langston J

7.5: Application for judgment by way of summary trial

Case Summary

The Plaintiff and Defendant were involved in a dispute about the division of matrimonial property and spousal support and they proceeded to Summary Trial by agreement. In his Application for Summary Trial, the Defendant asserted that he would only be relying on his Affidavit. However, when the parties made submissions at the Summary Trial, counsel for the Defendant proposed to tender as evidence Read-Ins from the Plaintiff’s discovery for the purpose of attacking the Plaintiff’s credibility.

Justice Langston considered Rule 7.5, and stated that the Summary Trial process is designed to facilitate a resolution in a fair and expeditious matter. To achieve this goal, the parties and the Court need to be cognisant of all relevant evidence prior to the commencement of the Summary Trial. His Lordship also noted that the Defendant counsel’s conduct thwarted the process, and amounted to an “ambush, disguised as trial advocacy”. The need for Read-Ins could have been dealt with well in advance of the Trial date. As a result, Langston J. held that the proper approach was to determine the issues in dispute without any reference to the Read-Ins. Langston J. considered the substantive issues in dispute, the outcome of which was mixed.

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