The Superior Court has sent a strong message to Ontario litigants: The Sedona Canada Principles have teeth. InPalmerston Grain v. Royal Bank of Canada 2014 ONSC 5134, the Court said that the Sedona Canada Principles are incorporated by reference into the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure and that parties must comply with the Principles – “failing to do so is a breach of the Rules”.
This decision is significant for a number of reasons – primarily because it gives the force of the Rules to the Principles. The Court emphasizes that parties shall agree to a discovery plan, which must contain the information described in the Rules. The decision also underscores the importance of collaboration between parties in connection with e-discovery, which is highlighted in the Sedona Canada Principles, particularly Principle 4. Finally, this decision signals the Ontario court’s willingness to consider cost consequences for parties who fail to comply with the Principles.
Ontario’s courts have spoken – parties must collaborate in the discovery process and be guided by Sedona Canada. Failure to do so could be a costly breach of our Rules of Civil Procedure.