Ontario Court of Appeal Reformulates Summary Judgments
The Ontario Court of Appeal released the decision today in Combined Air Mechanical Services Inc v Flesch, which reformulated the analysis for Rule 20 Summary Judgments.
The three instances where summary judgment can now be granted are:
- Where the parties themselves submit to resolving the dispute by summary judgment
- Where a claim or defence has no chance of success
- Where the motion judge is satisfied that the issues can be fairly and justly resolved by summary judgment
 …the motion judge must ask the following question: can the full appreciation of the evidence and issues that is required to make dispositive findings be achieved by way of summary judgment, or can this full appreciation only be achieved by way of a trial?
 We think this “full appreciation test” provides a useful benchmark for deciding whether or not a trial is required in the interest of justice. In cases that call for multiple findings of fact on the basis of conflicting evidence emanating from a number of witnesses and found in a voluminous record, a summary judgment motion cannot serve as an adequate substitute for the trial process. Generally speaking, in those cases, the motion judge simply cannot achieve the full appreciation of the evidence and issues that is required to make dispositive findings. Accordingly, the full appreciation test is not met and the “interest of justice” requires a trial.
For more, see Simon Chester’s post on Slaw.