Court’s ‘cut and paste’ reasons prompt new hearings
Carfra Lawton LLP’s Aron Bookman and Chris McDougall were involved in an appeal at the Alberta Court of Appeal, from their client’s successful motions to dismiss two claims for delay of prosecution: University of Alberta v Chang, 2012 ABCA 324. The trial judge found in favour of the defendant in both actions; however in his reasons for judgment he used verbatim, without attribution, the briefs filed by the parties. The issue on appeal was whether the chambers judge failed to engage in any meaningful analysis of the issues, and failed to disclose his reasoning. The Court of Appeal held the compilation of passages from the chambers briefs used in the reasons for judgment did not disclose how the chambers judge arrived at his decision. In addition, there were two issues of fact that were not resolved in the judge’s reasoning. In conclusion, the Court of Appeal expressed frustration with the chambers judge, and ordered the parties had to reargue the applications at the trial court.