By Donald J. Lange, B.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (Cantab.)

The successful assertion of an estoppel argument can bring an action or a motion to an immediate conclusion.  As a result, the courts have wrestled with the subtle nuances of cause of action and issue estoppel for nearly two centuries.  Moreover, until now, there has not been a comprehensive distillation of the legal rules that have evolved and been applied in courts across Canada.

A hardcover text by LexisNexis, now in it’s 4th edition.  This definitive work fills an important gap in Canadian legal literature by examining the development and application of res judicata and related doctrines.



The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada reviews the many problem areas regularly encountered by courts and practitioners.  The application of res judicata and related doctrines is canvassed in specific areas of the law including criminal, family, employment and labour, insurance and intellectual property.  Among the specific topics discussed:

When are wrongful dismissal actions precluded by prior quasi-judicial decisions?

How are continuing damages dealt with?

Is it necessary to plead res judicata?

When does fraud permit the reopening of a judgment?

When can a guilty plea be neutralized?

Does the doctrine apply to child custody and access decisions?

Can a second motion be brought after a previous ex parte motion was dismissed for non-disclosure?

When will a court refuse to recognize a foreign judgment as being determinative?

How is issue estoppel currently being applied in criminal proceedings? 

When will solicitor and client costs be imposed?

When is it advisable to bring third party proceedings? 



The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada is designed to serve as the one-stop source for lawyers – whether they are seeking to build or rebut a case based on estoppel.  Features include:

Comprehensive approach – eight chapters address all aspects of issue estoppel and cause of action estoppel including practice considerations, remedies, and appeals 

In-depth analysis – Exhaustive, extensively footnoted treatment of the legal principles – reconciling conflicting cases and indicating the best approach where there are two lines of authority

Practical guidance – With a “Key Principles” section for each chapter, plus easy-to-understand restatements of the law (with supporting authority) where appropriate

Broad scope – Draws on 2000 relevant reported and unreported cases from across Canada

Exclusive insights – Written by an experienced civil litigator

Timely coverage – Brings you up-to-date with the latest developments in the field



The issues of res judicata and abuse of process arise in virtually every area of the law where rights are determined in an adversarial process.  The Doctrine of Res Judicata in Canada will prove to be invaluable to a wide range of professionals, including:

Civil litigators 

Crown attorneys and criminal defense counsel

Labour and employment law practitioners

Family lawyers

Administrative lawyers

Judges and tribunal officers



Chapter 1 – The General Nature of Res Judicata: Rule of evidence, pleading, proof, form, and forum

Chapter 2 – Issue Estoppel: The “question,” the parties, the decision, tribunal decisions

Chapter 3 – Cause of Action Estoppel: The cause, the parties, the decision, tribunal decisions, the relief

Chapter 4 –Abuse of Process by Relitigation: Issue estoppel, cause of action estoppel, dispositions without a trial, special circumstances, costs sanctionsDispositions without Trial: Motions generally, summary judgments, want of prosecution, discontinuance, applications, default judgments, consent judgments

Chapter 5 – Discretion and Special Circumstances: The rules of procedure exception, changes in the law, fraud, new evidence, public policy

Chapter 6 –Dispositions without Trial: Motions generally, summary judgments, want of prosecution, discontinuance, applications, default judgments, consent judgments

Chapter 7 – Specific Areas of the Law: Criminal proceedings, criminal compensation orders, family law, employment law, labour law, insurance law, property assessment, patent law, bankruptcy law, costs, judicial review, injunctions, certificates of pending litigation, small claims court decisions, foreign and extra-territorial decisions

 Chapter 8 – Related Doctrines: Collateral attack, election in litigation, alternative liability: principal and agent, joint liability, rule against double satisfaction, judgments in rem, stare decisis, prior decisions as evidence

Order Online

The Doctrine of Res Judicata – 4th Edition is available to order online through LexisNexis.

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Request the expert evidence, opinions, and co-counsel services of Donald J. Lange on the doctrine of res judicata in Canada.

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