Biography

Suzanne Chiodo commenced the DPhil in Law at Oxford in October 2017, and is a member of Oriel College. Before beginning her doctorate, Suzanne was a class actions lawyer at Rochon Genova LLP in Toronto. She completed her LLM in December 2016, supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and numerous other sources. Her first legal monograph, arising from her LLM thesis on the history of the Ontario Class Proceedings Act, will be published by Irwin Law in summer 2018.

She has taught courses on civil procedure at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, and has presented papers to the Ontario Bar Association and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. In addition, she has published numerous papers on class actions and tort law.

Suzanne completed her articles of clerkship for the Honourable Mr. Justice O'Reilly at the Federal Court of Canada, having obtained her J.D. with Distinction at Western Law in Canada. She received the Law Society of Upper Canada prize for graduating near the top of her class, and also won numerous awards and scholarships for academic excellence and contribution to the life of the school, including the establishment of Western Law's first student-run academic journal.

This is Suzanne's second time at Oxford, having received her B.A. in Modern History as a member of St. Hilda's College, where she was an exhibitioner.

Publications

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  • S.E. Chiodo, 'Class Actions: History and Purpose' in Janet Walker (ed), Class Actions: Cases, Notes and Materials (Emond Montgomery 2018)
    Class actions, also known as mass torts, have become a vital, developing area of civil law. They offer redress in cases where the costs of litigation might overwhelm the damages to be recovered, particularly in jurisdictions where punitive damages are not widely awarded. They promise efficiencies in the judicial system and level the playing field between plaintiffs and corporate defendants with deep pockets. Class actions make remedies available to plaintiffs that might not otherwise have access to the legal process, and act as a deterrence to prevent defendants from inflicting small amounts of damage across a wide spread of potential plaintiffs. They have been used to negotiate settlements in actions ranging from consumer protection issues to historical wrongs between the state and marginalized communities. Class Actions in Canada: Cases, Notes and Materials brings together a national team of practitioners and academics to explore leading-edge case law and current legislative regimes guiding the certification process, the determination of representation, and the approval of settlements. This casebook explores the complexities of multi-jurisdictional actions and the procedural challenges involved in bringing and defending against class actions. Finally, it highlights a number of specific areas in which class actions have been brought to bear, particularly in the fields of environmental litigation, consumer protection, and securities law.
    ISBN: 978-1-55239-570-7
  • S.E. Chiodo, The Class Actions Controversy: The Origins and Development of the Ontario Class Proceedings Act (Irwin Law 2018)
    Nearly 25 years since its passage, the Ontario Class Proceedings Act has become one of the most frequently debated procedural mechanisms of its kind. The CPA came about following the release of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) Report in 1990. None of the current narratives explain how this Report pulled together so many divergent interests where previous attempts had failed. This book answers that question with reference to the historical sources and the legal, political and social changes that took place throughout this period. This book also highlights the unique nature of the AGAC consultation process, which saw the negotiation of a consensus between the parties and the subsequent drafting of legislation. Although this process was effective, however, it led to compromises and a lack of democratic oversight that continue to affect the CPA and its goals of access to justice to this day.
  • S.E. Chiodo, 'Defendant Class Actions: Awkward Twin or Distant Cousin?' (2015) Class Action Journal 649
    Defendant class actions are seen as the awkward twin of plaintiff class actions. As an action in which one or more representatives defend on behalf of a group of unnamed defendants, they are subject to almost identical certification requirements as plaintiff class proceedings and appear to be their mirror image. Defendant class proceedings are, however, fundamentally different. While both kinds of action have their roots in equity, the defendant class action is much more true to those roots. As a result, it has unique requirements that ensure it will continue to live in the shadow of its counterpart. No Canadian commentator, and very few in the U.S., has posited a comprehensive theory of the defendant class action and why its treatment has been unique. This paper articulates such a theory; one which reveals that the defendant class action is not the awkward twin of the plaintiff class action, but is in fact its distant cousin.

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Research Interests

Class actions and collective redress; civil procedure; torts; legal history; comparative law.

Research projects