What is the jurisprudence supporting settlement?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Sarson v. Cook, 2009 CanLII 1150 (ON SC):

I now turn briefly to the jurisprudence, touching upon the issues before the court. Mr. Justice Rosenberg (as he then was) outlined the policy supporting settlement in the case of Stonehocker v. King, [1993] O.J. No. 2653. At paragraph 23 Mr. Justice Rosenberg stated; The policy of the courts is to encourage settlement of litigation. The high cost of litigation, the delay in obtaining judgments, the delays in having a courtroom and judge available, make it desirable that the parties settle actions wherever possible. The parties are usually better off with a reasonable settlement such as the one in this case than they are after a lengthy and expensive law suit where the results are not finally determined for a number of years and the parties affairs are kept in limbo in the interim. When this is coupled with the waste of executive’s time in testifying, meetings, instructing lawyers, etc., a settlement is a ray of light in an otherwise bleak picture. This is coupled with the fact that the courts would not be able to function if a high percentage – in the 80 to 90 percent range – of cases were not settled.

Mr. Justice Rosenberg went on to cite the case of Pearson v. Plester (1989), 41 C.P.C. (2d) 53 (Man.C.A.). He stated: In the case of Pearson v. Plester the plaintiff resisted a settlement on the grounds that his solicitor was not authorized to accept. The concept that a solicitor with apparent authority can accept a settlement is clearly the law. However in dealing with this case, Twaddle J.A. for the court of Appeal stated at p. 55: … If the Judge is satisfied that a settlement was reached, the Judge cannot refuse to enter judgment on the ground that an order enforcing the settlement would cause injustice to a party.

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