4. How will the Court give directions for the management of a case before the commencement of a trial?
In order for the Court to manage and monitor the progress of a civil action and to ensure that all preparations before trial will be conducted in a proper manner (including discovery, exchange of witness statements and exchange of experts' reports (if any)), the following steps shall be taken by the parties after close of pleadings.
1. Within 28 days of the closing of pleadings, parties to the proceedings shall file and serve their respective Timetabling Questionnaire (“TQ”) to provide information about their cases, and propose case management directions for the Court’s consideration.
2. Then the Plaintiff shall take out a Case Management Summons with the Court to fix a Case Management Summons Hearing (“CMS Hearing”) before the court so that the court can give the appropriate directions to the parties to prepare the case for trial, such as fixing the timetable for the parties to exchange list of documents, to exchange witness statement, and to prepare expert report (if appropriate) etc.
3. In giving the case management directions as aforesaid, the Court will usually adjourn the CMS Hearing or fix a Case Management Conference (“CMC”). In case of the adjourned CMS hearing, an updated TQ will need to be filed and served before the next hearing. For the CMC, a Listing Questionnaire together with a CMC Bundle will be required to be filed and served beforehand.