The Standard of Appellate Review in Canada: High Hurdles to Right Wrongs


Assessing the prospects of success on appeal and winning on appeal are among the most difficult aspects of an advocate’s role. Losing party’s counsel is confronted with human and analytical challenges which can be more complicated than the events which led to the unsatisfactory trial judgment, jury verdict, arbitral award or tribunal decision. Winning counsel has to deal with the possibility of reversal. A clear understanding of the standards of appellate review will make the task a little easier. In this article, experienced appellate counsel highlights the factors to consider.

Igor Ellyn, QC, CS, is senior partner of Ellyn Law LLP, a Toronto Business Litigation Boutique. He is a past president of the Ontario Bar Association. He is a certified specialist in civil litigation and has appeared as counsel in the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. This article was written by Igor Ellyn and Evely Perez-Youssoufian, a litigation associate at Ellyn Law LLP, at the request of the editors of the The Litigator, the keynote publication of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA). It was published in OTLA's Summer 2009 issues.

Ellyn Law LLP is a business litigation boutique based in Toronto, Canada, which specializes in shareholder and oppression remedy disputes, international arbitration, judgment enforcement and libel and defamation. Igor Ellyn and Evelyn Perez-Youssoufian are also the authors of the Canada chapter of Enforcement of Money Judgments (Juris Publishing, NY). Please see for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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