The reasons for granting the appeal span 92 paragraphs. The
conduct of the trial judge becomes increasingly unbelievable as the
reasons unfold. The decision is worth a read in its entirety and
the findings include the following:
The trial judge had not read any of the material before the
The trial judge gave the defendant "two minutes" to
explain a legitimate motion he was bringing at the outset of
The trial judge repeatedly interrupted during those two minutes
"in a most unhelpful manner";
The trial judge prevented the defendant from making his points
and made sarcastic and unhelpful comments;
The trial judge refused to hear the motion at the outset of the
trial and then dismissed the motion at the conclusion of the trial
without any argument or further discussion on the merits;
When the defendant commenced his cross-examination of one of
the plaintiff's witnesses the "trial judge took over
The defendant objected when one of the plaintiff's
witnesses went off on an irrelevant tangent. In response to the
objection, the witness stated "I'm talking, do you
mind?" The trial judge failed to consider the objection and
instead told the defendant to "be quiet, please";
The son of one of the plaintiff's witnesses was coaching
the witness from the body of the court room. When the defendant
objected the trial judge stated "you've been
interjecting and interrupting far more than anybody else"
(although the judge did ultimately caution the son);
The trial judge refused to allow the defendant to tender
evidence pertaining to issues that had been properly pleaded;
When the trial judge granted a 45 minute lunch break he advised
the defendant to spend the time getting organized. After the lunch
break when the defendant made a small error and apologized the
trial judge sarcastically stated "it's a good thing we
only gave you 45 minutes to get organized";
The trial judge allowed the plaintiff's witnesses to fence
with the defendant during his cross-examination of them;
The trial judge treated the defendant in a manner that was
"rude and threatening";
The trial judge demanded that the defendant explain the basis
of his defence during the defendant's cross-examination of a
When the defendant asked for a few minutes in the late
afternoon to collect his thoughts, the trial judge noted that
"I gave you 45 minutes at lunch. It didn't seem to do much
The defendant was not permitted by the trial judge to properly
provide his evidence on the witness stand. Instead, what transpired
is something that "can only be fairly described as a cross
examination by the trial judge."; and
The trial judge allowed the plaintiff to give evidence from the
body of the court after the plaintiff had closed its case and while
the defendant was in the witness box attempting to present his own
The appeal judge found that the comments made to the defendant
during the course of the trial were "gratuitous, sarcastic and
denigrating" and that the conduct of the trial judge
"crossed the line".
Fortunately for the defendant, not only was the judgment set
aside, but costs of the appeal were awarded in his favour in the
sum of $8,344.75, over $2,000 more than the amount of the judgment
that the plaintiff was initially awarded at the conclusion of
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