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YORK UNIVERSITY HONOURS CAROL HANSELL
The Jay and Barbara Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University has given Toronto lawyer Carol Hansell its 2016 Hennick Medal for Career Achievement.

The award is given to leaders in the business and legal communities who have gained international recognition for their work. Hansell graduated from York University with an LLB/MBA in 1986 and is now regarded as one of the country’s most influential advisers in corporate governance.

She worked at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP for 20 years, before leaving to start her own firm, Hansell LLP. She is also a principal Hansell McLaughlin Advisory Inc.

Hansell has served on the boards of many organizations in different sectors, including the boards of the Bank of Canada and the Ontario Registered Pension Plan Administration Corporation.

“Carol Hansell is a role model for our students,” said Edward Waitzer, the director of the Hennick Centre.

“She is a pioneer in governance education and thought leadership, grounded in practical experience. In a career spanning more than 25 years, she has done so much – from leading transactions to advising boards, management teams, institutional shareholders and regulators in connection with legal and governance challenges to shaping public policy. She has also given back to the community, as a board member, mentor and force of nature.”

Hansell’s practice focuses on helping institutional shareholders and regulators with legal and governance challenges, as well as advising boards and management teams.

Last year, Hansell was appointed to be chairwoman of Ontario’s Business Law Advisory Council, which advises the provincial government on business law matters. The centre gave the award to Hansell at a reception in Toronto on Feb. 8.

LAW FOUNDATION OPENS GUTHRIE AWARD NOMINATIONS
The Law Foundation of Ontario has opened nominations for its Guthrie Award.

The award was created in 1996 to honour Hugh Guthrie, a foundation trustee and chairman of the foundation’s board. It recognizes individuals for their contributions to the cause of access to justice.

Nominees should have a proven track record on the issue, and can come from any part of the justice system. Past winners have included members of the judiciary, the private bar, non-profit organizations and legal clinics.

Nominations must include a letter of nomination and at least two other letters of support. They will be accepted until April 17.

For more information, visit www.lawfoundation.on.ca.

MILLER THOMSON WELCOMES NEW PARTNERS
Lawrence Wilder and Tom Koutoulakis have joined Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto business law group.

The two lawyers, who were formerly employed by Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, have joined the firm as partners.

The firm’s Toronto business law group has seen 10 new partners join the firm over the last year. The two newest additions are part of a larger commitment to “deepening the bench strength” of the firm’s corporate mergers and acquisitions and securities law groups in Toronto, said Peter Auvinen, managing partner at Miller Thomson’s Toronto office.

“We see it as an ongoing priority objective, and having Lawrence and Tom join us will further propel our growth and expertise in the area,” he said.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times recently reported that a judge stopped the Kenora Crown attorney’s office from prosecuting a case, after the defendant’s lawyer took a job as a Crown days before his trial was set to start.

Readers were asked if they agree with this decision.

Roughly 70.5 per cent said they agree with this judge’s decision and think it is prudent. The remaining 29.5 per cent said they do not agree with this decision and the judge is being overly cautious.
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ROY HEENAN REMEMBERED
Former colleagues are remembering Roy Heenan, co-founder of Heenan Blaikie LLP, as a larger-than-life personality who loved the law and the people he worked with.

Heenan, who had been battling cancer, passed away Feb. 3 surrounded by his family at the age of 81.

He was one of the firm’s three co-founders who, along with Peter Blaikie and Donald Johnston, built the firm that grew to prominence until February 2014 when it closed its doors forever.

Norm Bacal, who was national co-managing partner for 16 years at Heenan Blaikie, was first a student in Heenan’s labour law class at McGill Law.

“That’s how far back we go,” says Bacal. “But I only got a ‘C’. The running joke in the firm for years after I was hired into the tax department was that I would never have to do any labour work and Roy would never have me.”

While he had only spoken with Heenan once in the last couple of years, Bacal says when he heard the news about his death he felt a “great sense of loss” for the person who had been a major influence on his life.

“Roy and Peter changed my life and sent it in a particular direction,” he says.

Bacal recalls Heenan as another kind of teacher, saying he learned a lot from him about how to approach people.

