Friday, March 13, 2015

Use of comprehensive document briefs in civil trials

Blake v. Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, 2015 ONCA 165:

[53]       Parties frequently use comprehensive document briefs in civil trials. As this court stated in Iannarella v. Corbett:[9]

It is commonplace in civil actions for counsel to prepare a trial document brief containing documents that are admitted as authentic and admissible. See John Sopinka, The Trial of an Action, 2nd ed. (Markham: LexisNexis, 1998) at pp. 41-42. Counsel typically agree on a list of documents and one party attends to the brief's preparation.

[54]       When a document brief is tendered at trial, the record should reflect clearly the use the parties may make of it. Such use may range from the binder's acting merely as a convenient repository of documents, each of which must be proved in the ordinary way, through an agreement about the authenticity of the documents, all the way to an agreement that the documents can be taken as proof of the truth of their contents. Absent an agreement by the parties on the permitted use of a document brief, the trial judge should make an early ruling about its use.

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