Biography

I am a lawyer in the firm’s class action practice group where I act exclusively for plaintiffs involved in a range of class actions. My main interests concern class actions for institutional abuse and class actions involving crown liability. I have a particular interest in class actions proceeding in Federal Court.

Most recently, I was class counsel, along with my colleague (Angela Bespflug), in the settlement of an estimated $100M class action for women who experienced gender and sexual harassment while working and volunteering with the RCMP in non-member roles (Tiller et al. v. HMTQ). The settlement was approved by the Federal Court in 2020.

In addition to my core class action practice, I pursue individual civil sexual assault claims, both historical and recent. Many of my sexual abuse cases involve institutions, such as religious organizations, school boards and government ministries. I offer survivors of sexual assault a safe place to discuss their legal situation.

Prior to joining Murphy Battista in 2020, I practised in the class action practice group at a prominent Vancouver class action boutique. The early part of my legal career was in insurance defence. For over a decade, my personal and professional interests have been in the socio-legal field, with a particular interest in Indigenous issues and gender violence. I taught for several years in this area at the University of British Columbia. I also have extensive experience in professional legal education.

Education

  • University of Alberta (Faculty of Law), LL.B, 2004
  • University of Saskatchewan, B.A, 2001

Results

Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.

Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor were counsel on this action and its ground-breaking settlement that provided compensation for female class members who were subjected to sexual harassment and assault in the RCMP workplace. The action is part of an emerging and innovative body of jurisprudence that seeks to push our Canadian judicial system to accept class actions as the preferable procedure for resolving systemic sexual misconduct.

In the News

Join Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor at TLABC’s Class Action Conference – May 19, 2022

April 22, 2022

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Angela Bespflug will be chairing, and Janelle O’Connor will be presenting at this year’s TLABC Class Action Conference, “Strength in Numbers: Fundamentals and Emerging Issues in Plaintiff’s Class Actions.” The conference is for trial lawyers who want to learn more about class actions and provides…

Continue Reading

News coverage of Correctional Services Canada proposed class action hearing (March 8-11, 2022)

March 10, 2022

Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor of our office are in the Federal Court of Canada this week for a certification hearing in a proposed class action against the Government of Canada on behalf of Canadian female corrections officers. The class action alleges their workplace is rife with gender-based harassment, sexual…

Continue Reading

Press Release: Correctional Services Canada Class Action Certification Hearing

March 8, 2022

Today – International Women’s Day – marks the first day of a Federal Court of Canada hearing in a proposed class action against the Government of Canada on behalf of women who faced sexualized harassment, discrimination, assault and violence in the Correctional Services Canada (“CSC”) workplace. The hearing will take…

Continue Reading

Correctional Services Canada class action certification hearing starts March 8, 2022.

March 7, 2022

The proposed class action is against the Government of Canada on behalf of women who faced gender-based harassment, discrimination and sexual violence while employed at Correctional Services Canada (“CSC”). It has been a long road, but tomorrow – on International Women’s Day – we commence our certification hearing at…

Continue Reading

Janelle O’Connor Co-Chairing CLEBC Sexual Violence (Civil) Conference 2022

February 25, 2022

On March 30, 2022, Janelle O’Connor is co-chairing a CLEBC full-day conference for lawyers on how to effectively and ethically advance and defend civil claims of sexual violence. Early bird registration ends March 2, 2022.  Register HERE This is CLEBC’s inaugural course for litigators who have an interest in practicing…

Continue Reading

More sexual assault survivors turning to civil court

October 4, 2021

Janelle O’Connor is representing a BC woman in a civil lawsuit against two Victoria realtors and their agency for sexual assault. Read the CBC Go Public story (Warning: distressing details): Civil suit alleges 2 Victoria real estate agents drugged and sexually assaulted their client Watch the story clip from CBC’s…

Continue Reading

After a criminal conviction for sexual assault, many clients turn to Murphy Battista to pursue civil litigation to seek restitution

April 15, 2021

Murphy Battista Represents Woman Suing Former B.C. City Councillor Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Her When She Was a Teenager (more…)

Continue Reading

Murphy Battista files proposed class action against courier giant DHL over “processing fees”

April 15, 2021

Murphy Battista has filed a proposed class action against DHL, alleging the courier has profited by misrepresenting some of the fees it charges customers, in contravention of the federal Competition Act. Read the full CBC news story: Courier giant DHL padded own pockets with ‘hidden fees,’ class action alleges Learn…

Continue Reading

Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor support call for culturally sensitive claims process in class actions for wrongs against Indigenous people.

