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Monday, February 6, 2017

U OF T LAW OPENS SPOTS
The University of Toronto Faculty of Law will consider late applications for prospective students affected by U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

In a statement, Edward Iacobucci, the university’s dean of the Faculty of Law, said the law faculty has reached out to Canadian JD students in the U.S. who may want to transfer to U of T in the face of Trump’s executive order, which imposes a temporary halt on citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries travelling to the U.S.

“At the Faculty of Law, we have a special responsibility to champion the rule of law,” he said in the statement.

“This week’s seemingly cavalier dismissals of international norms and shared legal understandings by the U.S. President are especially troubling for our community.”

The school will consider all applicants who may have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the ban. Iacobucci said the school is also looking to set up a workshop on campus for a conference in March at Columbia Law School, which Yemeni colleagues will not be able to attend because of the ban.

LSUC FACES RACISM ALLEGATIONS FROM FORMER EMPLOYEE
The Law Society of Upper Canada is facing allegations of racism from a former employee. Arlene Spence, who was a senior manager of Information Technology at the law society, has filed a complaint at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, “alleging discrimination with respect to employment because of race and colour and reprisal,” according to interim decisions.’

In a December decision in Spence v. Law Society of Upper Canada, an adjudicator said the tribunal’s records indicated the matter had been settled, but a reconsideration decision released in January said that Spence intended to proceed with her application. Susan Tonkin, a spokeswoman for the LSUC, said the law society has reviewed Spence’s allegations.

“The Law Society takes allegations of racism and discrimination extremely seriously and we have reviewed Ms. Spence’s concerns in detail,” she said in an emailed statement.  “Now that the matter is before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, we are confident that there will be a positive resolution.”

Davis Baker, the lawyer representing Spence, declined to comment.

CAMPION TO POLLEY FAITH LLP
Toronto lawyer Nadia Campion has joined Polley Faith LLP. Campion left Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP after 10 years at the firm and less than a year after being named partner.
She joined Polley Faith as one of three partners.

LAW TIMES POLL
An Ontario Superior Court Justice recently ruled a union official should not be found liable for defamation for replying to an email. Readers were asked if replying to an allegedly defamatory email constitutes publishing or republishing the material.

Roughly 21 per cent said yes, replying to an email could be considered to be defamatory in certain contexts. The remaining 79 per cent said no, replying to an email should not be considered to be defamatory, because email is not the same as other platforms.

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Law Times poll

A Law Times columnist says given the responsibility to uphold the Charter of Rights and its associated values, Canadian lawyers should respect and defend press freedom. Do you feel press freedom in Canada is under threat?
Yes, there are ongoing criminal cases involving journalists doing their jobs, that concern me.
No, considering the international climate, Canada is a free, fair and open place when it comes to press freedom.