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Summary Judgment Methodology

Posted on April 13, 2021 | Posted in Civil Litigation, Five Liners

Royal Bank of Canada v. 1643937 Ontario Inc. 2021 Ont CA

The debtors claimed that the bank had represented that the guarantees that they signed would result in a maximum exposure for all of them of $600,000. The guarantees when added together resulted in an exposure of $1.5 million. The motion judge granted summary judgment. The Court of Appeal reversed and sent to matter to trial. It held that, on a motion for summary judgment, the motion judge must first determine whether there is a genuine issue requiring a trial based solely on the evidence before the judge and, if there appears to be a genuine issue, determine if the need for a trial can be avoided by use of the enhanced powers to weigh evidence, evaluate credibility, and draw reasonable inferences. Because the motion judge did not seem to do this, but rather was more conclusory, and because the motion judge did not fully review all of the evidence and why she decided some evidence was not to be relied upon, the court held that she had not properly analysed the case and the evidence. The court also added that an “entire agreement clause” did not preclude or diminish the defence of misrepresentation.

 

Jonathan Speigel

 

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

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