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Abstract

Only a few short years ago, there was a nearly universal view among practitioners in the class actions field: any class action case that could be certified was almost surely going to settle. The fact of the matter, however, is that this universal view is incorrect. Full-blown class action trials have been occurring in Canada for decades. The authors of this paper embarked on an investigative research project in 2011, aimed at discovering, to the greatest extent possible, all class action matters across the country that had been tried since the advent of class action legislation. Because there were no sources of consolidated information, the investigation required both conventional and unconventional research techniques. This paper will describe the investigation and its surprising results, suggest techniques for trial management, and conclude that class action proceedings have evolved into a healthy process for trial resolution.