“He cast a giant shadow because he was a big personality, but on top of everything else, he was a real gentleman, always.

There are so many aspects to him as an individual and so many lessons that he taught that I think he did without meaning to teach,” Bacal says.

LAURA NIRIDER TO SPEAK AT YWL GALA
Young Women in Law has announced that Laura Nirider, the appeal counsel to Brendan Dassey, will speak at its seventh annual charity gala in April.

Nirider, who is a co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, represented Dassey, who was the subject of Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer.  

BLAKES LAUNCHES INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP is looking to find the next big idea in business law.

The law firm has launched a legal tech competition it is calling the Global Legal Innovation Challenge.

The initiative will give $100,000 to a winning entry, which will also receive mentoring from Blakes and the firm’s partners on the project, Law Made.

For more information, visit globalinnovation.blakes.com.

LAW TIMES POLL
A Law Times column expressed concerns about extending the prison penalty for mischief on religious buildings, motivated by hate, to apply to all public buildings.

Readers were asked whether this will cause over-incarceration. Roughly 75 per cent said yes, the extension of 10-year maximum sentences to new non-violent crimes will lead to problems, like more pre-trial detention of youths accused of mischief. The remaining 25 per cent said no, extending the maximum sentence is a sage move that will demonstrate hate-motivated crimes are not condoned in Canada.
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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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LSUC GIVES HONORARY LLD
The Law Society of Upper Canada has given former bencher Thomas Heintzman an honorary LLD.

Heintzman practised as a litigation counsel with McCarthy Tétrault LLP from 1968 to 2012 and has been credited with having worked on some of the country’s most important cases, having argued before the Supreme Court of Canada 19 times.

“I’m very humbled, flattered and grateful for the profession’s recognition of me,” he says.

Heintzman also served as the president of the Canadian Bar Association, as well as the president of the Ontario Bar Association, and he was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1998.

Heintzman says he left McCarthy Tétrault in 2012 to do arbitration and mediation work, which he says he could not do at a big firm. He now works out of Arbitration Place, an arbitration chambers on Bay Street in downtown Toronto. As a bencher, Heintzman was the chairman of the governance committee, and he was involved in changes to bencher elections and implementing term limits.

The law society gives the honorary degree “in recognition of outstanding achievements in service and benefit to the legal profession.”

Heintzman was given the honorary LLD at a Call to the Bar ceremony in Toronto on Jan. 27.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Law Foundation of Ontario has put a call out for applications for its responsive grants program.

The program has funded hundreds of access to justice projects administered by non-profit community groups that look to harness innovation to provide legal information to those in need that might not have access.

The Law Foundation has two rounds of grants in the program.

The first provides grants of up to $100,000 and the second gives smaller amounts of up to $15,000.

The deadline to submit applications is March 31.

LERNERS LLP ADDS INSURANCE LAWYERS
Insurance lawyers Jamieson Halfnight and Anne Juntunen have joined Lerners LLP.

The two lawyers left Halfnight & McKinlay Professional Corporation to join Lerners’ Toronto office.

Halfnight has represented insurance companies and policy holders at every level of trial and appellate courts across the country. He has served as a chairman of the Advocates’ Society’s insurance committee and has also been a director of the society.

Juntunen has worked with Halfnight for four years after moving to Toronto from Atlanta.

LAW TIMES POLL
Lawyers say many will be denied legal representation in Ontario’s courts due to cuts made by Legal Aid Ontario to plug a $26-million deficit, but officials say this is not the case. Readers were asked if they believe the deficit will mean more self-represented litigants.

Roughly 86 per cent said yes, this deficit is troubling and will clearly impact the number of self-represented litigants in Ontario courts.

The remaining 14 per cent said no, while the deficit needs attention, it will not impact the number of self-represented litigants in Ontario’s courts.
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LAWYER LAUNCHES FREE DATABASE
Toronto-based criminal defence lawyer Sean Robichaud has launched an online database that will eventually share all of his criminal law precedents for free.

Robichaud has started uploading precedents to his website in the hope it will make law more transparent and lawyers more efficient.

