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Monday, May 1, 2017

OBA AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE
Paul Jonathan Saguil is among a group of lawyers being recognized by the Ontario Bar Association for their contributions to the practice of law in the province.

Saguil, of TD Bank Financial Group, will receive the OBA’s Heather McArthur Memorial Young Lawyers Award for his “exceptional” contributions to the development of equality rights jurisprudence and to legislative and policy reform to benefit members of equity-seeking groups, said the OBA in a press release.

“I stand here with and because of many others who have paved the way and who keep fighting the good fight,” says Saguil.

“Although we celebrate what we have collectively accomplished thus far in trying to, for example, address challenges faced by racialized licensees, keep legal education and the justice system accessible and inclusive, and strengthen the protections available for the LGBTQ2S communities and other vulnerable groups, we still have a long way to go in making this profession and this country truly more just and equitable and we cannot afford to become complacent.”

Other award recipients include: Christopher Arthur W. Bentley of the Ryerson University Law Practice Program, Craig R. Carter of Fasken Martineau and Orlando V. Da Silva of the Ministry of Attorney General, who are winners of the OBA’s Award for Distinguished Service; C. Katie Black, judicial affairs advisor to the minister of Justice and attorney general of Canada, winner of the inaugural David Scott, Q.C., Award for Pro Bono Law; and Sarah Clarke, Sébastien Grammond, Anne Levesque and David Taylor, winners of the OBA’s President’s Award for their work representing the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, pro bono, in its efforts to secure equality for First Nations children in Canada.

FORMER AG TO SPEAK AT MLST DINNER
Michael J. Bryant will be the guest speaker at the annual meeting and dinner of the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto, to be held May 17 in Toronto.

Addiction Verdiction for the Medio-legal Practitioner will be the theme of the speech by Bryant, who served as Ontario’s attorney general from 2003 to 2007.

The evening will also include the presentation of the 2017 Medico-Legal Society Award, the society’s highest honour, to Dr. Laura Hawryluck, associate professor of critical care medicine at the University of Toronto.

NEW FUNDING FOR FAMILY LAW IDEAS
The Law Foundation of Ontario opened a new call for applications to fund innovative legal projects in the area of family law through its national Access to Justice Fund.

The call for applications includes one round for small grants of less than $15,000 and one round for major grants of up to $250,000. The deadlines for applications are June 30 and Oct. 2, respectively. Full details can be found at: lawfoundation.on.ca.

LAW TIMES POLL
In a recent report, Justice Michael Tulloch said there is “no reason” why the director of the province’s Special Investigations Unit needs to be a lawyer. We asked readers if they agreed with Tulloch.

Forty-one per cent said yes, there is no reason why the head of the SIU needs to be a lawyer, especially given that this is not a requirement in other places, while 59 per cent said no, the role requires a specialized knowledge of criminal investigations and the professional expertise a lawyer brings.

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Law Times poll

A recent Court of Appeal decision acknowledged a ‘new reality’ of civil litigation in which courts are seeing a significant number of self-represented litigants. Are courts are doing a good job of addressing the needs of self-represented litigants?
Yes, judges are doing a good job of ensuring trial fairness.
No, courts have only just begun to consider the many issues surrounding self-represented litigants.