June 13, 2013 Articles

Low-Hanging Fruit: Cross-Border Consumer Copycat Class Actions

Class counsel benefit from the bounty generated by their colleagues in other jurisdictions.

By Thomas Arndt and Wendy Hulton – June 13, 2013

The occurrence of copycat class proceedings is on the rise. Class counsel and representative plaintiffs look to the success of class proceedings in other jurisdictions to pave the way to bring similar class proceedings in their jurisdiction armed with the factual and expert evidence of the foreign class proceeding. Given the extensive overlap, counsel on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are increasingly looking to each other’s activities as their springboard for class proceedings.

Regulatory compliance has become a fertile source of inspiration for consumer-rights class proceedings on both sides of the border. The prevalence of copycat and multi-jurisdictional class proceedings and the objectives of promoting the effective and efficient administration of justice have triggered the development of protocols and procedures in Canada and the United States.

The following are a few examples of recent and ongoing consumer copycat class proceedings.

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