Mar 29, 2016

Decision could create new roadblock to summary judgment motions

A Divisional Court decision that prevents judges from bifurcating trials without the consent of both parties could end up creating a new roadblock to summary judgment motions in Ontario, Toronto civil and commercial litigator Patrick Summers tells

In Bondy-Rafael v. Potrebic, 2015 ONSC 3655 (CanLII), the majority of the court’s three-judge panel ruled that Rule 6.1.01 of Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure ousted the court’s inherent jurisdiction to order bifurcation of a trial when one or more parties objects.

Summers, a partner with Basman Smith LLP, says that could have knock-on effect on motions for summary judgment, because Rule 6.1.01 deals with “hearings” which is defined in Rule 1.03 to include “motions." Rule 20.04, which deals with summary judgments, may or may not modify the effect of the ruling.

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Photo by Patrick