Changes to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure that came into effect in January have given class-action defence lawyers more effective means to halt suits early in the litigation game.

"Class actions are relatively easy to get certified in Ontario," says Barry Glaspell, a litigation partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and the Regional Leader of the Firm's Class Action Group.

"So what we will be increasingly seeing are summary judgment motions in class actions to dismiss all or part of the claim that shouldn't go to trial because there's no genuine issue requiring a trial. They can be dealt with more summarily and that's consistent with the class-action notion of efficient use of judicial resources."