Margaret L. Waddell
Margaret L. Waddell is a senior partner at Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP in Toronto. She has a varied advocacy practice including a broad range of complex commercial and shareholder litigation, professional liability cases, class actions and appellate advocacy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Column: Trials & Tribulations
Column: Trials & Tribulations
Monday, 13 January 2014 08:00
Determining how to meet or defeat the test for “preferable procedure” on a certification motion has been an enigmatic problem. Until the Supreme Court of Canada last month clearly articulated that access to justice involves a two-part analysis in Fischer v. AIC Ltd., there was no consistent measure by which this part of the preferability test would be analyzed.
Monday, 09 December 2013 08:00
Monday, 04 November 2013 10:17
The viability of price-fixing class actions brought on behalf of indirect purchasers was in legal limbo for a decade, particularly after the Ontario Court of Appeal denied certification in Chadha v. Bayer Inc.. But the long-awaited decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada in a trilogy of price-fixing class actions, Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., Sun‑Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland Co., and Infineon Technologies AG v. Option consommateurs, have finally put to rest the uncertainty over whether such actions are tenable.
Monday, 14 October 2013 08:00
When it comes to high-stakes litigation, it is not uncommon for the defence to take aggressive, calculatedly tactical, and highly adversarial positions in an effort to stave off the plaintiff’s attack. And there is rarely an area in which the stakes are higher than in class proceedings. The outcome of the action can have massive consequences for the defendant, either financially or in the manner in which it will be compelled to carry on business in the future. So it is not surprising that many defendants take a no-holds-barred approach to their defence of class proceedings.
Monday, 09 September 2013 09:00
Monday, 12 August 2013 09:00
In 2004, Ontario enacted its new Limitations Act, 2002, which was intended to streamline and simplify the law governing the shelf life of causes of action in the province. In general terms, it imposed a universal two-year limitation period to commence a proceeding, subject to some limited carve-outs for the limitation periods expressly stipulated in specified statutes, and subject to the discoverability principle, which was incorporated in s. 5 of the act. If not expressly preserved by the new act, all limitation periods in other statutes were of no force or effect pursuant to s. 19.
Monday, 08 July 2013 09:00
The pressing need for legislative reform of appeal routes in class action proceedings was highlighted in the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision Cavanaugh v. Grenville Christian College. In that case, the Court of Appeal heard and decided only one part of an appeal from a denial of certification, and refused to hear the balance of the appeal, which it sent sliding down the snake’s tail to the Divisional Court.
Monday, 10 June 2013 10:35
I think asking if the average person can afford a trial is the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking ourselves whether we can afford to maintain a judicial system that effectively bars the common person from being able to take his or her civil dispute to trial with the benefit of legal representation.
Monday, 13 May 2013 09:47
I’m sure there is nothing that warms the bottom of the heart of class action defendants more than seeing a mass exodus of potential class members from the proceeding following certification. Fewer class members mean reduced exposure to the payment of damages. And if enough people opt out, it could effectively render the class proceeding economically unviable from the perspective of class counsel. That, in turn, could lead to an early and lower settlement, or in an extreme case, a discontinuance of the proceeding or successful motion to decertify.
Monday, 08 April 2013 11:09
On April 4, the Federal Court of Canada approved the massive settlement of a class action in Manuge v. Canada, brought on behalf of disabled veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. Since June 1976, the Federal Government had been deducting Pension Act disability payments from the amounts payable to veterans under their Service Income Security Insurance Plan LTD benefit plan. The loss of this income had a devastating effect on some class members of limited means and resulted in a substantial hardship to others.