Can Pleadings Be Amended After Trial?
Once a Notice of Trial has been served or a Case Planning Conference is held a party can only amend their pleadings with permission of all other parties or with leave of the Court. The Court can allow an amendment of pleadings under Rule 6-1 during (or even after) trial as was demonstrated in reasons for judgement released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry.
In this week’s case (0679372 B.C. Ltd. v. The Winking Judge Pub Ltd.) the Plaintiff’s claim proceeded to trial and was successful. Following trial, but prior to entry of a formal order, the Plaintiff brought an applicaiton to amend it’s pleadings “to conform with the evidence at trial, and to conform with the Reasons for Judgement delivered“.
Madam Justice Smith granted the applicaiton finding this was an appropriate case to allow pleadings to be amended. In making this finding the Court provided the following reasons:
 In Canadian National Railway Co. v. Imperial Oil Ltd., 2007 BCSC 1193,  B.C.J. No. 1743 [C.N.R.] the following principles regarding amendments were set out at para. 18 with respect to the exercise of the Court’s discretion to permit amendments to pleadings during or at the conclusion of a trial:
(a) the amended pleadings must not be inconsistent with the pleadings already filed on behalf of the party seeking an amendment;
(b) the amended pleadings must not be inconsistent with the evidence tendered by that party at trial and on discovery;
(c) the amended pleadings must be such that they would not have changed the whole course of the trial had they been requested at the outset of the trial;
(d) the amendment must not be unfair to the opposite party; and
(e) the amendment must be necessary for the purpose of determining the real issues raised.
 In my view, the plaintiff’s application for leave to amend should be granted. It is consistent with the pleadings already filed. It is not inconsistent with evidence tendered by the plaintiff at trial (or on discoveries, so far as I am aware). The amended pleadings would not have changed the course of the trial. Permitting the amendment will not be unfair to the defendants, who were well aware of the evidence and who were given the opportunity to make submissions regarding the implications of a possible express trust. Finally, the proposed amendment is necessary to record accurately the issues raised and determined in these proceedings.