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Four lawyers joined Norton Rose Canada LLP as partners in Toronto and Ottawa this month.
David McIntyre, a business lawyer with an international practice focused on the mining and natural resource sectors, has joined the firm’s Toronto office.

In his new role, he’ll have an active role in the firm’s activities in China. McIntyre previously worked as deputy general counsel and vice president of marketing at Vale, a large mining company.

Joining him in Toronto is Robert Mason, who will also become a partner. Mason represents issuers and underwriters on corporate finance transactions and mergers-and-acquisition mandates with an emphasis on the mining and natural resource sector.

In addition, Janet Howard, a lawyer with a focus on public and private merger-and-acquisition and corporate finance transactions in the mining and natural resource sectors, becomes a partner in Toronto along with Janet Lee, who specializes in a broad range of corporate and commercial work.

Lastly, Yufei Luo joins the firm’s Ottawa office. She focuses on representing Chinese clients investing in Canada’s resources sector.

“This is a top-flight group that is joining Norton Rose Canada,” said firm managing partner John Coleman. “They will bring significant depth to our mining and Asia practices and be an excellent fit in our Canadian and global platform.

The mining sector and Asian markets are key areas of growth in Canada and globally, and our new members are highly seasoned and experienced in both.”

The Ministry of the Attorney General has announced Justice Paul Bélanger will lead a public inquiry into the deadly collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont.

The mall’s roof collapsed, killing two women and trapping several others, on June 23. Rescue workers had been unable to enter the mall due to the structure’s unstable condition for several days, prompting outrage among residents.

“In leading the inquiry, Justice Bélanger will be asked to look into and report on events surrounding the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall and review the emergency management and response,” said Attorney General John Gerretsen. “He will report back publicly within a year of beginning the inquiry.”

Bélanger currently sits as a per diem judge and was a regional senior judge with the Ontario Court of Justice from 1996 to 2002.

The Ontario Provincial Police have also launched a criminal probe into the mall’s collapse.

The courthouse in Fort Frances, Ont., has been reopened to the public following flooding in sections of its basement last month.

On July 9, all scheduled court hearings and full customer service resumed. However, certain sections of the basement will remain closed due to damage caused by the flooding, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General. In the meantime, the court will reschedule hearings to other sections of the courthouse.

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association is launching a campaign in co-operation with other groups warning about Ontario government plans to slash coverage for catastrophic injuries as part of new cuts to auto insurance benefits.

According to the association, accident victims with a catastrophic injury are currently eligible for medical and rehabilitation benefits of up to $1 million. But the changes the association believes are imminent would mean those denied under the new rules would only receive $50,000 in basic benefits.

“We estimate that the number of cases deemed catastrophic will be reduced by half if these changes are implemented,” said Andrew Murray, president of the association.
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The Law Society of Upper Canada shuffled the deck during Convocation proceedings on June 28.
Thomas Conway assumed his post as treasurer of the law society. He replaces Laurie Pawlitza in the role.

That opened the door for Ross Earnshaw, a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP’s office in Waterloo, Ont., to take a position as bencher to fill the vacancy left by Conway.

The province has appointed two lawyers as judges of the Ontario Court of Justice.
Cynthia Johnston, a deputy Crown attorney in Durham, joins the bench in Oshawa, Ont. Johnston will take the position July 11.

Allan Letourneau, a lawyer in Kingston, Ont., takes a position in that city on July 11.
In addition, Justice Martin Lambert becomes a regional senior judge in the northeast region. He took the position on June 27.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has made a finding of professional misconduct against Toronto lawyer Joseph Gouveia.

According to a June 11 decision, Gouveia abandoned his law practice some time around January or February 2011.

The order notes Gouveia failed to provide his current contact information to the law society, failed to advise an existing client in advance of his administrative suspension that he would be unable to complete her matter, and had the client sign an authorization and direction regarding settlement discussions and the release of funds.

