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GLOBAL INSURANCE LAW NETWORK LAUNCHED
Canada’s Blaney McMurtry LLP is one of the founders of a new, multi-jurisdiction legal network launched last month by law firms from North America and Europe.

The Insurance Law Global network, which will provide a global service to insurance clients, also includes founding law firms Weightmans from the U.K., LC Rodrigo Abogados of Spain and Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin of the U.S.

“We are very proud to be a founding member of the Insurance Law Global network, an organization created to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the global insurance industry and to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing across multiple jurisdictions,” said Maria Scarfo, managing partner of Blaney McMurtry in Toronto, in a press release. Collectively, ILG has bases in 30 cities across six countries.

CCA COMMUNITY BUILDER AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED
The Canadian Bar Association’s Canadian Corporate Counsel Association announces that the respective in-house teams of George Weston Ltd. and the Pro Bono Ontario’s ID Clinic for the Homeless are the co-winners of the 2017 CCCA Community Builder Award.

The Community Builder Award recognizes pro bono, community or corporate social responsibility efforts.

The award was presented during the CCCA 2017 Agents of Change national conference in Toronto on April 3 along with various other CCCA awards.

CRAIG CARTER RECEIVES OBA’S DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Craig Carter, a lawyer in Fasken Martineau LLP’s Toronto office, will receive the Ontario Bar Association’s Award for Distingished Service at a ceremony on April 26.

Carter is engaged in a commercial real estate practice and has acted as counsel in real estate issues and the standards of practice in real estate matters. According to the firm, he is extensively involved in continuing legal education for the legal profession, is a co-editor and published author and has chaired many programs for the OBA.

The OBA says its Award for Distinguished Service recognizes exceptional career contributions and/or career achievements by members of the OBA to the legal profession in Ontario, to jurisprudence in Ontario or Canada, to the law or development of the law in Ontario or a significant law-related benefit to the residents of Ontario.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times reported recently that Ontario lawyers say a bill that would give enhanced powers to American border officers working at Canadian airports would likely result in a great deal of uncertainty for their work and their clients. Readers were asked if they supported Bill C-23.

About six per cent of respondents said yes, they did not see an issue with giving American border officers who work on Canadian soil the power to detain Canadians travelling to the United States.

However, 94 per cent said no, they thought changes proposed in the bill would cause problems, especially in addition to the increased climate of uncertainty at the border.
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LOOPSTRA NIXON NAMES NEW MANAGING PARTNER
Allan Ritchie has been appointed Loopstra Nixon LLP’s managing partner and head of the executive committee.

Ritchie assumes the role from Ian Scarlett, who has served in the position since 2009.

During Scarlett’s tenure, the firm underwent significant expansion, growing from 16 lawyers to its current 41-lawyer team.

Scarlett will return to full-time private practice with a continued focus on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law and will serve as a member of the firm’s governing executive committee.

“Ian has been a steady hand at the wheel during a period of rapid growth and expansion for the firm. The positive impact of his leadership will be felt for years to come,” said founding partner Chuck Loopstra in a press release.

Ritchie originally joined Loopstra Nixon in 2003, where he worked until 2007. He returned as a partner in 2010 and has played significant roles in the restructuring of the firm’s student and lateral hiring programs, as well as serving as the firm’s primary representative with LawExchange International, the global network of 32 law firms of which the firm has been the Canadian representative member since 2012.

In addition to the managing partner role, Ritchie will continue to lead the firm’s cross-border business law practice.

CATZMAN AWARD CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
The Catzman family, The Advocates’ Society and the chief justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism are calling for nominations for an award in memory of the late Justice Marvin A. Catzman, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and civility in the practice of law.

The award will be presented by the chief justice at the Opening of the Courts in September.

Nominators should provide a brief statement outlining the reasons for their nomination, the nominee’s curriculum vitae and two letters of support.

Nominations should be sent to: Rachel Stewart at rachel@advocates.ca. The deadline is May 26.

FEORE TO SPEAK AT DINNER
The Advocates’ Society presents its 2017 End Of Term Dinner with special guest keynote speaker Colm Feore, best known for his role in 24. The member-only event will be held June 15 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building.

