Meeting of experts
This is a meeting of experts who prepare a joint expert report to the Court. In a joint expert report the experts will state:
- what they agree upon;
- what they disagree about that doesn’t affect the outcome of the case;
- what they disagree about that is about important issues; and
- the reasons for their disagreement about important issues.
This is a process the Court uses to manage the preparation of expert evidence for the hearing. CMEE is conducted by a Convenor, who must be a member or judicial registrar of the court.
The Court will direct a case to CMEE at a directions hearing or review and appoint the Convenor. A party can ask for a CMEE at any stage prior to the hearing. The Convenor will start the process by meeting with the parties or their representatives in a case management conference
The Convenor’s role is procedural. This means the Convenor will not hear the case. The Convenor oversees the Court’s management of the evidence of expert witnesses and assists the parties and the experts to prepare for the hearing.
The Convenor can assist the parties to:
- identify the issues in dispute, if they have not already been identified;
- decide which of those issues will require expert witness evidence;
- identify which experts should produce joint expert reports and on which issues;
- determine the sequence in which meetings of experts should take place;
- ensure the expert witnesses have the information they need to fulfil their function;
- prepare a consolidated brief to the expert witnesses;
- discuss arrangements for providing secretarial and administrative assistance to the expert witnesses in a meeting of experts;
- communicate with expert witnesses after they have commenced their meeting of experts;
- establish, manage and adjust the timetable for briefing experts, meetings of experts, and joint expert reports;
- as joint expert reports are filed, consider whether those reports have consequences for the management of evidence by other expert witnesses;
- agree on directions about steps to be taken during the CMEE;
- consider proposed reports to the President about the CMEE; and
- discuss whether there are issues that require further direction from the President.
The Convenor can assist the experts by:
- asking them to explain their assumptions and conclusions;
- assisting them in discussions where the expert witnesses:
- have different levels of experience;
- have difficulty in communicating with each other;
- show a tendency towards advocacy, rather than independence; or
- indicate a lack of expertise in the particular discipline;
- explaining to less experienced expert witnesses how a hearing is conducted and what the Court will expect when the expert witnesses are giving evidence;
- explaining the process of concurrent evidence; and
- conducting the meeting in a way that gives all expert witnesses an opportunity to speak and ensures that one expert witness does not dominate the discussion.