Gouveia went on administrative suspension in September 2010.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has set aside an order by the Superior Court of Justice denying a Bay Street law firm a premium on its account in relation to a client.

The appeal court ruled in DeMichino v. Musialkiewicz that although the court should take the needs of Michele DeMichino, a man who suffered a catastrophic injury in 2003 following a car accident, into account, it should also consider the work of his former lawyers, Gary Neinstein and the law firm Neinstein and Associates LLP, in any settlement agreement.

“It goes without saying that any premium paid to counsel who helped a plaintiff in a tort action achieve a resolution of his or her claim will reduce the funds available to meet the plaintiff’s needs and otherwise compensate him or her for damages sustained,” wrote Justice Gloria Epstein in her decision.

“However, as important as those interests are, they must be balanced against the need to provide fair compensation for lawyers who assist in achieving the result.”

Because of DeMichino’s disability, court approval of any tort settlements in his case was necessary.
Superior Court Justice Lois Roberts ruled last year that Neinstein and the firm weren’t entitled to any premiums because it had transferred money out of DeMichino’s trust account into its general account prior to receiving court approval.

However, the firm didn’t attempt to hide the transfer and subsequently returned the money in full, Epstein noted.

As a result, Neinstein and the firm are to receive $216,000 plus $15,120 for fees and $29,512 for disbursements.

The appeal court has also ordered the respondent’s solicitors to pay more than $12,000 in interest.

Andrew Powers has joined Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Powers previously practised at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. His main areas of practice are securities and capital markets. He joins BLG as a partner.
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Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP has taken on two new partners.

Wendy Berman, formerly a partner with Heenan Blaikie LLP’s litigation group, will practise commercial litigation with an emphasis on securities-related and regulatory matters.

Lara Jackson, also a former lawyer at Heenan Blaikie, also joins Cassels Brock. Her practice will focus on commercial and securities litigation, class actions, and insolvency.

“Cassels Brock has one of the largest and most active public markets practices in Canada,” said Mark Young, Cassels Brock’s managing partner.

“To fully support our issuer and underwriter clients in today's increasingly complex and litigious environment, we saw a strategic need to expand our advocacy capabilities in the area.

Wendy and Lara have outstanding reputations, and their expertise is a perfect complement to our existing platform.”

Four components of the omnibus crime bill will come into force over the next five months.

The first, involving increased penalties for sexual offences against children, will come into force Aug. 9.

The second, dealing with harsher penalties for violent and repeat young offenders, will follow on Oct. 23.

The last two components that target serious drug crimes and eliminate house arrest for serious and violent offences will come into effect Nov. 6 and Nov. 20, respectively.

The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History has awarded two scholars the R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Legal History and the Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History.

York University graduate Patrick Connor received the fellowship on June 26 for his work to further the understanding of the country’s legal history. He’ll use the fellowship to complete the first comprehensive history of crime and criminal justice in Upper Canada.

Edward Cavanagh, who’s entering a doctoral program at the University of Ottawa, received the Peter Oliver Prize for his article about the Hudson’s Bay Co.

“We applaud both award recipients for enriching Canadians’ understanding of the country’s legal history,” said Jim Phillips, editor-in-chief of the Osgoode Society.

“Through their work, this year’s award recipients have helped promote the public’s interest in the history of law and the legal profession.”

The results of last week’s Law Times online poll are in.
Sixty-five per cent of respondents believe the government should appeal a recent assisted suicide ruling.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia struck down parts of Canada’s law banning assisted suicide after ruling they infringed a woman’s right to life, liberty, and the security of person.
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The Law Society of Upper Canada has awarded former governor general Michaëlle Jean an honorary doctor of laws degree.

The LSUC honoured Jean for her work as a journalist, broadcaster, lecturer, social activist, and governor general from 2005 to 2010 during its call to the bar ceremony in Ottawa on June 19.

“Throughout her remarkable career, she has been very active in her support for abused women and children at risk,” said law society Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza.

“Her work with disadvantaged and underprivileged youth carries on through the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.”

