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Credibility Issue Not a Complete Bar to Summary Trial

The option of having a summary trial, as opposed to a traditional trial where live evidence is presented by the parties involved, has been available in BC since 1983. In 2006 the BC Justice Review Task Force report entitled Effective and Affordable Civil Justice, praised the availability of the Summary Trial in BC and declared that it was a process that “must be revitalized”, among others available to resolve “impasse issues”.

Litigants are often wary of proceeding by way of summary trial because of concerns regarding the credibility of parties involved. However, credibility issues alone are not enough to keep a matter from being handled by way of this speedy and comparatively inexpensive mode of trial, that is as long as the issues in dispute can be resolved by way of the evidence available to the judge.

In reasons published on Thursday, 2 June 2011, in the case of Epoch Press Inc. v. Sewak, 2011 BCSC 699, Madam Justice Gropper said the following respecting this:

[21] While credibility is in issue in some respects, a dispute on credibility is not a complete bar to the suitability of a summary trial. A summary trial is still available if the court is able to resolve the matters in dispute from the affidavit evidence or the evidence provided under oath, in this case from the examinations for discovery.

(written by Charles D. Jago)Personal Injury Law Personal Injury Lawyers

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