“Information as a whole is moving towards ease of availability online and law seems to be one of the last bastions where it’s protected so tightly as if they’re trade secrets of a firm,” he says.

“I don’t see it that way. I see it as something that can benefit us all.”

The lawyer has uploaded more than 300 of 10,000 documents to robichaudlaw.ca and expects the database will be fairly comprehensive by the end of 2017.

Robichaud says he decided to create the database as he was getting weekly requests from lawyers to share precedents.

“I just started thinking what’s the big secret?” he says.

“If I’m going to go to the effort of vetting these precedents so they can be shared with other lawyers, why not post them so they can obtain them at their own leisure and ease?”

Robichaud says it will make lawyers more efficient, as they will be able to focus on more important tasks and will not have to focus on doing some of the more mundane work.

The precedents will also give the public a greater appreciation of the complexity of law and make them aware of the dangers of representing themselves, Robichaud says. He says he has no intention of monetizing the database at any point.

RYAN PECK WINS SIDNEY B. LINDEN AWARD
Legal Aid Ontario has given the Sidney B. Linden Award to Ryan Peck.

Peck has served as the executive director of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario since 2007, and he has been credited with actively advocating for low-income people who need access to legal services.

LAO will present Peck with the award, which honours those who have demonstrated commitment to helping low-income people, at a ceremony at Osgoode Hall in February.

CLEO LAUNCHES NEW JUSTICE WEBSITE
Community Legal Education Ontario has launched a new online initiative that it hopes will help the public access reliable information to meet their legal needs.

The website — StepsToJustice.ca — is being billed as the first of its kind and offers step-by-step information for people seeking legal information.

CLEO hopes StepsToJustice.ca will provide people with answers to legal questions and problems in a variety of areas.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times recently reported that the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a finding of partial liability against the City of Ottawa and a bus driver for a fatal crash, even though another driver involved was impaired.

Readers were asked if this was a reasonable ruling. Roughly 35 per cent said yes, findings of liability should factor in whether a person is a professional driver.

The remaining 65 per cent said no, expectations of professional and non-professional drivers should be identical.
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MILLER THOMSON TO OPEN NEW OFFICE IN VAUGHAN
Miller Thomson LLP has announced it plans to open a new office in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Canadian business law firm’s new office is expected to open in Vaughan, Ont. this spring and will initially accommodate 30 lawyers.

The new office will allow the firm’s lawyers who already have clients in the area to be more accessible to them, said Peter Auvinen, the firm’s managing partner in Toronto.

“Being close to our clients and the communities which we serve is an important part of our overall firm strategy,” said Auvinen.

Auvinen added that Vaughan’s business community was a good fit for the firm, as it requires sophisticated legal services.

“We are committed to the Canadian market and we were drawn to Vaughan because of the strength of its business community,” said Kent Davidson, the firm’s chairman. “As champions of independent business across the country, we provide counsel that is central to our clients’ business and financial success. By definition these are close relationships and proximity matters.”

Miller Thomson, which employs more than 525 lawyers, currently has offices in downtown Toronto, as well as across the country.

FEDERAL COURT OF APPEAL SIDES WITH EMILIE TAMAN
The Federal Court of Appeal has found the Public Service Commission was unreasonable in its decision to reject a request by Emilie Taman for a leave to run for public office.The former federal prosecutor was fired from her job after she took time off to run for the New Democratic Party in the riding of Ottawa-Vanier in 2015.

In the decision, Justice Denis Pelletier ruled that the commission had not “justified its refusal to grant Ms Taman permission to seek elected office.”

Pelletier said that the commission failed to distinguish between the actual impairment of Taman’s ability to do her job after being involved in a political campaign and the perception of that impairment.

DICKINSON WRIGHT LLP ELECTS NEW PARTNERS
Dickinson Wright LLP has elected two new partners to its Toronto Office.

The business law firm named Ted Citrome and Ted Kalnins as new partners effective Jan. 1, 2017. Both Citrome and Kalnins were “Of Counsel” at the firm before becoming partners.