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson met with several attorneys general from across the globe in Ottawa on June 15 to discuss a variety of legal topics.  

The discussions centered on topics including cybercrime, legal co-operation, and national security.

New Zealand Attorney General Chris Finlayson, British Attorney General Dominic Grieve, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Jason Clare, Australia’s minister for home affairs and justice, attended the meeting.

“The global nature of crimes such as terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime make co-operation with key allies a critical component in Canada’s response to these evolving issues,” said Nicholson.

“Today’s meeting provides a unique opportunity for our government to share knowledge and information with these key countries to ensure co-ordinated efforts in the fight against terrorism and other transnational crime.”

The results of last week’s Law Times online poll are in.

Almost 82 per cent of respondents indicated they support MPP David Orazietti’s private member’s bill to require presiding justices of the peace to have five years’ experience as a lawyer.

Orazietti, an MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., introduced the bill on May 31.

If passed, the bill would create
a two-tier system that would allow presiding justices of the peace to oversee complex legal matters but would require them to have experience as a lawyer before entering the position.

Edward Greenspan received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Brock University on June 7.

A native of Niagara Falls, Ont., Greenspan, in his address to graduates, noted he could have easily been an alumnus as well.

“Had I finished high school two years later on or if Brock had opened one year earlier, I would have had my degree from Brock in 1967,” said the criminal lawyer, who noted he instead had to wait 45 years to get one.

National aboriginal history month kicked off last week with a legal education program and reception at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The event on June 20 featured a number of panellists who discussed how to build successful business relationships with members of the aboriginal community.

Clint Davis of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business led the first panel during which lawyers Maxime Faille, Tiffany Murray, and Kelly LaRocca discussed how to create an aboriginal corporation.

A second panel featured lawyer Cynthia Westaway as well as Erin Strachan in a discussion on aboriginal co-operatives and consortiums.

Lastly, Dean Jacobs, former chief of the Munsee-Delaware Nation, and Mike Rosen of Tree Canada discussed joint ventures with aboriginal communities.
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York University has honoured Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler with a doctor of laws degree.

Winkler received the honorary degree for his work in the legal profession on June 14 at York’s Keele campus.

In announcing the honour, OsgoodeHall Law School dean Lorne Sossin revealed planning is underway for a new Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution.

The institute will also house a group of Winkler fellows who will give public lectures, collaborate on research papers, and develop pilot projects.

“Chief Justice Winkler has made tremendous contributions to the development of dispute resolution in Ontario,” said Sossin.

“Given Osgoode’s rich tradition of leadership in the field, it is fitting that a leading global institute on dispute resolution should be launched here, and we are honoured that the chief justice has agreed to be its namesake.”

The province has appointed three lawyers to the Ontario Court of Justice bench.

Franco Giamberardino will become a judge at the Ontario Court of Justice in Cornwall, Ont. Giamberardino has been a sole practitioner in Ottawa since 2001.

Joining him at the court is Steven Harrison, a sole practitioner in Peterborough, Ont., who will become a judge in Owen Sound, Ont.

In addition, Carolyn Jones, a family lawyer at Di Cecco Jones, becomes a judge in Toronto.

The three will take their posts on June 20.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has announced the winners of the 2012 Rueter Scargall Bennett LLP prize in legal ethics.

Jeremy Tatum, a law student from the University of Windsor, received the top prize for his essay on using truthful evidence to discredit truthful testimony.

Joining Tatum were Megan Seto, a law student from the University of Ottawa, and Kaitlyn MacDonnell, also of the University of Windsor.

Seto, an online columnist for Canadian Lawyer 4Students, wrote about depression as an institutional, workplace, and professionalism problem, while MacDonnell wrote about ethics among class counsel.

Ontario’s Human Rights Code turned 50 last week.

Celebrations for the anniversary of the code, the first of its kind in Canada, took place June 11 to 15 with a commemorative plaque and a proclamation project across Ontario.