LAW TIMES POLL
Last week, a Law Times columnist wrote that criminal law is out of step and argued there should be an immediate moratorium on HIV non-disclosure prosecutions, unless there is alleged intentional transmission.

We asked readers what they thought. Seventy-two per cent said yes, the unjust criminalization of people living with HIV needs to change. The law has become more draconian even as HIV has become more manageable and as transmission risks decrease.

Twenty-eight per cent said no, the law should remain as it is, and the Ministry of the Attorney General should not change its approach.
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LSUC REAPPOINTS WRIGHT TO TRIBUNAL
David A. Wright has been reappointed as chairman of the Law Society Tribunal for a four-year term, starting in September.

Wright was first appointed as the independent organization’s first full-time non-bencher tribunal chairman in 2013, as part of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s enhancements to its adjudicative process for discipline, licensing and other regulatory matters.

Under Wright’s leadership, a new scheduling process was established to maximize hearing date options and reduce vacated and continuation dates, said the LSUC in a press release.

A new, dedicated website was also developed to enhance transparency of tribunal proceedings.

To build the tribunal’s distinct identity, Wright and his team developed a set of core values for the organization: fairness, quality, transparency and timeliness, said the LSUC.

“I am extremely happy to be reappointed as tribunal chair and I look forward to continuing to build the Law Society Tribunal as a leader in the administrative justice community,” said Wright in the press release.

PIETERS STOPS REPRESENTING MEREDITH
Lawyer Selwyn Pieters tweeted on March 20 that he is no longer representing Senator Don Meredith in his hearing before the Senate Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest.

Senators have called for Meredith’s resignation after an ethics report said he used his position of power to lure a teenage girl into a sexual relationship.

 He is also being investigated by the Senate ethics officer over separate allegations of workplace harassment. Pieters would not say whether it was his choice to end the relationship with Meredith, but he told Law Times the decision has his “blessing.”

“Senator Meredith is now being represented by William Trudell in his matter before the Senate Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest,” said Pieters in an email to Law Times.

OSC NAMES NEW COMMISSIONERS
Robert P. Hutchison and Mark J. Sandler have been appointed to the Ontario Securities Commission, where they will each serve a two-year term.

Hutchison spent more than 40 years with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, where he practised business law, focusing on financial services.

Sandler is the senior partner of Cooper Sandler Shime & Bergman LLP and has been an appellate and trial litigator specializing in criminal and regulatory law for 37 years.

LAW TIMES POLL
Last week, Law Times reported that lawyers are expressing concerns over the timing of the rollout of extensive draft regulations by the provincial government to amend the Condominium Act.  Readers were asked if they feel this will leave little time to bring clients up to speed.

Seventy-five per cent said yes, the government expects the first phase of legislation to be implemented later this year, and this leaves little lead time for lawyers.

Twenty-five per cent said no, the changes leave appropriate time for lawyers to digest all the regulations and help clients understand them.
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LSUC ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS
Thora Espinet was the only black woman in her class at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and one of the first black women lawyers in Ontario after being called to the bar in 1984.
But that didn’t stop her from pursuing a career, first in criminal law and then family law.

“Sometimes, what holds people back is self-doubt,” Espinet told Law Times in an interview. “But I’m very confident. I don’t let other people define me.”

That confidence has led Jamaican-born Espinet to become a leader in “promoting social change as well as addressing issues of discrimination and equality,” according to the Law Society of Upper Canada. Espinet is the recipient of the Lincoln Alexander Award.

The award is one of several Law Society Awards that will be handed out May 24 at Osgoode Hall.

Law Society Medal winners include Patrick Case, a leader in establishing policies on addressing racism; Larry Chartrand, who works to advance aboriginal and Métis rights; Sally Colquhoun, who has helped increase social justice for low-income people and First Nation communities in Ontario’s Northwest; Michael Eizenga, a leader in the class action bar; Marie Henein, for her achievements as a criminal defence lawyer; Joanna Radbord, for her contributions to LGBTQ rights, family law, constitutional and human rights; and Gary Yee, for his activism and advocacy for racialized communities.

