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Law Firm in Canada Sues 150 Law Firms and Solo Practitioners
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In an extremely interesting game of turning the tables on one another, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is suing close to 150 law firms and lawyers all across Canada in a high-profile lawsuit. The Bay Street law firm is defending claims in a $750-million class-action suit brought against it by more than 200 former GM car dealers.

The case is over the almost overnight shutdown of car dealers in 2009 by GM when the car manufacturer was on the verge of bankruptcy. The lawsuit alleges that General Motors used “shock and awe” tactics to pressurize dealers into closing their businesses within a very short time span of only a few days in a tactics that violated franchise laws. The original lawsuit against General Motors also states that Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, had an “undisclosed conflict of interest” in the case.

The lawsuit alleges that Cassels advised both the auto dealers’ association and the Canadian government on the matter, while the Canadian government was putting pressure on GM to cut the number of dealerships and receive a bailout to avoid bankruptcy.

  
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In response to the allegations, Cassels targeted the lawyers of the plaintiffs and claimed that the legal advisors of the individual GM dealers are responsible for the wrong advice to their clients and allow them to close their dealerships. Cassels demands that any damages it is liable to pay to the auto dealers should instead be paid by the list of lawyers who acted as individual advisors to the GM dealers.

Cassels maintains that even though the GM dealers were given just six days to wind up their businesses, all the legal advisors, law firms, and lawyers of the individual dealers across the country failed in their duty and are thus to be held negligent. From giant law firms to lawyers just referred as “John Doe” Cassel’s list reads like a who’s who of the legal fraternity of Canada.

Cassels seems extremely frustrated to be up in arms against the entire lawyers’ fraternity, especially after the court allowed class-action holding that Cassels was wrong in acting both for the government and for the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association when there was a clear conflict of interest between the parties.

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David Sterns, a class action lawyer from Toronto, told the media “For one law firm to be suing that many other law firms is pretty unusual.”





 

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