Mahoney J

1.1: What these rules do
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
5.31: Use of transcript and answers to written questions

Case Summary

At the Trial related to the purchase and sale of a commercial building, and a right of first refusal contained in the purchase and sale agreement, Justice Mahoney considered the preliminary issue of the admissibility of read-ins to impeach the credibility of a witness, the former director of one of the Defendant corporations who had also worked for the Plaintiff corporation. The Plaintiff called the witness and examined him in chief, but did not cross-examine the witness or confront him with any portion of the previous transcript from Questioning. The Plaintiff then sought to use read-ins from the Questioning at the close of its evidence to impeach the credibility of the witness.

Justice Mahoney considered Rule 5.31 and s.22 of the Alberta Evidence Act, RSA 2000, c A-18, (“AEA”) which codified the rule in Browne v Dunn. Justice Mahoney noted that when dealing with additional admissions which were not addressed in examination in chief, and are not tendered to impeach credibility, the Court may exercise its discretion to allow a party to read these admissions into the Trial record. His Lordship noted that this is consistent with the foundational Rules 1.1(1) and 1.2(2)(b), which mandate the just, fair, timely and inexpensive resolution of claims. Justice Mahoney held that to the extent the Plaintiff sought to introduce read-ins to impeach the witness’ credibility this constituted a violation of s. 22 of the AEA and the rule in Browne v Dunn, and therefore those read-ins were inadmissible.

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