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Sopinka on the Trial of an Action, 3rd Edition

First published in 1981, this classic manual offers invaluable insight into trial techniques from the perspective of The Late Honourable Mr. Justice John Sopinka who was one of the nation's leading litigators before his appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Publication Language: English
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ISBN/ISSN: 9780433451945

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"While on one level this is a “how to” book for civil trials, it also offers insights to the way things are and the values which should guide the way forward. The combination lives up to the Sopinka standard of excellence, which is the most any trial lawyer could ask for."

– From the Foreword by The Honourable Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C.


While noting the decline in the number of civil trials, author and veteran litigator Ken McEwan states that “the trial remains the primary method by which our courts resolve disputes involving disputed facts” – which explains why this title focusing on enhancing access to justice, and strategies and tactics to be used at trial is an extremely useful resource for litigators across Canada.

An updated, practical reference
First published in 1981, this classic manual offers invaluable insight into trial techniques from the perspective of The Late Honourable Mr. Justice John Sopinka who was one of the nation’s leading litigators before his appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. Sopinka on the Trial of an Action, 3rd Edition remains a go-to reference for best practices in the courtroom. This thoroughly revised edition reflects the evolution in trial strategies as well as the significant case law developments since the previous edition. This book provides litigators with expert advice about trial strategy that will improve their advocacy and efficacy while reducing the possibility of costly pitfalls during trial.

In addition to examples of effective cross-examination techniques and expert guidance on developing winning skills in the courtroom, lawyers referring to Sopinka on the Trial of an Action, 3rd Edition will benefit from:

  • The addition of a new chapter, which addresses proper functioning of the trial, the professional and ethical responsibilities of counsel and access to justice considerations
  • A discussion of certain significant differences in trial practice across the country including timing of openings, variance in form and content of expert evidence and distinctive rules regarding elections not to call evidence
  • A substantially revised chapter on the role of counsel that discusses opening statements, the use of documents, examinations and cross-examinations, objections, and closing addresses
  • A discussion of important cases and how they affect trials, including Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Hryniak v. Mauldin (summary judgment rule), F.H. v. McDougall (standard of proof) and Moore v. Getahun (expert evidence)
  • Practical appendices

This publication as a practical “how to” guide will be especially useful to anyone who spends a significant amount of time in a courtroom – including civil litigators and judges.

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Table of contents

Foreword – Written by The Honourable Ian Binnie

Preface

Table of Cases



Part I: The Tribunal
Chapter 1: Calibrating the Trial
Chapter 2: The Mode of Trial

Part II: Preparation
Chapter 3: Preparation for Trial

Part III: Presenting the Case at Trial
Chapter 4: Devices to Facilitate or Supplant Testimony
Chapter 5: Role of Counsel
Chapter 6: Role of the Trial Judge

Part IV: The Case Goes to the Jury
Chapter 7: The Charge to the Jury