This is the 6th in a series of postings on the role of a professional engineer in the 11-step civil litigation process.
The role of a professional engineer in the preparation of an Affidavit of Documents, the 4th and final step in the Pleadings, is brief – perhaps three tasks. It involves checking that all relevant technical and scientific documents have been included in the Affidavit.
The Pleadings consist of the following steps in the civil litigation process:
- Notice of Claim
- Statement of Claim
- Statement of Defense
- Affidavit of Documents
An Affidavit is prepared if a matter is not settled after the Statement of Defense and an exchange of letters in an attempt at a settlement. An Affidavit of Documents affirms that each party’s relevant documents have been disclosed. All parties prepare, swear, serve and file an Affidavit with the court. A party must produce in its Affidavit all documents and electronic information, including technical and scientific material, that it has in its possession or control relevant to the matters in issue.
The role of the professional engineer at this stage of civil litigation might consist of carrying out the following tasks:
- Review Affidavit of Documents of the party who has retained the engineer and confirm that all documents relevant to the technical issues have been considered and included
- Identify technical documents that should exist and be disclosed by all the parties to the action
- Assess if an opposing party’s Affidavit of Documents is complete or deficient of documents relevant to the technical issues