Barrister and Solicitor
Legal Writing and Research
Evidence - Use of Pleadings in Other Cases
Punzo v Punzo (Ont CA, 2016)
In this case the Court of Appeal addresses the interesting issue of when pleadings in other cases may be admitted as evidence in a current proceeding (presumably as an estoppel):
 First, Ms. Punzo argues that the motion judge erred in refusing to accept, as evidence of Ms. Punzo’s income, his pleading from litigation between him and his former employer that states that Mr. Punzo’s former salary with his former employer was far in excess of $105,000 per annum. Although the motion judge erred in stating categorically that pleadings are not evidence, nothing turns on this error. As this court has held, pleadings from a separate proceeding can be admitted as evidence for some purposes, but their admission is within the motion judge’s discretion: Vanderbeeke v. O’Connor, 2013 ONCA 665 (CanLII). Had the motion judge admitted the pleadings, she was clearly not prepared to give them much weight: the statements they contained about Mr. Punzo’s income were contradicted by both Mr. Punzo and his former employer in evidence that the motion judge accepted.