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394 pages
1 volume bound

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Fairness in Class Action Settlements
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This treatise explores the legal policy and reasoning behind the mandatory judicial approval of class action settlements, the process by which it is sought and obtained, the currently relevant factors and indicia of settlement fairness which support all decisions to approve, and the roles of the principal settlement actors, particularly the settlement judge. It suggests reform recommendations applicable to these approval processes, roles of the actors and standard of settlement fairness. These recommendations are tested, for their plausibility, against empirical data obtained from the qualitative interviews of seventeen judges conducted by the author in four target jurisdictions that have similar approaches to class action settlement approvals, and where class action litigation activity is heavy: Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United States federal courts. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Preface: Research Methodology and Summary of Data
  • Choice of Method
  • Qualitative Interview Methodology
  • Specific Analytical Approach: Testing The Plausibility of Reform Hypotheses
  • Limitations to Project
Chapter I: Class Action Settlement Dynamics: Laws and Processes
  • Class Action Settlement Laws
  • Class Action Settlement Processes
  • Reforming Class Action Settlement Processes: An Informed, Transparent and Economical Process of Settlement Evaluation and Approval
Chapter II: Class Action Settlement Actors: Who Protects Whom?
  • The Relationships Created by and Between Class Representatives, Class Counsel and the Absent Class Members
  • The Roles and Responsibilities of Class Action Settlement Judges
  • Reforming the Roles of Class Representatives and Class Counsel
Chapter III: Class Action Settlement Fairness
  • Fairness Hearing Doctrine in North American Courts
  • Re-Categorization of The Relevant Fairness Factors
  • Inadequacy of The Current Judicial Review Process of Class Action Settlements
  • In Search of a Clearer Standard of Settlement Fairness
  • Judicial Practices; Or Making Sense Of "Fairness"
  • Reforming the Standard of Settlement Fairness: A Fair Settlement is a Substantively and Procedurally Fair Deal Reached by Adequate Representatives, Consistently With Class Action Objectives
Conclusion: Three Hats, Three Major Reform Recommendations; or The Road to Fair Processes and Just Outcomes in Class Action Settlements Bibliography Legislation Table of Cases Index
À propos de l'auteur
Catherine Piché is a professor of law at the Université de Montréal, who specialises in civil procedure and evidence law, complex litigation, comparative law and conflict of laws. She holds a doctor of laws from McGill University's Institute of Comparative Law (D.C.L., 2011), which focused on class action law and gave rise to the present book. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa (LL.L. magna cum laude, 1997), of Dalhousie University (LL.B., 1999) and of New York University School of Law (LL.M., 2001). She is also a member of the Barreau du Québec and of the New York Bar.

For more than six years, Professor Piché practiced commercial litigation in large law firms in New York and Montreal, where she then defended class actions and acted in complex litigations. She also clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, Appeal Division. She has published extensively in the areas of civil process and procedure, and several of her articles address class action law issues such as the requirements for certification, the relationship between class actions and culture, the roles of the various class action actors and class action settlements. They have notably been published in the Canadian Class Action Review, Class Action Report, the Supreme Court Law Review, the Journal of Civil Law Studies and the Ottawa Law Review. She has also presented at numerous national and international conferences addressed to judges, lawyers and academics, about a wide variety of issues related to class proceedings and complex litigation. Finally, her recent research interests focus on seeking and obtaining empirical data about case management and settlement conferences in class actions, as well as exploring the use of modern technologies in such proceedings.