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Monday, March 6, 2017

FORMER SCC JUSTICE JOINS BLG
Retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Thomas Cromwell has joined Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Cromwell, who will be counsel in the firm’s offices in Ottawa and Vancouver, retired from the Supreme Court last year after serving as a justice for just eight years.

“I’m looking forward to having a little more time to travel and just read for pleasure and do all those sorts of things that have been kind of put on hold for the last eight years,” he says.

Cromwell says he decided to join BLG for an opportunity to work in a mentoring role with younger lawyers and says he is looking to remain a generalist in terms of the areas of law on which he will advise.

He had been a judge for 19 years at the time, having spent many years on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal where he was appointed in 1997. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008.

Cromwell says that when he was on Nova Scotia’s appellate court, he had always intended to retire when he became eligible. When that time came when he was on the Supreme Court, it was just about finding a time that would cause the least disruption to the court’s function, he says.

“It was a great honour and privilege, and I don’t say it by way of complaining about it, but there’s no doubt that at least for me that weight of responsibility seemed to get heavier as the years went on,” he says.

CLA OPENS NOMINATIONS FOR 2017 G. ARTHUR MARTIN AWARD
The Criminal Lawyers’ Association is now accepting nominations for the 2017 G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal. The annual honour recognizes outstanding contributions to criminal justice in Canada.

The nominators must be full members of the CLA, and they must submit a nomination letter, a curriculum vitae or resumé of the nominee and three letters of support. The deadline to submit nominations is March 31.

COMPLETE CRIMINAL CASES DECLINED IN 2014/2015
Ontario saw a nine-per-cent decrease in the overall number of criminal cases completed in 2014/2015 from the previous year, according to new crime statistics released by Stats Canada.
That was a decline of 10,000 from the year before in what has been a downward trend countrywide in recent years.

Stats Canada partly attributed a steady decline in impaired driving cases for the drop. Ontario saw 828 fewer such cases from the previous year.

LAW TIMES POLL
The recent passing of a provincial act in Ontario removed the courts’ progressive approach to enforcing surrogacy agreements, say some lawyers, and led to fears it could leave the area open to exploitation. Readers were asked if they think this is true.

Roughly 20 per cent said yes, the new laws represent an opportunity lost for the development of surrogacy law in Ontario.

The remaining 80 per cent said no, the new laws create enhanced clarity and more clear guidelines for surrogacy and those who participate in it.

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Law Times poll

Recreational marijuana use will be legalized, and lawyers say there will be an increase in terms of criminal charges and civil cases as a result. From the perspective on how this will impact the courts, do you support pot legalization?
Yes. While there will no doubt be an impact on the courts from this change, the overall social benefits of legalization are positive.
No. The move to legalize marijuana is short-sighted, and will lead to negative social results, including longer court delays.