CBA ASKED TO FIX PROCESS
The current process for multijurisdictional class action lawsuits lacks inter-provincial co-ordination, effective case management and creates delays and wastes judicial resources, say lawyers with three Ontario firms who act for plaintiffs.
Three firms have asked the Canadian Bar Association to streamline it.
Representatives from Sotos LLP, Siskinds LLP and Koskie Minsky LLP authored the submission to the CBA, which was produced in response to the notice of consultation from the CBA’s national class actions task force, created in October.
“This is the opportunity. People have been waiting for something to come out of the machine to help deal with the burgeoning problem of multi-jurisdictional class actions,” says David Sterns, partner at Sotos LLP. “It just has been vexing the bar and the judiciary for many years.”
Sterns says Canada’s provincially based judicial system means no one province can cede jurisdiction or usurp another province by overruling them on a case in its jurisdiction.
When a national class action is filed in several provinces, instead of all class members getting behind one firm in one court, he says, they’re spread out in respective provinces.
He says this means more law firms are hired, more fees are paid and more courts are dealing with the same case. The defendants are then expected to fight the case in multiple provinces at once. Sterns says the system needs national co-ordination and the designation of one court to take the lead.
OBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO RETIRE
Steve Pengelly, the Ontario Bar Association’s executive director and counsel, has announced his retirement.
A successor for Pengelly will be announced at the end of this year or early next year, according to the OBA.
NEW LEGAL RESOURCE
Deepa Mattoo, legal director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, has created a toolkit to help lawyers working with female, racialized clients who are living with precarious immigration status in Ontario.
The toolkit is part of the Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship of Law Foundation of Ontario at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, in partnership with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and the Rights of Non-status Women’s Network.
Mattoo has been with the clinic since August 2016 and was formerly a staff lawyer and interim executive director at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario.
LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times reported that Correctional Service Canada has been found to be negligent in the severe beating of an inmate. Law Times asked readers if they thought inmate safety at jails and prisons needed significant improvement.
Eighty-nine per cent of respondents said yes, the case is an important example of the inadequate safety that exists for inmates. Eleven per cent said no, while there are some violent incidents, overall safety for inmates is satisfactory.