October 18, 2018
Rochette, Schrager, Healy
Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court ordering the disclosure of the list of members. Dismissed.
The trial judge correctly found that the list was relevant to the dispute within the meaning of art. 169 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CQLR, c C-25-01) (C.C.P.) and that the identity as well as the province of origin of registered members was not information covered by professional secrecy.
Protecting a client’s identity in the name of professional secrecy is the exception rather than the rule. Here, there is nothing to indicate that the members in question had registered with the expectation that their identity would be kept confidential or that they had requested that it be. Moreover, the notice published by counsel for the class inviting potential members to join the action did not state that their identity would be protected. Further, nothing supports the assertion whereby the class members in a class action are automatically entitled to anonymity, given the generally public nature of judicial civil proceedings and art. 587 C.C.P., which expressly contemplates the possibility that a member may be subject to a pre-trial examination with the Court’s leave.
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