Legal Elements of Causes of Action

Tip of the Day: While preparing a paper on “Effective Litigation Knowledge Management” for the November 17-18, 2008 Canadian Law & Technology Forum in Toronto, I reminded myself of an extremely useful chart for any drafter of litigation pleadings, being Appendix A from Summary Judgments and Dispositions Before Trial (LexisNexis Butterworths) by Robert van Kessel. This chart sets out the legal elements for thirty-seven causes of action (ranging from abuse of process to unjust enrichment) and fifteen defences (including duress and novation). Citations to supporting case law are provided. UPDATE: The author let me know (23 October 2008) that his chart of the “Legal Elements of Causes of Action” has been updated and expanded in his more recent book called Dispositions Without Trial, available here from LexisNexis Butterworths.


  1. As noted in the post above, I have updated the “Tip of the Day” to indicate that there is a newer version of the extremely useful chart (see post above for details).