Jean Bigaouette v. Jacques Bérubé, et al.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)


Contracts — Formation — Claim for sum of money for services rendered — Absence of written contract — Circumstances in which testimony heard in civil court can take precedence over documentary evidence — Whether oral testimony can invalidate contemporaneous writings — Whether citizen’s right to appeal in civil case is discretionary or fundamental — Whether guiding principle of good faith is ever-present and applicable in all civil disputes submitted for resolution in court in country — Whether guiding principle of good faith must be applied universally in courts of all provinces and territories in Canada; in other words, whether this principle is integral part of Canadian legislation in all legal proceedings in country; more relevantly, whether superior and appellate courts in Quebec are entitled to ignore guiding principle of good faith at their sole discretion.


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The applicant, Jean Bigaouette, brought a proceeding against the respondents, Jacques Bérubé, Leclerc Glu Lam Products inc. and Americana Lumber inc., claiming $268,495.37 for services rendered over a number of years to prepare for a lawsuit. Mr. Bérubé contested the claim, arguing that no mandate had been given to Mr. Bigaouette for consulting services.

The Superior Court dismissed Mr. Bigaouette’s principal application. After considering the documentary evidence, the testimony, the parties’ arguments and the decisions and judgments submitted, it held that the existence of a contract had not been proved. The Court of Appeal granted the motion to dismiss the appeal and dismissed the appeal, stating that no palpable and overriding error that would warrant intervention had been identified.

Lower Court Rulings

May 23, 2023
Superior Court of Quebec

200-17-031325-202, 2023 QCCS 1762
Principal application dismissed
September 15, 2023
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Québec)

200-09-010645-239, 2023 QCCA 1152
Motion to dismiss appeal granted; appeal dismissed