The Canadian Bar Association is set to adopt new best practices for the case management of multi-jurisdictional class actions at the beginning of cases.
CBA membership passed a resolution at the organization’s AGM last week that will add to an existing judicial protocol adopted in 2011, which addressed 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.
Toronto lawyer Margaret Waddell, who proposed to resolution, says the new protocol will likely lead to less overlap and fewer conflicting decisions from province to province.
“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.
Under the protocol, 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. 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.