarded to lawyers who have made significant contributions to the profession. William is a Past-President of the CCLA and the CBAO. He is a founding father and of the Civil Litigation conference.

Justice Bonnie Warkentin

Justice Warkentin received her B.A. Honours from the University of Winnipeg in 1983 and graduated from Queen’s University Law School in 1989. Justice Warkentin practised law in Kingston, Ontario with the firm of Willoughby MacLeod Warkentin LLP from 1991 until 2008 and shortly before her appointment to the bench joined the firm of Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP. Her practice consisted of estate litigation, estate planning and family law. Justice Warkentin was a Bencher with the Law Society of Upper Canada from 2003 until she was appointed to the Superior Court in July of 2008. As a Bencher she worked on numerous committees most notably she was co-chair of the Retention of Women in Private Practice Project and the first woman Bencher elected as Chair of the Finance Committee. She was also Co-Chair of the Emerging Issues Committee and Vice Chair of the Hearings Panel, the Tribunals, Access to Justice and the Paralegal Standing Committees. Justice Warkentin has been a speaker at a wide variety of legal seminars.

Justice Heather Williams

Justice Heather J. Williams was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa in May, 2017 after practising civil litigation in Ottawa for more than 25 years. Justice Williams practised with Cavanagh Williams LLP (which now goes by some other name) and before that, with Nelligan O’Brien Payne (formerly Nelligan Power). Justice Williams is proud to be a past president of the County of Carleton Law Association and a former chair of the CCLA’s Civil Litigation Updated conference at Mont Tremblant.

Peter Williamson

In 2000, Peter Williamson, P.Eng., began operating as Williamson Forensic Consulting. Mr. Williamson had worked in the field of forensic engineering specializing in motor vehicle collision analysis since 1991 at Canada's largest accident reconstruction firm in Vancouver. He has experience with over 1500 cases, with research, low speed and high speed crash testing, publications and litigation support. Peter has a high level of expertise and specialization in motor vehicle collision analysis to central and eastern Canada.

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