Lecture Nine - LAW 525 Law of the Marketplace Class Nine...

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LAW 525 – Law of the Marketplace Class Nine Tuesday, October 28, 2008 Dr. Kernaghan Webb Department of Law and Business Ted Rogers School of Management Ryerson University
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Last class- Franchises and Law What are franchises? What level of government regulates franchises? How are franchises regulated? What risk management strategies can businesses use to address franchising issues? Sample multiple choice and true/false questions
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This class – Class Actions & the Law What are class actions? What sort of situations are likely to attract class actions? Are class actions relevant to contract law, tort law, or regulatory law? What relevance is federal law to class actions? What sorts of business activity is affected by class action law? What sort of risk management practices can businesses apply to issues involving class actions? Sample questions: multiple choice and true/false
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What is a class action? A civil lawsuit brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of similarly situated persons (the class members) It seeks to have common or similar claims resolved in a single proceeding with the result binding on all class members and opposing parties
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Three goals of class actions 1. improved access to justice -- furthered through special rules to encourage the assertion of “individually non-viable” claims 2. judicial economy – advanced by avoiding the duplication in fact finding and legal analysis inherent in the repeated trial of issues common to similar claims if such claims were litigated individually 3. behaviour modification – successfully concluded class actions and the very threat of class actions should act as deterrent to wrongdoers
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Class actions deter unlawful acts Without class actions businesses or others that are the subject of class actions might feel inclined to engage in unlawful or harmful activities, thereby inflicting harm on large numbers of persons who would otherwise be unable or disinclined to seek redress individually By forcing wrongdoers to bear the cost of illegal or harmful activities, class actions encourage increased compliance with the
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Criticisms of class actions Class actions are often expensive to undertake and provide very little compensation to individual class members while generating relatively large fees for lawyers. It is said that the prospect of large fee awards creates perverse incentives for lawyers to bring unmeritorious actions The prospect of large and unpredictable jury awards and the availability of punitive damages create strong pressures on defendants to settle an action regardless of the merits of the action Potential for conflict of interest in the settlement process between lawyers and the class they represent
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Class Proceedings Act (CPA) Application In Ontario, CPA applies to both plaintiff (s. 2) and defendant (s. 3) class actions
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Lecture Nine - LAW 525 Law of the Marketplace Class Nine...

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