Called to the bar in 2002, Citrome’s practice is focused on Canadian tax law, with an emphasis on the taxation of acquisitions and divestures.

Kalnins, who was called to the bar in 2005, practices commercial litigation, as well as employment law.

LAW TIMES POLL
A recent Law Times column states that some taxpayers are afraid of being shamed for tax planning, so they are, therefore, paying additional taxes voluntarily. Readers were asked if lawyers should be advocating more for their clients’ right to tax plan.

Roughly 75 per cent of respondents said yes, under the law, taxpayers have a right to organize their affairs to reduce taxation. The remaining 25 per cent said no, while there is no basis in Canadian law for voluntary payments of additional taxes, this is not a good use of lawyers’ time.
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JOHN CAMPION JOINS GARDINER ROBERTS LLP
After 44 years at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, John Campion is moving on.

The senior litigator joined Gardiner Roberts LLP effective Jan. 3 to start the next stage of his career.

Campion says he is looking to lead a new process at Gardiner Roberts to make a change in how dispute resolution is managed.

“The litigation, arbitration, mediation piece is indeed coming together, and I want to have a hand in reshaping that and this is a wonderful platform to give that a go,” he says. Campion says he came up with the idea, which is still being developed, at a program at Harvard on advanced mediation.

He says he is “not your normal candidate for mediation” because people think of him as a tough litigator that never settles unless offered a perfect settlement, but he wanted to be part of something new.

Campion, who is an emeritus bencher at the Law Society of Upper Canada, says he couldn’t be more proud of the work his former firm does but that his new employer has given him free rein to tackle his project.

“It’s actually remarkably healthy to make a change,” he says.

The firm also welcomed lawyer Kevin Fisher, who joined Gardiner Roberts in September, after his former firm Basman Smith LLP dissolved. Fisher says one of the Basman Smith’s practice groups splintered quickly and the remaining members decided it would be best to dissolve the firm.

“Rather than try to hold things together, we determined as a group that we were going to fold,” he says.
He built his practice over 20 years at Basman Smith, practising predominantly in litigation with a subset in intellectual property, acting for broadcasters looking to protect their IP.

HARRY FREEDMAN JOINS SHERRARD KUZZ LLP
The former vice chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board has joined Sherrard Kuzz LLP.

Harry Freedman, who has been described as an esteemed labour lawyer, started working as counsel to the firm effective Jan. 3.

He is a certified specialist in labour law and a former partner at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP.

LAW SOCIETY PUTS OUT CALL FOR AWARD NOMINEES
The Law Society of Upper Canada has put a call out for nominees for its awards that honour excellence in the profession.

The law society is looking for nominations for the Law Society Medal, the Lincoln Alexander Award and the Laura Legge Award by Jan. 27.

Nominations can be sent to submissions@lsuc.on.ca

LAW TIMES POLL
A recent Law Times story detailed a case where a man argued an officer posing as an underage girl entrapped him in an Internet luring case. Readers were asked if current laws allow for digital entrapment.

Roughly half of respondents said yes, while it is important to ensure criminal behaviour does not occur, the current laws allow police to extend their investigative powers in a way that needs examination. The other half said no, the current laws are appropriate and police should be able to investigate allegations as needed, using different online techniques.


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FORMER ASSOCIATE CHIEF JUSTICE NAMED TO ORDER OF ONTARIO
Former Ontario Associate Chief Justice Dennis O’Connor has been appointed to the Order of Ontario.

O’Connor, who is now counsel at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, served as commissioner on the Walkerton inquiry and the Maher Arar inquiry while he was sitting on the Ontario Court of Appeal.

“It was a privilege to be asked to do them and it’s a great opportunity from a commissioner’s standpoint like I was to be able to devote your time and energy to a very important project,” he says.

The Walkerton inquiry looked into an E. coli contamination of the water supply of Walkerton, Ont., and it led to new regulations enacted by the provincial government to make drinking water safer in the province.

The Arar inquiry found that Maher Arar was the victim of inaccurate RCMP intelligence, and it provided a slew of recommendations to prevent something similar from happening again. Arar, who is a Canadian citizen, was deported from the United States in 2002 to Syria where he was tortured.

