McCarthy Tétrault Advance™Building Capabilities for GrowthHOT TOPICS IN CLASS ACTIONSDefending Class Actions in Canada,3rd...
2                                                 SESSION 1            Class Actions –The Big Picture               Britis...
15 Years of Class Actions in BC                                               3¬ BC was early in Canada (1996)¬ Class Proc...
Certification Criteria                                                          4¬   Cause of Action (including novel clai...
Role of BC in Canadian Class Actions                                          5¬ “National” classes still controversial in...
Proposed Amendments to                                                          6B.C. Class Proceedings Act¬   Only BC, NB...
7                                                 SESSION 2        Winning the war before it begins:           Pre-certifi...
8McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
You’ve been sued … now what?                                                  9¬ Legal considerations:  ¬ Choice of defenc...
Preliminary Steps: Challenge Jurisdiction                                     10¬ In British Columbia, only residents are ...
Preliminary Steps: Challenge the                                              11Dispute Resolution Mechanism¬ Mandatory Ar...
Preliminary Steps: Challenge the                                                12Nature of the Claim¬   Cause of action¬ ...
Oppose Certification                                                                                        13¬ OPPOSE:   ...
Avoiding Class Actions                                                        14¬ Robust Risk Management  ¬ Review process...
15                                                 SESSION 3               Trends in B.C. Class Actions:                  ...
Types of Claims are Changing                                                   16¬ BPCPA – BC’s consumer protection legisl...
Certification Standards are Changing                                          17¬ Getting tougher to get certified in US¬ ...
Scope is Changing                                                             18¬ National/Cross-border classes are becomi...
How We Defend is Changing                                                     19¬ Courts have stated that it may often be ...
20                                                 SESSION 4         Class Action Quirks:Limitations Periods in “Trust” Cl...
Limitation Periods                                                             21¬ Most Provinces: 2 years, subject to  “d...
Aggregate Damages                                                             22¬ Traditional rule – can’t use CPA to crea...
Contribution                                                                   23- is settlement really the end?¬ Rights o...
VANCOUVER                                      MONTRÉALSuite 1300, 777 Dunsmuir Street                Suite 2500P.O. Box 1...
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Hot Topics In Class Actions (February 2012)

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Hot Topics In Class Actions (February 2012)