The Laura Legge Award goes to Breese Davies. Edwarda De Oliveira Castro will receive the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award, and the J. Shirley Denison Award recipient is Grace Alcaide Janicas.

LAW PROFS CALL FOR MINING OMBUDSPERSON
Law professors from universities across Canada have sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for an independent ombudsperson to investigate complaints about Canadian mining companies operating abroad.

“It is time for Canada to step up to the plate and take legislative action to prevent Canadian extractive companies from profiting from human rights abuses and other harm,” said Penelope Simons, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa.

LOGAN JOINS BAKER MCKENZIE
Daniel Logan has joined Baker McKenzie as a partner in Toronto. With more than 20 years experience in complex commercial technology and outsourcing transactions, Logan brings a particular expertise working with clients in the financial services sector, said the firm.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times reported that a judge had issued a strong rebuke of the processes lawyers have to follow to retrieve unpaid fees from clients and backlogs at the provincial assessment office.
Readers were asked if they felt an overhaul of the process was long overdue.

About 83 per cent said yes, the time has come for much-needed amendments to the Solicitors Act.

Another 17 per cent said no, while the process was not perfect, it is a good development that lawyers will now be able to sue clients for unpaid accounts in some situations.
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CHAMBERLAIN BECOMES NEW WESTERN LAW DEAN
As she prepares to take on her new role as dean of law at Western University starting May 1, Erika Chamberlain says one thing she’ll be focused on is ensuring that legal education is accessible.

“I come from a small town, a working class background,” she says, adding that her parents are immigrants from Germany.

“I want to make sure law school is available to people in all parts of the community.”

Chamberlain says she had a great student experience as a National Scholar at Western Law in 1996, followed by getting her LLB as gold medalist from Western Law in 2001. After clerking for the Supreme Court of Canada in 2002, Chamberlain once again returned to Western as assistant professor in 2005. Following her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2009, Chamberlain has held the position of associate dean (academic) at Western Law for the past five years.

When she takes over from Iain Scott as head of the department, Chamberlain says she wants to preserve the “really good sense of community” for future students. She says the fact that Western Law is the smallest law school after Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law helps foster the close environment.

“Our faculty care a lot about teaching, care a lot about mentoring students, and I think that’s a real strength for us,” she says.

LAW COMMISSION CALLS FOR REFORMS TO GUARDIANSHIP
The Law Commission of Ontario has released a report recommending reforms to the province’s laws concerning power of attorney, guardianship and health-care consent.

The Final Report on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship has 58 recommendations, which spurred out of concerns about a number of issues including the misuse of powers of attorney and elder abuse, as well as a widespread lack of understanding about the province’s laws in the area.

For more information, visit www.lco-cdo.org.

FRASER JOINS HEURISTICA DISCOVERY COUNSEL
One of Canada’s leading e‑discovery lawyers has joined Heuristica Discovery Counsel as co-CEO and senior counsel.

Duncan Fraser, who has more than 20 years of legal experience, is set to open an Ottawa office for the Toronto-based boutique legal practice.

Fraser previously worked at e-discovery law firm Wortzmans. Before that, he was general counsel and director of e-discovery and National Litigation Support Services for the Federal Department of Justice.

LAW TIMES POLL
Ontario lawyers say a newly released report by Justice Annemarie Bonkalo that recommends broadening the scope of family law in Ontario could erode current standards and squeeze lawyers out of the marketplace.

Readers were asked whether they think this is true.

Roughly 65 per cent said yes, potential recommendations in the report to broaden the marketplace will have harmful effects for lawyers.

The remaining 35 per cent said no, these recommendations will help clients and will not affect lawyers at all.
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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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BARBARA HENDRICKSON JOINS PALLETT VALO LLP IN ASSOCIATION
Barbara Hendrickson has joined Peel Region business law firm Pallett Valo LLP in association.

Hendrickson, who is the CEO and founder of BAX Securities Law, has more than 20 years experience in corporate finance, capital markets and real estate syndication areas.

She has previously worked in large nationwide and international firms and has served as senior legal counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission.

Bobby Sachdeva, Pallett Valo’s managing partner, says Hendrickson brings senior securities and corporate finance experience to the firm.

