Crest, University of Windsor, June 26, 2019. Blackburn News file photo.

University unveils class action law clinic

The University of Windsor has kicked off an option for people looking for answers in regards to class-action lawsuits.

The university’s law school has set up a new Class Action Clinic, designed to help people involved in such lawsuits steer the murky waters of the process. The clinic is the first of its kind in North America.

U of W law professor Jasminka Kalajdzic, who is the faculty clinic director, said this clinic fills a significant void.

“The ultimate objective of the clinic is to provide substantive access to justice to class members, and in doing so, better fulfill the access to justice promise of the class action regime,” said Kalajdzic in a media release. “Class counsel do not have a traditional lawyer-client relationship with class members, as a matter of law and practicality. The Class Action Clinic will provide legal support to this unique group of litigants.”

According to the law school, approximately 1,500 class-action lawsuits have been launched in Ontario alone over the past quarter-century. Hundreds of new class actions are filed every year across Canada, and millions of dollars in compensation are available to class members in class action settlements. Nevertheless, class members don’t always have access to the information they need concerning the suits, their role in them, or where to go for help.

The clinic will be staffed by the director and a group of U of W law students. They will be available for providing summary advice, help with filing claims in settlement distribution and representation during court proceedings.

“Windsor Law has always been a leader in clinical legal education, and this clinic builds on that legacy,” said Christopher Waters, dean of the U of W Law School. “The director of the clinic, Professor Kalajdzic, is the leading Canadian academic lawyer working in this area, and we are thrilled to launch the clinic under her leadership.”

The clinic is located at the U of W School of Social Work on Ferry Street in downtown Windsor. For complete information, visit their official website.