How Insights from Peter Simm’s “Fresh Eyes” Have Won Appeals
The Appeal in Kraft
In Kraft (1999, Ont. C.A.), Peter A. Simm was retained as Appellant’s counsel after a judge had refused to reopen the matter because there was not “an arguable case on the merits,” and after the appeal had been dismissed for failure to perfect within time. The Respondent’s counsel was a Certified Specialist in Family Law, a field in which Simm does not practice.
Simm first won a motion in the Court of Appeal to reinstate the appeal. His winning argument on the appeal raised a single, novel point that had been overlooked at trial and by the law firm that retained him — namely, whether the statutory term “matrimonial home” includes the value of a discrete non-residential portion of a property. (Simm apparently was the first person to realize the significance of certain facts disclosed in the subject property’s description in the MLS listing in the Appeal Record.) Kraft is cited in 10 legal textbooks. This decision is also the subject of commentaries in 2 legal periodicals.
The Appeal in Amberwood
In Amberwood (2002, Ont. C.A.), the Respondent’s counsel retained Simm as co-counsel when the appeal was launched. Simm’s research unearthed important jurisprudence and statutory provisions overlooked by all trial counsel, enabling him to formulate the winning arguments.
In light of how Simm’s Factum compellingly reframed the issues, Catzman J.A. directed the Appellant to file a responsive, supplementary Factum. Simm then co-presented the oral argument at the hearing of the appeal, convincing the majority to reject a half-century of English jurisprudence that the trial judge had been inclined to adopt.
The Court of Appeal expressly noted “the complexity and novelty of the issues,” which included privity of contract, an extraordinarily byzantine area of real property law, and the limits of judicial reform of the common law.
Canadian law schools from coast to coast teach Amberwood in mandatory Property Law courses. In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that this remains the leading Canadian case on positive covenants. Amberwood is cited in 44 Canadian legal textbooks and 35 judicial decisions, including 10 appellate rulings.