On February 20, 2018 the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Oravital v. Aird & Berlis LLP, 2018 ONCA 164, a brief decision with important implications on the scope of a lawyer’s duty to advise. The Court of Appeal held that a lawyer’s duty to advise clients of the risks and benefits of pursuing litigation, including the quantum of recoverable damages, is not negated just because the client is commercially sophisticated. The decision serves as a useful reminder that litigators must advise clients (even sophisticated clients) of the costs and benefits of pursuing an action both … Continue Reading
In a decision released on December 8, 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed an appeal from partial summary judgment, holding that issues of indeterminate auditor liability should proceed to trial.
In 1998, an accounting fraud was discovered at Philip Services Corp. (“Philip”), a publicly traded company. The Plaintiffs alleged that Philip’s auditors, Deloitte and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (“Deloitte”) gave unqualified opinions in connection with its audits of Philip’s consolidated financial statements for the financial years ending December 31, 1995 and 1996.… Continue Reading
Over the past year, courts across Canada have responded to the Supreme Court of Canada’s clarion call in Hryniak v Mauldin (“Hryniak”) for a culture shift to promote access to justice including through summary judgment. The latest word on this front has come from the Alberta Court of Appeal in two recent decisions which seemingly conflict on the threshold to be applied to summary judgment applications. The inherent tension created by Hryniak in Alberta is that the summary judgment rule (Rule 7.3) reflects the 2006 views of the Supreme Court of Canada: that such applications should be used … Continue Reading
The Appeals Monitor is pleased to present our annual review of the most significant appeals of the past year that can be expected to impact Canadian businesses for years to come.
In Kaynes v BP, PLC, 2014 ONCA 580 (previously discussed here), the Court of Appeal for Ontario stayed a proposed secondary market securities class action due to forum non conveniens. Although the Court held that Ontario could assume jurisdiction over claims by Canadian residents who had purchased securities on foreign exchanges, it held Ontario should nonetheless decline jurisdiction as foreign courts were “clearly more appropriate” venues.… Continue Reading
In a recent decision, Baywood Homes Partnership v. Haditaghi, 2014 ONCA 450, the Ontario Court of Appeal reiterates some of the risks of summary adjudication and reminds parties that, despite the enthusiasm for summary judgment endorsed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, summary judgment may not be appropriate in all cases – specifically, those in which a staged fact-finding process raises the spectre of inconsistent findings at summary judgment and at trial.
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Recently, the Ontario Court of Appeal reminded us of the importance of reasons for judgment in Barbieri v. Mastronardi. A unanimous Court allowed an appeal from an order granting summary judgment to a plaintiff who sued for breach of contract and negligence, holding that the lack of sufficient reasons in the motion judge’s endorsement left the Court with no choice:
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24 Given the inadequacy of the endorsement of the motion judge, we cannot conduct a meaningful review of his decision.
25 In these circumstances, we have no alternative but to grant the appeal and set aside the declaration
Earlier this year we discussed on this blog the new “sufficient appreciation test” set out by the Supreme Court in Hryniak v. Mauldin, which really represents a cultural shift in the availability of summary judgment to the parties.
In Windsor v. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., 2014 ABCA 108, the Alberta Court of Appeal applied the test to a certified class action about Rylands v. Fletcher liability.
The Supreme Court of Canada released two decisions today that will make summary judgment more widely available to parties. The reasons in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 and Bruno Appliance and Furniture, Inc. v. Hryniak, 2014 SCC 8 signal a cultural shift in which summary judgment will be available whenever it involves less time and expense than a trial, provided it enables the motion judge to reach a fair and just determination … Continue Reading
This was an appeal by Burton Canada Company (“Burton”) of the decision of the Chambers Judge, Justice Gregory M. Warner, dismissing Burton’s application for summary judgment. The decision of Justice Warner was upheld, and the appeal dismissed. This decision may have far-reaching implications, as the majority of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal holds that changing the Civil Procedure Rules can restrict the inherent jurisdiction of a Court. Although the decision was not made on this basis, this dicta may have radical implications for the inherent jurisdiction of superior courts to deal with their procedural rules.
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In the spirit of the season, Canadian Appeals Monitor has decided not only to look back on the key appeals of 2012, but also to make predictions about those Supreme Court of Canada appeals most likely to impact businesses and professionals in 2013. Predicting which appeal judgments are likely to have important and lasting effects before they are even decided involves a high degree of guesswork,… Continue Reading
The Ontario Court of Appeal has now released its long-awaited reasons on the scope of the amended rule 20 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. In Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc. v. Flesch, the Court introduced a “full appreciation” test designed to provide guidance on the circumstances in which it will be appropriate for the court to resolve issues on a motion for summary judgment. As discussed below, in our view, more may be required for a “full appreciation” of the scope of amended rule 20.