  1. 1. McCarthy Tétrault Advance™Building Capabilities for GrowthHOT TOPICS IN CLASS ACTIONSDefending Class Actions in Canada,3rd Edition February 9, 2012McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  2. 2. 2 SESSION 1 Class Actions –The Big Picture British Columbia In Flux Andrew Wilkinson, Q.C.McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  3. 3. 15 Years of Class Actions in BC 3¬ BC was early in Canada (1996)¬ Class Proceedings Act provides for rep plaintiff to apply to “certify” entire class¬ Sometimes defendants like to be certified to ensure capture of all claims¬ QC process (“authorization”) very different, with no appeal for defendants McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  4. 4. Certification Criteria 4¬ Cause of Action (including novel claims)¬ Identifiable class¬ Common issues¬ Preferable procedure¬ Rep plaintiff adequately represents class¬ Workable litigation plan US criteria are more restrictive than Canadian McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  5. 5. Role of BC in Canadian Class Actions 5¬ “National” classes still controversial in Canada¬ BC was a local market until recently - “opt out” made ON and QC more attractive to plaintiffs¬ BC now seen as more plaintiff friendly ¬ ? lower thresholds for certification¬ Organized plaintiff bar means co-ordinated actions across Canada¬ US actions often lead by example McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  6. 6. Proposed Amendments to 6B.C. Class Proceedings Act¬ Only BC, NB and NF are “opt in”¬ SK and AB changed to “opt out”¬ CBA proposes that BC change to “opt out”¬ With no costs against plaintiffs, would make BC attractive to national class plaintiffs McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  7. 7. 7 SESSION 2 Winning the war before it begins: Pre-certification strategies Miranda LamMcCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  8. 8. 8McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  9. 9. You’ve been sued … now what? 9¬ Legal considerations: ¬ Choice of defence counsel ¬ Defeating the claim on a preliminary basis ¬ Jurisdiction ¬ Other dispute resolution mechanisms ¬ Nature of the claim ¬ Opposing certification ¬ Defence on the merits ¬ Settlement McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  10. 10. Preliminary Steps: Challenge Jurisdiction 10¬ In British Columbia, only residents are automatically included in the class unless they opt out¬ Issues: ¬ Conflict of laws ¬ Court Jurisdiction and Transfer of Proceedings Act ¬ “real and substantial connection” codified ¬ Constitutional: can provincial legislation have extra-provincial effect? ¬ Practical and strategic implications McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  11. 11. Preliminary Steps: Challenge the 11Dispute Resolution Mechanism¬ Mandatory Arbitration Where the subject matter of the proposed class action is an agreement or relates to one, and the agreement contains an arbitration clause requiring that any disputes under it be resolved by arbitration, a defendant may be entitled to apply to have any court proceedings stayed. N.B. Breaches of consumer protection legislation are not subject to arbitration. McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  12. 12. Preliminary Steps: Challenge the 12Nature of the Claim¬ Cause of action¬ Motion for particulars¬ Security for costs¬ Summary judgment and summary trial McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  13. 13. Oppose Certification 13¬ OPPOSE: ¬ CONSENT: ¬ Failure to meet criteria ¬ Strong case on the merits ¬ Incomplete pleadings ¬ Conditional consent as ¬ Substantive defence on precursor to settlement the merits ¬ Significant individual ¬ Strategic positioning claims that would be costly to defend separately ¬ Leverage ¬ Appetite and resources to litigate McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  14. 14. Avoiding Class Actions 14¬ Robust Risk Management ¬ Review processes and policies associated with handling customer complaints and identification of issues ¬ Review internal policies to ensure currency and responsiveness (HR, safety, environmental, confidentiality) ¬ Consistent communication – internal and externally¬ Agreements ¬ Mandatory arbitration clauses? McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  15. 15. 15 SESSION 3 Trends in B.C. Class Actions: Our World Is Changing Jill YatesMcCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  16. 16. Types of Claims are Changing 16¬ BPCPA – BC’s consumer protection legislation ¬ Various benefits for plaintiffs, including: ¬ aggressive remedies in some cases ¬ insulation from arbitration in some cases¬ Waiver of Tort ¬ either cause of action or remedy ¬ various benefits for plaintiffs¬ Plaintiffs looking for opportunities to plead both of these McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  17. 17. Certification Standards are Changing 17¬ Getting tougher to get certified in US¬ Easier to get certified in Ontario¬ Easier to get certified in B.C. ¬ Many courts are not strict about the requirements of the CPA ¬ e.g. Wakelam v. Johnson & Johnson et al. ¬ e.g. Steele v. Toyota Canada Inc. ¬ Courts are taking a “certify now, worry later” approach McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  18. 18. Scope is Changing 18¬ National/Cross-border classes are becoming more common, including in B.C. ¬ The majority of our class actions are part of/ extensions of/ copies of claims in other jurisdictions ¬ It has been proposed that B.C.’s legislation be amended to allow for national classes ¬ Working toward a Judicial Cooperation Protocol in Canada McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  19. 19. How We Defend is Changing 19¬ Courts have stated that it may often be appropriate for defendants to file a defence before certification – and some judges are requiring it¬ Some courts are allowing pre-certification motions (e.g. pleadings, summary trials)¬ Certification is no longer the end of the litigation process in a class action – cases are increasingly continuing beyond certification and some are going to trial McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  20. 20. 20 SESSION 4 Class Action Quirks:Limitations Periods in “Trust” Claims Aggregate Damages AND Contribution after Settlement Warren MilmanMcCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  21. 21. Limitation Periods 21¬ Most Provinces: 2 years, subject to “discoverability”¬ BC – Special case for claims seeking disgorgement of “trust funds” (e.g., waiver of tort)¬ Law reform: relief is in sight? McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  22. 22. Aggregate Damages 22¬ Traditional rule – can’t use CPA to create new substantive liability¬ New rule: CPA allows class-wide damages to be aggregated so that class members need not show loss or injury¬ Punishment vs. compensation¬ Cy-prés awards McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  23. 23. Contribution 23- is settlement really the end?¬ Rights of contribution for joint and several liability¬ Bar orders and covenants not to sue¬ Conspiracy claims? McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID #11150233
  24. 24. VANCOUVER MONTRÉALSuite 1300, 777 Dunsmuir Street Suite 2500P.O. Box 10424, Pacific Centre 1000 De La Gauchetière Street WestVancouver BC V7Y 1K2 Montréal QC H3B 0A2Tel: 604-643-7100 Tel: 514-397-4100Fax: 604-643-7900 Fax: 514-875-6246Toll-Free: 1-877-244-7711 Toll-Free: 1-877-244-7711CALGARY QUÉBECSuite 3300, 421 7th Avenue SW Le Complexe St-AmableCalgary AB T2P 4K9 1150, rue de Claire-Fontaine, 7e étageTel: 403-260-3500 Québec QC G1R 5G4Fax: 403-260-3501 Tel: 418-521-3000Toll-Free: 1-877-244-7711 Fax: 418-521-3099 Toll-Free: 1-877-244-7711TORONTOBox 48, Suite 5300 UNITED KINGDOM & EUROPEToronto Dominion Bank Tower 125 Old Broad Street, 26th FloorToronto ON M5K 1E6 London EC2N 1ARTel: 416-362-1812 UNITED KINGDOMFax: 416-868-0673 Tel: +44 (0)20 7786 5700Toll-Free: 1-877-244-7711 Fax: +44 (0)20 7786 5702McCarthy Tétrault LLP / mccarthy.ca / February 9, 2012 / Doc ID#11150233

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