investigations

scott schedules

The provision of Expert Reports in litigation or dispute matters is most effectively addressed and resolved with the use of an Official Referee Schedule or ‘Scott Schedules’ as it is popularly known (named after a former Official Referee).

In dispute matters, the party having the onus of proving the issue is generally required to prepare the Schedule in the form whereby the defects are listed in the first columns. It is then served on the defending party’s solicitor who is then required to complete the next succeeding columns outlining their opinions. Whilst developed in recent times to include better particulars and outlines of specific breaches, the final column in each form is reserved for the use of the official or referee.

In New South Wales, the District Court has been using Scott type Schedules in building, engineering and other similar technical cases involving large numbers of dispute items. The procedure is that by direction of the Judges, the Registrar presiding at the call-over (which takes place some 4 to 6 weeks before hearing date) will refuse to allot a hearing date unless the Schedule has been filed. Parties aggrieved by a refusal to fix a hearing date on matters requiring a Schedule may apply to the Judge and the Judge may give directions. The Schedules are, however, so successful-

(a) in clarifying the issues;
(b) in avoiding confusion at the hearing;
(c) in achieving a settlement of many of the items in dispute (It becomes clear that the difference between parties is often not worth the expense of a contest),

that it is rare that a Judge allows such a trial to proceed without a Scott Schedule.

Demlakian Strata & Remedial have been preparing ‘Scott Schedules’ for over 25 years in compliance with the requirements of all legal jurisdictions and is one of very few professionals in the Strata Industry suitably qualified and experienced in all aspects of the court’s requirements.