Hryniak v. Mauldin Comes to Alberta: Summary Judgment, Culture Shift, and the Future of Civil Trials

Barbara Billingsley

Abstract


Alberta’s law of civil procedure, and summary judgment in particular, has experienced a culture shift since the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Hryniak v. Mauldin. This article asks whether litigation directed toward a conventional trial is now, or is soon to be, a thing of the past. Although intended to revive traditional trials as a realistic and timely resolution option, it is impossible to say yet if this will be Hryniak’s legacy in Alberta. Three things are clear in post-Hryniak Albertan jurisprudence, however: first, the Hryniak test governs the determination of summary judgment applications in Alberta; second, Alberta courts have embraced the call for proportionality in litigation procedure; and third, the Hryniak culture shift creates uncertainty for Alberta litigants.

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