The Law Foundation of Ontario

Introduction

Summer law student reflections: incomparable class actions experience

I worked at with the Class Proceedings Fund staff team. I gained comprehensive knowledge in class action litigation funding and an extensive look at the history and development of class proceedings in Ontario.
August 17, 2022

Summer law student reflections: incomparable class actions experience

Young man with a goatee and black glasses, wearing a suitBy Alex Traballo, JD Candidate (3L), Osgoode Hall Law School

This summer, I worked at The Law Foundation of Ontario with the Class Proceedings Fund staff team. I had a unique summer law experience, likely incomparable to any other opportunity available to my law student colleagues.

My key responsibility this summer was to support the team in any capacity needed. I gained comprehensive knowledge in class action litigation funding and an extensive look at the history and development of class proceedings in Ontario. I conducted research in an assortment of legal practice areas, had the opportunity to attend class certification hearings at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and attended funding application hearings held by the Class Proceedings Committee.

I conducted legal research into several different practice areas. The purpose of my research was to assist in the drafting of funding application assessments and to examine the history of class proceedings that have been submitted to the Fund. Given the vast number of applications the Fund received since its founding in 1993, I had the opportunity to research and review cases from a multitude of practice areas, from mass torts to privacy breaches to consumer protection, among many others. Researching these cases allowed me to engage with an extensive number of legal fields.

The staff has been immensely supportive as I navigated through these assignments. I vastly improved my legal research and writing skills and developed my capacity to quickly and efficiently learn and apply new areas of the law.

One of the most interesting opportunities I had was to attend Class Proceedings Committee hearings and observe meetings between the Committee and plaintiff counsel for applicants for funding. Through these hearings, I received an in-depth understanding of the considerations that go into funding class proceedings to promote access to justice for Ontarians, and Canadians as a whole.

The Committee’s staunch dedication to funding litigation to promote access to justice and the public interest helped me appreciate the high-stakes role that class actions play in the legal field and how litigation funding through the Fund can truly break down barriers for classes of plaintiffs who would not otherwise be able to access the judicial system. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to spend my summer in support of this important work and I’m pleased to be continuing with the Foundation and Class Proceedings Fund in a part-time role as I finish my final year of law school.