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Monday, May 15, 2017

Stephen Grant, a partner at Grant Crawford & Watson LLP, has been named the winner of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Family Law, in Memory of James McLeod.

The award recognizes outstanding OBA members for their accomplishments in the development of family law, their leadership in the profession, their ability to take on and advance precedent-setting cases and their involvement in advancing the practice of alternative dispute resolution, said the OBA in a press release.

“In light of the overall excellence of the family bar, it’s very gratifying to be receiving this award,” Grant told Law Times in an email.

Grant is known as a selfless and tireless teacher, mentor and author, according to the OBA.

“As someone who has both faced Stephen in court and fought side by side as partners, I can honestly say that I much prefer the latter,” said Gerry Sadvari, counsel with Grant Crawford & Watson, in the press release.

“As a leader of the family bar for decades, there is no better family law counsel active today and no one more deserving of this long overdue award.”

This award is in memory of James G. McLeod, an esteemed and much respected lawyer who has been referred to as “the most influential figure in family law in the past 25 years” and who died at the young age of 57, said the OBA. The celebration honouring Grant will take place June 12 in Toronto.

Loly Rico has been named the recipient of the Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award.  

The award is given annually to a woman whose work demonstrates a commitment to changing the lives of women who experience violence for the better.

As founder and co-director of FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto, Rico is a recognized leader for the rights of refugee women facing violence, said the clinic in a press release.

“It is very special because the Barbra Schlifer award has a lot of meaning, especially for women who have been in situations of violence,” said Rico, in an email.

Miller Thomson LLP welcomes two new lawyers to its Toronto office. Associate counsel Damien Buntsma was previously with Lawrence Lawrence Stevenson LLP, while associate Stephanie De Caria comes via Fogler Rubinoff LLP.

Buntsma’s practice area is labour and employment, while De Caria’s expertise is in insolvency and commercial litigation.

The federal government has tightened security at the federal courts in order to improve safety, such as installing metal detectors.

We asked readers if they thought this was a good investment.

Sixty-one per cent said yes, having people go through metal detectors and getting their belongings screened will improve security.

Thirty-nine per cent said no, lawyers should not be subjected to security screening as it will be an inconvenience.

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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?
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