The amended Rule will also require parties to schedule a pre-trial conference within 180 days of the action being set down for trial. Additionally, parties will be required to agree to a trial management plan at least 30 days before the pre-trial conference. Each party must file the trial management plan at least 5 days before the pre-trial conference. The trial management plan must contain: (a) a list of every witness, including expert witnesses, whose evidence a party intends to adduce at trial; and (b) a division of time between the parties, that sets out the allotted times for each party for opening statements, presentation of evidence in chief by affidavit, cross-examination of deponents, re-examination of deponents, and oral argument.
At the pre-trial conference, the judge or master will approve or modify the trial management plan, and will fix the number of witnesses (other than experts) whose evidence may be adduced, dates for the delivery of witness affidavits (including outstanding expert affidavits) and a trial date (subject to the direction of the regional senior judge).