In a context where a corporation faces multiple independent law suits from a given party and before the same jurisdiction (or Court), things can take long and get expensive very quickly. It may therefore be useful for either party to request the grouping of all the actions in a single Court file.
While this may be interesting for either one (or both) of the parties, the judge hearing the motion to join will always have to primarily consider the interests of the judicial system before making a decision. In other words, the judge will be principally guided by the interests and efficiency of the Court system to render his decision. However, other elements may be taken into consideration; namely, the state of advancement of each individual case to be joined.
In a number of decisions where the grouping of different actions was requested, judges have refused on the basis that a given file would be unfairly delayed, given its state of advancement, by joining it with another file that may be newer and thus less advanced. In such a case, it is clear that instead of saving time or money, the grouping of actions would make the judicial process more lengthy and costly for the parties involved.
As always, there are exceptions to every rule and if ever faced with such a situation involving multiple judicial actions, consult your legal counsel to see if there is any way to make things better and easier.
Me Harry Karavitis, attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats Inc.