The Promising Fallout From Hryniak v. Mauldin

Following the release of the SCC decision in Hryniak in January of this year, the widely held view was that the decision would deal a death blow to trials in Canada and would open the floodgates to summary judgment motions.

The Advocates’ Journal Summer 2014 has run an interesting piece by Jonathan Lisus which suggests that, on the contrary, Canadian courts and creative counsel are using the Hryniak to craft procedures that bring cases to trial in a more efficient and cost effective way, than has any other access to justice initiative.

After reviewing the treatment of the SCC decision over the last 6 months Lisus concludes the decision has “…struck a chord with trial and appellate judges across the country. They, like litigants, are frustrated by gridlock in the “conventional” trial system. It has conferred on them an enhanced degree of procedural autonomy and discretion to manage cases to judgement – even in the context of the conventional trial – by weighing their procedural and substantive proportions.”

Seasoned Toronto litigator Allan Rouben has written an excellent commentary on the article.

Lisus urges those of us who are dedicated to preserving the civil trial to use Hryniak to persuade the bench that the trial process can and does work.

I couldn’t agree more.




  1. Thanks very much for the mention John. I too am hopeful the decision will be used in ways that promote efficiency in the process. The ball is in our court, and that of the judiciary.