Ms. Earle owns her own firm where she is a dispute resolution strategist and designer, specializing in real property litigation. She is a senior litigation counsel, mediator and arbitrator with significant experience and expertise in the areas of commercial real estate disputes, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and arbitration and is the author of the leading text in Canada on the subject of drafting arbitration and ADR clauses in commercial contracts. Formerly, Ms. Earle was a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP with 30 years of experience specializing in commercial litigation. She has made appearances before all levels of the Ontario Superior Court, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. Ms. Earle has been a member of the Class Proceeding Committee since 2006.
Ms. Earle replaces Valerie A. Edwards as chair. Ms. Edwards, Partner at Torkin Manes Cohen Arbus LLP, stepped down from the committee in June 2015 after 15 years of dedicated service on the committee, 10 years of those as its chair.
The Class Proceedings Fund is also pleased to announce the appointment of Scott C. Hutchison to the Class Proceedings Committee. Mr. Hutchison is a senior partner at Henein, Hutchison LLP where he carries a mixed criminal/public law litigation and advisory practice with a particular emphasis on business crime and appellate advocacy. Mr. Hutchison regularly lectures on a variety of regulatory and criminal law topics. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has contributed to the sector’s understanding of criminal law through his writing. Mr. Hutchison also appears before a number of regulatory and professional discipline tribunals including the Ontario Securities Commission and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
The Class Proceedings Committee is responsible for making decisions about whether applicant class action plaintiffs will receive support from the Class Proceedings Fund. Both the fund and committee were established in 1992 as an amendment under the Law Society Act. The fund provides financial support to approved class action plaintiffs for legal disbursements and indemnifies plaintiffs for costs that may be awarded against them in funded proceedings. The fund promotes access to justice by enabling plaintiffs to fully pursue their claims.
The Class Proceedings Committee has five members, one appointed by each of The Law Foundation of Ontario and the Attorney General of Ontario, and three appointed jointly. The Law Foundation of Ontario provided a $500,000 endowment to establish the Class Proceedings Fund and supports the work of the Class Proceedings Committee by administering the Class Proceedings Fund.