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A Criminal Mind: Disclosure inventory a key to good defence

One of the keys to preparing a  good defence, or even to establishing that there is one, is the disclosure inventory. Ideally, the disclosure inventory is a one-page document on which you can see, at a glance, whether the file is complete. It also includes a summary or synopsis of the case.
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The Hill: Dion is full of fight

Suddenly, last week, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion woke up and roared. Liberals have not seen him like that since he became party leader two years ago.

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Inside Queen's Park: Process over substance

High-flyer federal bureaucrat Allan Gottlieb recounts in his memoirs how he once gave the following advice to then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau: “Beware of the people who put process over substance . . . there is a whole new breed whose interest is in how [government] is organized, not what government actually decides.

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Second Opinion: Help wanted: A judicial code of conduct

Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that there is no code of conduct for judges in Canada. The Canadian Judicial Council has issued a booklet entitled Ethical Principles for Judges, but these are only advisory in nature.

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Social Justice: Bad facts make worse precedents

A recent Saskatchewan trial court decision, which found a drug dealer civilly liable for injuries suffered by a young woman who overdosed on crystal methamphetamine he provided, brings to mind the old anecdote “bad facts make bad law.” Or, even better, “bad facts make worse precedents.”

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Bencher days: time well spent?

The day is short, the task is great... It is not up to you to complete the work, Yet you are not free to desist from it…
- Ethics of the Fathers, 2:20-21

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That's History: 2007: meet the new boss

What was historic in legal matters in 2007?
I’ll leave judgments about case law and such to lawyers. But in the world of law firms and the practice, I’d guess an event that might become a marker was the closing of Goodman & Carr LLP in March 2007.

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The revolving door of mandatory minimums

Sparse media coverage has been allotted to the potential impacts of the Conservative government’s bill C-26, which would amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act by introducing new mandatory minimum sentences for drug production and trafficking.

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Second Opinion: The year in constitutional review

In constitutional terms, 2007 was a significant year, both in and out of the courts. At the Supreme Court of Canada, last year may be remembered as a breakout year for Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin - her eighth heading up the top court.

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That's History: Why lawyers govern themselves

“First thing, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Or jail ‘em at least. Back in November, the world gaped at the sight of street protests in Pakistan led by dark-suited lawyers.

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Paralegal spared jail sentence

On Oct. 15, paralegal Maureen Boldt began to serve her four-month house arrest sentence as she was found in contempt of court for preparing family court documents without being a lawyer.

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Social Justice: Put your money where your mouth is

In their speech from the throne, the Conservative government promised to venture where angels fear to tread; that is, to again tackle the delicate balancing act between individual human rights and First Nations self-government and autonomy.

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Law Times poll

An estate trustee who took an ‘egregious' position in litigation has been ordered to personally pay more than $140,000 in costs. Will this ruling serve as an appropriate caution to executors on how they conduct themselves in litigation?
Yes, this will remind trustees of the potential exposure of significant awards being made against them personally.
No, it’s unlikely this ruling will dissuade executors from engaging in unreasonable conduct during litigation.