If you're visiting this page, chances are you have been wronged in some way. Perhaps you wish to become a microdermabrasion specialist but the training college won't admit you because they don't have the proper wheelchair ramps, or your employer is not paying you as much as your male colleagues. Whatever your issue, you have two options: take them to court on your own or try to collect others in similar situations and pursue a class action suit. If you decide on class action, here's what you need to do next.
Find Legal Counsel
You have the legal right to represent yourself in court, but if you want to be successful you're going to need professional legal counsel. If you're a senior living in Toronto you probably can't afford a top litigator, but if your case has the potential to become a big one or to deal with hot button issues that could drum up publicity for the firm, you may be able to convince them to take your case on pro bono.
Locate More Plaintiffs
The definition of a class action suit is a group of people suing a particular person or agency, so once you've secured counsel you and your lawyer will have to work together to find others in a similar situation. You can use the internet, mass mailings, newspaper ads, word of mouth, the telephone, or travel. Either way you and your lawyer will build up a lot of Blackberry roaming minutes. Be prepared for this process to take a while. Class action suits are like Rome - they're not built in a day.
Get Approval for Class Action
Once you have built your case, your lawyer must then apply to the court for permission to pursue the case as a class action. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone obtains such permission. Rejection might be on the grounds that not all of the plaintiffs took out the same type of private commercial mortgage or had the same wrong done to them or on procedural grounds. If this happens, you and your lawyer might consider pursuing a mass action, which is many cases all linked by a common thread.
Agree on Damages Sought
If the court approves your petition to pursue a class action, you and the other plaintiffs must sit down with your lawyers and decide how much to demand and how that figure should be split. If you don't some of you might end up with barely enough to pay the airport taxi to Toronto Pearson on your way home.
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