Tag: summary trial
As most litigators know, one of the more significant changes to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure was with respect to summary judgment motions under Rule 20. Under the new Rule, the test changed from “no genuine issue for trial” to “no genuine issue requiring a trial”. The motions judge was also given enhanced powers, including the ability to weigh credibility, draw inferences and hear limited oral evidence in the “mini-trial”.
In the 18 months since the changes, the courts have had a chance to interpret the Rule and two approaches have emerged. The restrictive approach in Cuthbert v. TD Bank and New Solutions Extrusion Corporation v. Gauthier holds that the amendments have not fundamentally changed the nature of summary judgment, which is not a summary trial.
The second, more expansive, approach in Healey v. Lakeridge Health Corporation and Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company v. Sears Canada Inc. holds that the motion judge may exercise the powers of the trial judge, including finding facts, unless there is a good reason not to do so.
There will be a group of 5 appeals heard together by the Ontario Court of Appeal this summer in which the new Rule 20 will be interpreted to provide some guidance regarding the scope of the new powers and the implications for the rest of the trial. Other issues will also be addressed including the duty to give reasons on a summary judgment motion, the rights of cross examination in mini-trials, and costs.
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.
listen to The Ontario Civil Justice Reform Project
This week on Hull on Estates, Chris and Justin discuss the Ontario Civil Justice Reform Project and the steps being taken by Mr. Justice Colter Osbourne and Attorney General Michael Bryant.