CI Investments Inc., et al. v. Claude Ravary
(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)
Civil procedure - Class actions - Civil procedure — Class actions — Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal — Production and discovery orders — Judgments rendered in the course of a proceeding — Case management measures — In an era of increased case management designed to advance cases more efficiently, what is the role of an appellate court in reviewing the pre-trial production and discovery orders of a judge charged with the case management of a complex multi-jurisdictional class action? — Code of Civil Procedure, CQLR c. C-25.01, art. 31, 32.
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In 2010, a class action against the applicants, mutual fund management corporations (“fund managers”), was authorized. The respondent, Claude Ravary, represents a class of plaintiffs who fault the fund managers for not having put measures in place to prevent the practice of market timing. More specifically, they allege that the return on their long-term investments was diluted by the high number of short-term trades. Subsequent to a court order (“framework judgment”) limiting the scope of the action to certain trades, and following disclosure by the fund managers of some transaction information, Mr. Ravary was able to determine which specific client accounts had an abnormally high level of repeated short-term trades. However, he could not establish the fund managers’ liability because, among other things, the specific trades that had a negative impact on the performance of the class members’ units could not be identified. As a result, Mr. Ravary sought to obtain further disclosure, namely all the trades for certain identified accounts for the period contemplated in the framework judgment. In his view, the trades made in these accounts would prove the exact circumstances of the market timing, including the actual investment models and patterns of the abnormally active investors and the concrete impact of the trading on the value of the units owned by the class members. The Superior Court refused to order the disclosure of the financial information. The Court of Appeal reversed that decision. In coming to this conclusion, the Court of Appeal discussed the difference between art. 31 and 32 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
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