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New CBA protocol on multi-jurisdictional class actions

A new protocol for the case management of multi-jurisdictional class actions, adopted by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), will likely lead to less overlap and fewer conflicting decisions from province to province, Toronto class-action lawyer Margaret Waddell tells Law Times.

“Rather than the judges working blind in each jurisdiction without really knowing what’s going on in other jurisdictions, there is more transparency,” she says.

Waddell, a partner with Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation, proposed the motion to the CBA and the association passed a resolution at its annual general meeting that will add the best practices to an existing judicial protocol adopted in 2011, which dealt with settlement approvals and issuance of notices. 

“The new protocol will include best practices for multi-jurisdictional actions where no settlement is proposed to encourage judges and lawyers to co-ordinate their efforts in the early stages,” says the article.

The new protocol will mean that judges “presiding over actions started in different provinces on the same subject matter would communicate and potentially have a joint-case management hearing to deal with all of the different cases at the same time,” it says. 

“Judges will then know when certification motions are happening in the other actions and allow parties to make certain submissions up to the discretion of the judge in the certification proceedings in other jurisdictions,” says the article. 

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