The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Larger class-action firms shy away from privacy suits, leaving the field open for smaller firms 

Recent privacy and security incidents have spawned a whole range of class action lawsuits, but reports the larger class-action firms in the US are shying away. Into that gap has stepped a number of smaller firms, looking to make precedent in this untested area:

American Lawyer Media's - Small Firms Blaze a Trail for Privacy Suits

"Matthew Righetti says companies that leak consumer data should be forced to pay. But the San Francisco plaintiffs lawyer can't say how much. Or, for that matter, whether any court would agree with him.

In fact, no one is sure. While electronic privacy breaches have caught the attention of big media -- the Wall Street Journal wrote Monday that they're generating large class actions -- the major class action firms have shied away from.

Since the cases rest on untested laws -- and often involve victims with no monetary losses -- the big plaintiffs firms are letting smaller outfits like Righetti's take the first steps in a litigation area with equally great risks.

Eager to find new practice areas without competition from the big firms that dominate consumer and securities class actions, the small plaintiffs shops have been happy to oblige.

Basing their complaints on disclosure notices that companies, under California law, send to customers whose financial data has been leaked, a bevy of small firms has aggressively pursued the suits.

While the plaintiffs lawyers say the notices fairly reek of liability, the outlook is so uncertain that small plaintiffs shops feel forced to share the risk of privacy suits with other firms...."

Thanks to Rob Hyndman for the pointer to this story.

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