The inquiry also said that officials should have known Arar was being tortured and that the government owed him compensation.

The public inquiries O’Connor led have since become models for the process used to conduct inquiries.

O’Connor moved to the Yukon Territory in 1973 as a young lawyer to serve as a magistrate until 1976. He then taught law at the University of Western Ontario until he was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1998.

He became associate chief justice in 2001 and retired from the bench in 2012 to join BLG.

Becoming counsel at BLG was sort of a homecoming for O’Connor as he practised at the firm’s Toronto predecessor, Borden & Elliot, for 18 years as a senior counsel before being named to the bench. He practised in the area of commercial and public law litigation.

Last summer, O’Connor was also named to the Order of Canada. He will be awarded the Order of Ontario at a ceremony in Toronto in June 2017.

“It means a great deal,” he says. “It’s a wonderful honour to be recognized that way.”

FASKEN MARTINEAU PARTNER APPOINTED DURHAM INTEGRITY COMMISIONER
The Regional Municipality of Durham has named Guy Giorno as its new integrity commissioner.

The partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP was set to start his work in the part-time position on Jan. 1. The role includes investigating and reporting on code of conduct complaints concerning the municipality’s council members.

The provincial government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would require every municipality in Ontario to hire an integrity commissioner. This is being done in the hope of boosting transparency and accountability at municipal councils.

REISLER FRANKLIN LLP ACQUIRES WINDSOR-BASED FIRM
Reisler Franklin LLP has acquired Windsor Ont.-based firm Donaldson Donaldson Greenaway LLP.

The move comes after partners Walter Donaldson and Mason Greenaway announced their retirement after more than 40 years of practice.

Three associates from Donaldson’s will join Reisler Franklin’s Windsor office, which the firm expects will broaden its presence in the city. This will bring the total number of lawyers the Resiler Franklin employs to 24.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times recently reported that an Ontario Superior Court judge allowed police to cross-claim Crown attorneys for negligent legal advice.

Readers were asked if they thought this is a problematic ruling.

Roughly 57 per cent said yes, having a judge rule that police can cross-claim Crowns for negligent legal advice is not beneficial for the criminal justice system.

The remaining 43 per cent said no, this ruling is fair and will increase the accountability of Crown prosecutors.




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CIAJ NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice has announced lawyer Christine O’Doherty will serve as its next executive director.

The Montreal lawyer started her career with O’Reilly & Associates in 1995.

She later joined the pharmaceutical industry, where she worked for 13 years and became interested in commercial, intellectual property and labour law.

O’Doherty will join CIAJ on Jan. 4.

“This is an organization that can play a strategic role to raise awareness and develop sustainability thinking about the administration of justice in Canada,” she says.

“I hope I will be able to create the strategic and relevant forums to achieve that reflection.”

She has worked for major pharmaceutical companies such as Merck Frosst Canada, National Pharmacon and Eli Lilly Canada in a number of different capacities.

She says one of her proudest accomplishments was helping to guide Merck through a crisis when the company had to recall and remove a prescription pain relief drug called Vioxx from the Canadian market.

“As a team, we were able to manage the crisis successfully without getting too many class action suits — in Canada at least,” she says.

“My legal expertise coupled with my public affairs background allowed me to better explain the issues at stake to the press and the public and the consequences of such a withdrawal for the patients and the health-care professionals.”

She started her own firm in 2008, and represented clients in corporate and labour law matters until recently. She has also taught at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal since 2004.

NEXTLAW LABS INVESTS IN BEAGLE
Dentons LLP’s legal tech development company Nextlaw Labs has announced it will be investing in Canadian startup Beagle.

Beagle, which is based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., uses machine learning to streamline the analysis of contracts.

The startup won the Canadian Bar Association’s Pitch contest this summer.

Beagle’s founder, Cian O’Sullivan, said the system gives lawyers the chance to focus on their expertise and strategy rather than on sifting through contract documents.

He said that Beagle will give lawyers access to a market of many businesses that don’t use lawyers on contracts, cutting down the amount of time and cost it takes to analyze a contract.

