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Monday, April 24, 2017

CERTIFICATION MOTION ADJOURNED FOR 60 DAYS
A certification motion for a class action lawsuit against Deloitte LLP involving document reviewers has been adjourned for 60 days while class counsel seek a new representative plaintiff.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba certified the action April 13, but it is still subject to court approval of amendments to the proposed class definition and the replacement of the representative plaintiff, Shireen Sondhi.

The court gave lawyers for the plaintiffs until June 12 to find a new representative plaintiff or the action will be dismissed. Sondhi v. Deloitte Management Services LP, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Procom Consultants Group Limited was first filed in March 2015 and sought $384 million on behalf of hundreds of lawyers working at a document-review company Deloitte acquired in 2014.

The action alleges that document reviewers working for Deloitte were misclassified as independent contractors and should have been employees.

The claim seeks compensation for unpaid vacation, unpaid statutory holiday pay and unpaid overtime.

Lawyers for the plaintiff class said in a press release that the ruling is a “significant step forward for misclassified workers who do not have the same protections as employees.”

“This certification motion shows that employers who misclassify employees as contractors can have substantial liability towards those workers, no matter what the contract says,” said plaintiff class lawyer Andrew Monkhouse.

None of the allegations has been proven in court, and Deloitte denies liability. A spokesperson for Deloitte said, “We believe that the claim has no merit and we will vigorously defend the class action. As the matter is now before the courts, it is not our intention to discuss the matter publicly.”

WESTERN UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES LAWYER SURVEY
Professor Rachel Birnbaum of Western University is inviting lawyers and mental health professionals to complete a survey on the use of smart technology for increasing parent-child contact after separation or divorce. The survey link is: https://uwo.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6xvMdROtyiu848l.

KONANUR RECEIVES OBA AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Shalini Konanur, executive director of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, has been awarded the 2017 OBA Award of Excellence in the Promotion of Women’s Equality.

She oversees SALCO’s litigation, advocacy and outreach on issues that impact low-income South Asian Ontarians.

LAW TIMES POLL
Recreational marijuana use will be legalized, and lawyers say there will be an increase in criminal charges and civil cases as a result. Readers were asked if they supported pot legalization.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents said yes, while there will be an impact on the courts, the overall social benefits of legalization are positive, while 27 per cent said no, the move to legalize marijuana is short-sighted and will lead to negative social results, including longer court delays.

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A recent Court of Appeal decision acknowledged a ‘new reality’ of civil litigation in which courts are seeing a significant number of self-represented litigants. Are courts are doing a good job of addressing the needs of self-represented litigants?
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