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Monday, September 30, 2013

NEW JUDGES APPOINTED
Two new judges are joining the bench of the Ontario Court of Justice this week.

James Stribopoulos will preside in Brampton, Ont. A professor at Osgoode Hall Law School since 2006 and associate dean since last year, Stribopoulos specialized in criminal law while practising at Fleming Breen and Kapoor & Stribopoulos in Toronto.

Also joining the bench in Brampton is Donald McLeod. A lawyer since 1998, he was senior managing partner of the McLeod Group where he focused on criminal trials and appeals as well as administrative law.

The appointments are effective Oct. 2.

ABORIGINAL JURY COMMITTEE LAUNCHED
The Ontario government has announced a committee to address the lack of First Nations representation on juries.

Committee members, led by co-chairmen Alvin Fiddler and Irwin Glasberg, will oversee the implementation of the recommendations in former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci’s report on the issue.

Besides Fiddler, deputy grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and Glasberg, assistant deputy attorney general, committee members include: Ontario Court regional senior justice Marc Bode; Sheila Bristo, a director with the court services division of the Ministry of the Attorney General; lawyer and former Indigenous Bar Association president Margaret Froh; lawyer Diane Kelly; Alison Pilla, an assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs; and Jenny Restoule-Mallozzi, counsel with the Union of Ontario Indians.

WEIRFOULDS EXPANDS GTA FOOTPRINT
WeirFoulds LLP is expanding its presence in the Greater Toronto Area as it joins forces with a firm in Oakville, Ont.

On Friday, WeirFoulds announced that Townsend and Associates would join the firm this month. Townsend and Associates will remain in Oakville but operate under the WeirFoulds banner.

Townsend and Associates, a small planning and development firm, certainly has a complementary practice with WeirFoulds given its presence in the municipal law field.

“Municipal is something the firm has done for years and years and years,” says Kim Mullin, co-chairwoman of WeirFoulds’ municipal and planning law practice.

As part of the change, Townsend and Associates’ three lawyers will join WeirFoulds. Lyn Townsend, who founded her own firm in 1991 after practising at Vice and Hunter, Soloway Wright LLP, and Pallett Valo LLP, received the Ontario Bar Association award of excellence in municipal law this year. Denise Baker, a former assistant town solicitor in Oakville who has been practising municipal law since her call to the bar in 2003, is chairwoman of the OBA’s municipal law section. In addition, Jennifer Meader, who has worked as a planner as well, has practised with Townsend and Associates since becoming a lawyer in 2010.

“We’ve been looking for some time to add some bench strength to our municipal group,” says Mullin, noting the move will add to the group’s current compliment of about 10-12 lawyers and two planners. But while the Oakville office is new, she notes the more than 150-year-old firm has had prior experiences with offices outside Toronto, including in Ottawa and Mississauga, Ont.

“Lyn Townsend is somebody that a lot of us know,” she says, calling Townsend a “great lawyer and a great fit” for WeirFoulds. The Oakville firm joins WeirFoulds effective Sept. 30.

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