Sopinka on the Trial of an Action, 4th Edition
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“This book, appropriately and wisely updated, offers the timeless guidance which all advocates seek and need.”
– From the Foreword by Guy J. Pratte
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, 4th Edition remains a go-to reference for best practices and strategies in the courtroom at the trial level. The book covers everything from the structure of the trial, trial preparation, presenting the case at trial and trials where the case goes to the jury. Also included is a plethora of useful and handy appendices ranging from sample opening statements, cross examination techniques, addresses and questions to the jury, to many more.
What’s New In This Edition
- Updated discussion on ethics for the courtroom, including interference with substantive fairness and the due administration of justice, and principles of civility
- Updated discussion of the principles guiding the court’s discretion in determining when trial by jury is appropriate
- Updated case law discussion on the role of the court-appointed expert and letters of request (letters rogatory) to and from foreign courts
- Updated case law discussion and commentary on trial preparation
- Updated discussion and case law on conduct of trial including on such matters as examination and cross-examination of witnesses; admissibility of expert opinions and testimony; opening and closing addresses
- Updated analysis of new case law developments pertaining to deportment at trial and departures from the adversary process
- New section discussing mistrials in judge-alone cases
- New case law discussion of Non-suit cases
- Updated case law on the charge to the Jury
- New commentary on the Review of Damage Award
- New appendix on The Advocates’ Society, “Principles of Civility and Professionalism for Advocates”
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.
Table of contents
Foreword by Guy J. Pratte
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
Chapter 8 – The Verdict
Appendix 1 – Trial Document Brief
Appendix 2 – Opening Statement – Example 1
Appendix 3 – Opening Statement – Example 2
Appendix 4 – Examination-in-Chief
Appendix 5 – Examination of an Expert
Appendix 6 – Cross-Examination on Discovery
Appendix 7 – Cross-Examination – Example 1
Appendix 8 – Cross-Examination – Example 2
Appendix 9 – Cross-Examination – Example 3
Appendix 10 – Cross-Examination – Example 4
Appendix 11 – Cross-Examination – Example 5
Appendix 12 – Cross-Examination – Example 6
Appendix 13 – Address to the Jury by Pierre Genest
Appendix 14 – Address to the Jury by John Bowlby
Appendix 15 – Charge to the Jury
Appendix 16 – Question to Jury – Ordinary Negligence Case
Appendix 17 – Question to Jury – Pedestrian Case
Appendix 18 – Question to Jury – Occupier’s Liability Case
Appendix 19 – Model Trial Binder
Appendix 20 – Document Agreement
Appendix 21 – Proof Chart
Appendix 22 – The Advocates’ Society, “Principles of Civility and Professionalism for Advocates”
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