Family Law Rules – Rule 20.1: Experts

Angela Princewill

November 14, 2015



20.1 (1) It is the duty of every expert who provides evidence in relation to a case under these rules,

(a) to provide opinion evidence that is fair, objective and non-partisan;

(b) to provide opinion evidence that is related only to matters that are within the expert’s area of expertise; and

(c) to provide such additional assistance as the court may reasonably require to determine a matter in issue.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(2) In the case of an expert engaged by or on behalf of a party, the duty in subrule (1) prevails over any obligation owed by the expert to that party.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(3) The court may, on motion or on its own initiative, appoint one or more independent experts to inquire into and report on any question of fact or opinion relevant to an issue in a case.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(4) An order under subrule (3) appointing an expert shall name the expert and, where possible, the expert shall be a person agreed on by the parties.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(5) An order under subrule (3) appointing an expert shall contain the instructions to be given to the expert, and the court may make any further orders that it considers necessary to enable the expert to carry out the instructions.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(6) The court shall require the parties to pay the fees and expenses of an expert appointed under subrule (3), and shall specify the proportions or amounts of the fees and expenses that each party is required to pay.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(7) If a motion by a party for the appointment of an expert under subrule (3) is opposed, the court may, as a condition of making the appointment, require the party seeking the appointment to give such security for the expert’s fees and expenses as is just.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(8) The court may relieve a party from responsibility for payment of any of the expert’s fees and expenses, if the court is satisfied that payment would cause serious financial hardship to the party.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(9) The expert shall prepare a report of the results of his or her inquiry, and shall,

(a) file the report with the clerk of the court; and

(b) provide a copy of the report to each of the parties.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(10) A report provided by an expert shall contain the following information:

1. The expert’s name, address and area of expertise.

2. The expert’s qualifications, including his or her employment and educational experiences in his or her area of expertise.

3. The instructions provided to the expert in relation to the proceeding.

4. The nature of the opinion being sought and each issue in the proceeding to which the opinion relates.

5. The expert’s opinion respecting each issue and, where there is a range of opinions given, a summary of the range and the reasons for the expert’s own opinion within that range.

6. The expert’s reasons for his or her opinion, including,

i. a description of the factual assumptions on which the opinion is based,

ii. a description of any research conducted by the expert that led him or her to form the opinion, and

iii. a list of every document relied on by the expert in forming the opinion.

7. An acknowledgement of expert’s duty (Form 20.1) signed by the expert.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(11) The expert’s report is admissible in evidence in the case.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(12) Any party may cross-examine the expert at the trial.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.


(13) For greater certainty, subrules (3) to (12) do not apply in respect of,

(a) appointments of persons by the court under subsection 54 (1.2) of the Child and Family Services Act or subsection 30 (1) of the Children’s Law Reform Act; or

(b) requests by the court that the Children’s Lawyer act under subsection 112 (1) of the Courts of Justice Act.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 6.

If you need any help with family law matters, contact AP Family Law Lawyers in Toronto, Pickering, Markham, and Scarborough. You can call us at (905) 492-7662 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.