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Monday, January 16, 2017

MILLER THOMSON TO OPEN NEW OFFICE IN VAUGHAN
Miller Thomson LLP has announced it plans to open a new office in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Canadian business law firm’s new office is expected to open in Vaughan, Ont. this spring and will initially accommodate 30 lawyers.

The new office will allow the firm’s lawyers who already have clients in the area to be more accessible to them, said Peter Auvinen, the firm’s managing partner in Toronto.

“Being close to our clients and the communities which we serve is an important part of our overall firm strategy,” said Auvinen.

Auvinen added that Vaughan’s business community was a good fit for the firm, as it requires sophisticated legal services.

“We are committed to the Canadian market and we were drawn to Vaughan because of the strength of its business community,” said Kent Davidson, the firm’s chairman. “As champions of independent business across the country, we provide counsel that is central to our clients’ business and financial success. By definition these are close relationships and proximity matters.”

Miller Thomson, which employs more than 525 lawyers, currently has offices in downtown Toronto, as well as across the country.

FEDERAL COURT OF APPEAL SIDES WITH EMILIE TAMAN
The Federal Court of Appeal has found the Public Service Commission was unreasonable in its decision to reject a request by Emilie Taman for a leave to run for public office.The former federal prosecutor was fired from her job after she took time off to run for the New Democratic Party in the riding of Ottawa-Vanier in 2015.

In the decision, Justice Denis Pelletier ruled that the commission had not “justified its refusal to grant Ms Taman permission to seek elected office.”

Pelletier said that the commission failed to distinguish between the actual impairment of Taman’s ability to do her job after being involved in a political campaign and the perception of that impairment.

DICKINSON WRIGHT LLP ELECTS NEW PARTNERS
Dickinson Wright LLP has elected two new partners to its Toronto Office.

The business law firm named Ted Citrome and Ted Kalnins as new partners effective Jan. 1, 2017. Both Citrome and Kalnins were “Of Counsel” at the firm before becoming partners.

Called to the bar in 2002, Citrome’s practice is focused on Canadian tax law, with an emphasis on the taxation of acquisitions and divestures.

Kalnins, who was called to the bar in 2005, practices commercial litigation, as well as employment law.

LAW TIMES POLL
A recent Law Times column states that some taxpayers are afraid of being shamed for tax planning, so they are, therefore, paying additional taxes voluntarily. Readers were asked if lawyers should be advocating more for their clients’ right to tax plan.

Roughly 75 per cent of respondents said yes, under the law, taxpayers have a right to organize their affairs to reduce taxation. The remaining 25 per cent said no, while there is no basis in Canadian law for voluntary payments of additional taxes, this is not a good use of lawyers’ time.

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Law Times poll

After the Supreme Court set out a framework to assess the independence of expert witnesses, litigators have different opinions about whether it’s too difficult to exclude expert evidence on the basis of bias. What do you think?
Yes, it remains very hard to get this evidence excluded, but this may change as trial court judges pay more attention to the backgrounds of expert witnesses.
No, it is not hard to get this evidence excluded, as the courts continually refine the role of experts in both criminal and civil litigation.