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Appeal – Discretion/Reasons for Decision/Standards of Review

Posted on August 2, 2016 | Posted in Civil Litigation, Five Liners

Dovbush v. Mouzitchka 2016 Ont CA

The trial judge felt that the key issue was the correct characterisation of a transaction. The Court of Appeal noted that this was incorrect. The parties all agreed on the nature of the transaction; the proper issue dealt with the correct characterisation of the money advanced by the purchasers during the parties’ dealings in connection with the transaction. The Court set aside the judgment and ordered a new trial because of the improper characterisation and, more importantly, the insufficiency of reasons that prevented meaningful appellate review. The trial judge did not, in his reasons, inform the parties why he came to the decision to which he came. He did not deal with the issues that the parties raised. He indicated that he preferred one set of witnesses over the other without really indicating why he preferred them. A blanket statement that a witness’ testimony did not make business sense without indicating why it did not make business sense was not helpful.


Jonathan Speigel


Written by Jonathan Speigel Jonathan Speigel, the founding partner of Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, leads the litigation and construction practices.


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