May 25, 2020

Angela Bespflug and Janelle O’Connor recently provided an overview for The Lawyer’s Daily of The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (NTRC) report, Lessons Learned: Survivors Perspectives. The NTRC report reviewed the Indian Residential Schools Settlement process from the survivor perspective. A key finding in the report is that a western-centric…

Continue Reading

Settlement estimated at $100M approved for women sexually harassed while employed by RCMP

March 19, 2020

Settlement estimated at $100M approved for women sexually harassed while employed by RCMP, covered in the March 2020 issue of Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Read the article

Continue Reading

Federal court approves next $100M RCMP sexual harassment class-action lawsuit

March 11, 2020

The Federal Court of Canada has approved a $100-million class-action lawsuit for women who worked for the RCMP in non-policing jobs and were subjected to gender-based discrimination. Read the full story

Continue Reading

Federal Court approves $100M settlement

March 11, 2020

Federal Court approves $100M settlement, March 11, 2020:

Continue Reading

First Nations Women Sue B.C. Government Over Foster Care Abuse

February 1, 2020

Janelle O’Connor is representing five First Nations women from different communities around B.C. in a lawsuit against the provincial government over allegations they were sexually and physically abused in foster homes. Read the full Vancouver Sun article: First Nations women sue government over alleged horrific abuse by foster parents …

Continue Reading

Lawsuits allege years of abuse against Indigenous girls in B.C. foster homes

January 31, 2020

Lawsuits allege years of sexual and physical abuse against Indigenous girls in B.C. foster homes, January 31, 2020,

Continue Reading

$100 million RCMP settlement for female civilian workers

July 8, 2019

$100 million RCMP settlement for female civilian workers, CTV National News, July 2019 (at 4:15 into video clip)

Continue Reading

Women Harassed in RCMP Reach $100 Million Settlement after Class Action Lawsuit

July 8, 2019

Women Harassed in RCMP Reach $100 Million Settlement after Class Action Lawsuit, July 8, 2019, HUFFPOST,

Continue Reading

Settlement reached in class action lawsuit (RCMP)

July 8, 2019

Read the full article: Settlement reached in class action lawsuit, July 8, 2019, The National Post,

Continue Reading

New $100M settlement reached in RCMP sexual harrassment case

July 8, 2019

Read the full article: CBC News, July 8, 2019,

Continue Reading

Insights

Considerations for Lawyers Working with Survivors of Sexual Violence

February 9, 2022

Considerations for Lawyers Working with Survivors of Sexual Violence

Janelle O’Connor wrote the article, “Considerations for Lawyers Working with Survivors of Sexual Violence,”  that was recently published in the CBABC Women Lawyers Forum, Winter 2022 newsletter. Read the article (page 6): Here.

Continue Reading

Government Liability for Sexual Abuse by Foster Parents

November 2, 2021

Government Liability for Sexual Abuse by Foster Parents

Cases involving physical and sexual abuse of children by their foster parents is a devastating reality that I am often exposed to in my law practice. The foster care system is meant to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect, yet in some cases it does the opposite – exposing…

Continue Reading

Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings for Sexual Assault

October 21, 2021

Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings for Sexual Assault

I am a civil sexual assault lawyer and routinely receive phone calls from sexual assault survivors who are confused about the interplay between the civil and criminal processes for their sexual assault claims. The decision on whether to pursue a civil claim, a criminal proceeding, or both – and the…

Continue Reading

Sexual assault training for judges now mandatory

May 13, 2021

Significant changes designed to enhance confidence in the criminal justice system among survivors of sexual assault came into force last week. The changes involve amendments to the Judges Act and the Criminal Code and are designed to assist judges in deciding sexual assault cases without the influence of myths and stereotypes.…

Continue Reading

Vicarious liability of school boards for sexual abuse by teachers: Is the school still out?

April 12, 2021

Vicarious liability of school boards for sexual abuse by teachers: Is the school still out?

The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that teachers play a key role in society that places them in a direct position of trust and authority towards their students.  Teachers have significant power, authority, and control over their students. They have control over almost all aspects of a student’s day,…

Continue Reading

Resources

Community

I am very active in my community and volunteer a significant amount of time at my children’s school. I am an avid, albeit not necessarily talented, squash player. In the winter, I am happiest on skis with my husband, chasing our three young children down the mountain.

Class actions are a unique area of law that even the playing field between regular people and large corporations, governments or other entities. They allow a group of people to demand accountability for wrongdoing and facilitate access to justice for people who would otherwise be unable to proceed on their own.

Janelle O'Connor

Contact us for a free consultation

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Disclaimer: The use of the internet or this Form for communication with the firm or its lawyers and staff is not secure and does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. Do not send confidential or time-sensitive information through this Form. If you need to send this type of information please call us first.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Or call us at: 1-888-683-9621