yet it did, in my experience, regularly. To lawyers on either side of a case.
Shrugging it off with a "trial judges are human and make mistakes" isn't a good answer.
Equivalent conduct on a football (soccer) pitch would get you at least a yellow card, maybe even a red card.
The hockey equivalent is probably a 10 minute if not a game misconduct for unsportsmanlike behaviour.
We have to assume that if the transcript provided an explanation of any weight for the trial judge's conduct, the ONCA would have said so. The transcript does suggest that the relationship between defence and plaintiff counsel was not friendly. " ... In the two weeks before trial, Mr. McLean served a motion to remove the Jarbeaus’ counsel, but did not proceed with that motion. Mr. McLean’s counsel refused to communicate with the Jarbeaus’ counsel, except in writing. This was a bare-knuckle battle. ... "
Most experienced enough litigators have had trials where one of the grounds of appeal they wanted to make was that the trial judge was biased and the bias affected the result or at least there's a reasonable basis for concluding that the bias may have affected the result.
That's a difficult argument to win except in egregious cases. If one is lucky, there are also significant enough errors of fact and law that will allow the appellate court to to intervene without having to deal with the actual or apparent bias issue at all.
The case below is an apparent example. I have set out excerpts.