“We are very pleased to have her join our team,” he said.

Called to the bar in Ontario in 2003, Hendrickson has also been called to the bars of B.C. in 2010, Manitoba in 1986 and Alberta in 1984. She went to law school at the University of Calgary Law School, where she specialized in natural resources law, and she continued her education at the University of Toronto, where she received an LLM and specialized in administrative law.
She also completed a Masters of Tax Law at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Hendrickson is also the founder of the Toronto Business Lawyers Association and a past member of the Small & Medium Enterprises Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission.

Hendrickson’s practice, which specializes in real estate syndication and private equity, as well as venture capital and investment funds, is considered one of the top corporate securities boutique firms in Canada.

RYSERSON’S LIZ, OSGOODE’S WINKLER INSTITUTE WIN TECH GRANTS
The Law Foundation of Ontario has awarded grants to youth-led tech projects that tackle access to justice issues.

Initiatives from Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone and the Winkler Institute of Osgoode Hall Law School have won the one-time grants.

The LIZ received $50,000 for a project that will develop a number of workshops focused on the legal needs of urban youth.

The law foundation awarded the Winkler Institute $54,083 for a “design-thinking” initiative that will look to develop technological solutions to the need to build a justice system reflective of indigenous traditions. Indigenous youth will take part in the project along with experts in youth justice.

FORMER PMO ADVISOR JOINS GOWLINGS
A former senior advisor to the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP.

Cyrus Reporter was Trudeau’s chief of staff before he became prime minister.

Reporter has joined the firm as a partner practising in the areas of public policy and regulatory issues.

LAW TIMES POLL
After the Supreme Court of Canada set out a framework to assess the independence to expert witnesses, litigators have different opinions about whether it’s too difficult to exclude expert evidence on the basis of bias.

Readers were asked what they thought of the issue.

Every respondent said 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 respondents said 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.
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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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PROVINCIAL JUDICIAL COMMITTEES TO TRACK DIVERSITY DATA
The provincial government is set to introduce a number of changes to the way Ontario chooses its judges in an attempt to boost diversity on the bench.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi recently announced changes to the way Ontario’s Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee functions, which will include giving judicial applicants the opportunity to self-identify as indigenous or a member of a minority group.

The committee will be required to keep track of this data for applicants and appointees and will release it to the public.

“This is important because without this information the committee won’t know who’s applying,” Naqvi said in remarks at a Round­table of Diversity Associations event.

“We also know that people want more information about who their judges are and where they come from.”

The province is also planning to have the committee reach out to diverse lawyers through information sessions that will be held through associations and law schools. The sessions will “provide crucial nuts and bolts information” such as resumé and application building, what an interview would be like and what the committee looks for in candidates. Naqvi said he plans to make the same changes to the way justices of the peace are selected next year.

OSC APPOINTS SECURITIES LAWYER COMMISSIONER
The Ontario Securities Commission has appointed Philip Anisman to serve as a commissioner on the regulator’s board of directors.

Anisman, who is a former Osgoode Hall Law School professor, has decades of experience practising securities and corporate law. He has written extensively about securities law and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

TLA RESPONDS TO LSUC REPORT ON RACIALIZED LICENSEES
The Toronto Lawyers Association has voiced its support for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s report on the challenges faced by racialized licensees.

The report — “Working Together for Change: Strategies to Address Issues of Systemic Racism in the Legal Professions” — identified widespread barriers faced by racialized licensees and introduced some new requirements for licensees and firms to promote inclusion.

In a letter to the law society, TLA president Stephen Mullings endorsed the report saying it is important that the regulator ensure law firms work toward eliminating systemic racism and penalize the ones that fail to take the necessary steps.

LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times recently reported that an Ontario court ordered the province’s Ministry of the Attorney General to release a set of draft guidelines for prosecuting HIV non-disclosure cases. Readers were asked if they agree with the decision.

More than 86 per cent said yes, it is important for the Crown to be open and transparent about the way it prosecutes these cases, so people understand the application of the law.

The remaining 14 per cent said no, the Crown does not have to release this information, and the ministry has a right to keep this information internal, for use among employees.


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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.