“Beagle is committed to making a global impact for law firms and their clients, as well as non-lawyers and small business owners who may not have had access to contract review capabilities before,” said O’Sullivan.

CANADIAN TAX FOUNDATION HONOURS RETIRED DLA PIPER LAWYER
The Canadian Tax Foundation has honoured a retired DLA Piper (Canada) LLP partner with its Lifetime Contribution Award.

Howard Kellough is credited with making significant contributions to the CFT during his time serving on its executive committee.

Kellough retired in March 2016 after working with the DLA Piper (Canada) national tax group since 2008.

The Canadian Tax Foundation also honoured Tim Duholke, a senior tax advisor with the firm.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times recently reported that some Law Society of Upper Canada benchers took issue with a recommendation proposed to Convocation that means every licensee must adopt “a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equity.”

Readers were asked if this requirement amounts to creating a thought crime.

More than 74 per cent of respondents said yes, while they support racialized lawyers in the profession, this recommendation oversteps reasonable expectations.

The remaining 26 per cent said no, this is a reasonable expectation, as achieving positive changes means each member must make a commitment to equity.
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LSUC ANNOUNCES HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD HONOUREES
The Law Society of Upper Canada has announced that Cindy Blackstock will receive one of its 2016 human rights awards.

Blackstock, who is the executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, has been heralded for her work taking on the federal government to advocate for First Nations children.

“I simply cannot sit still and allow the federal government to give less life opportunities to a generation of children simply because they are First Nations children,  and I am not alone,” says Blackstock.

She led a successful human rights complaint against the federal government at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which found the government guilty of systemic discrimination by underfunding child welfare on reserves. Blackstock, a member of the Gitxsan First Nation of British Columbia, says the Human Rights Award recognizes all of the indigenous and non-indigenous people who have stood up for First Nations children.

The other winner of the 2016 award is Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who founded the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.

 In 2014, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for what human rights groups have said are unfounded terrorism charges.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in 2017.

TORONTO LAWYER APPOINTED TO CCPPP BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships has named a partner with Dentons Canada LLP to serve on its board of directors.

Michael Ledgett will join a group of representatives from private and public institutions from across Canada on the board. The CCPPP is a non-profit that promotes public private partnerships.

Ledgett is co-chairman of Dentons’ National P3/Infrastructure Group and advises on private-public partnership projects across the world.

LAO STUDENTS VOTE TO JOIN UNION
Legal Aid Ontario articling students have voted to join the Society of Energy Professionals. LAO counted the ballots on Dec. 1, almost seven months after the students voted. They voted in favour by 29-4.

Lawyers representing the students said LAO used stall tactics to delay the vote count, but the agency said the dispute that was holding up the count was a normal part of the bargaining process.

The counting of the vote will mean the same union that represents LAO’s staff lawyers will do the same for its articling students.

LAW TIMES POLL
A recent Law Times column argues that the Anti-terrorism Act creates a chill on free speech by adding unclear sections to the Criminal Code.

Readers were asked if they feel the new laws will hurt counter-terrorism efforts. More than 77 per cent said yes, the Anti-terrorism Act is vague and does not provide lawyers with a clear sense of how courts will apply the new provisions.

The remaining 23 per cent said no, the Anti-terrorism Act is meant to be applied to a variety of terrorism-related offences, and it gives Canadians a stronger legal framework to prosecute such offences.
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    Jane-Finch community gets employment law help Osgoode Hall Law School's Community Legal Aid Services Programme recently opened an employment law division for Toronto's Jane-Finch community.Phanath Im, review counsel for the division,…
More Law Times TV...

Law Times poll

After the Supreme Court set out a framework to assess the independence of expert witnesses, litigators have different opinions about whether it’s too difficult to exclude expert evidence on the basis of bias. What do you think?
Yes, it remains very hard to get this evidence excluded, but this may change as trial court judges pay more attention to the backgrounds of expert witnesses.
No, it is not hard to get this evidence excluded, as the courts continually refine the role of experts in both criminal and civil litigation.