As part of the project, the Ontario Human Rights Commission invited municipalities to declare last week Ontario Human Rights Code Week or June 15 as Ontario Human Rights Code Day.

“Municipalities provide direct services that affect people’s lives in their homes and communities, so they are often the first level of government to see barriers or discrimination,” said commission chief commissioner Barbara Hall.

“By celebrating this anniversary, they all celebrate the important role they have played along this historic road.”

The results of last week’s Law Times online poll are in.

Fifty-nine per cent of respondents agreed with the findings of a Law Society of Upper Canada interim task force report on articling that the majority of lawyers don’t want to see major changes to the current articling system.

The report indicated that the majority among the bar was opposed to significant changes to articling despite the growing shortage of positions.

Ontario’s Human Rights Code turned 50 last week.

Celebrations for the anniversary of the code, the first of its kind in Canada, took place June 11 to 15 with a commemorative plaque and a proclamation project across Ontario.

As part of the project, the Ontario Human Rights Commission invited municipalities to declare last week Ontario Human Rights Code Week or June 15 as Ontario Human Rights Code Day.

“Municipalities provide direct services that affect people’s lives in their homes and communities, so they are often the first level of government to see barriers or discrimination,” said commission chief commissioner Barbara Hall.

“By celebrating this anniversary, they all celebrate the important role they have played along this historic road.”

Proclaimed in 1962, the code initially prohibited discrimination in signs, services, facilities, public accommodation, and employee and trade-union membership because of race, creed, colour, nationality, ancestry, and place of origin.

Subsequently, legislators added more prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as age, disability, and sexual orientation. In addition, it now includes systemic discrimination.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has honoured trial lawyer Brian Greenspan with an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Greenspan, a founding partner at Greenspan Humphrey Lavine in Toronto, received the degree on June 13 for his contributions to the legal profession and commitment to legal education. The LSUC also commended him for his work as a trial and appellate advocate.

Greenspan received the honour from law society Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza during its call-to-the-bar ceremonies last week. Others receiving the honour included Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi.

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP managing partner Peter Griffin is the new president of The Advocates’ Society.

“It’s an honour to lead such an organization that plays such an important role in advancing the practice of advocacy in Ontario and increasingly across Canada,” said Griffin.

“The Advocates’ Society is the premier organization for litigators in Ontario.”
Griffin began his one-year term following the organization’s end-of-term dinner.

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association has named Andrew Murray as its president.

Murray, who was elected on June 8 at the association’s annual general meeting in Toronto, has served on its board of directors since 2006. He has also been a member of its executive committee for the past four years.

Murray will oversee the organization during the 2012-13 year.
“We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with like-minded organizations — both in and outside of Ontario — who share our concerns,” said Murray.

“We will use our collective wisdom as positive agents for change not only for our association members but for the clients we represent.”
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Immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges has received the Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field.

Desloges, who’s among the 60,000 expected recipients of the new award for their contributions to Canada, received the honour at a ceremony in Mississauga, Ont., last month.

The award is part of the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

“Being an immigration and refugee lawyer has never been just a job for me,” said Desloges.
“It is really an honour to be recognized for something that I have always been passionate about.”

The federal government has appointed two lawyers to the bench in a series of changes at the Ontario Superior Court.

Robert Goldstein, a lawyer with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, becomes a Superior Court judge in Toronto. He replaces Justice Duncan Grace, who in turn moves to London, Ont., to take the place of Justice Wolfram Tausendfreund.

The domino effect continues with Tausendfreund moving to Kingston, Ont., to replace Justice Douglas Belch, who became a supernumerary judge in March. Goldstein had been with the federal government since 1990.

In addition, Ian Leach, a partner with Lerners LLP in London, joins the Superior Court bench in Woodstock, Ont.

He replaces Justice Thomas Heeney, who becomes regional senior justice for the southwest region following the departure of Justice Edward Ducharme to the Ontario Court of Appeal on April 5. Leach had been with Lerners since 1991.

An educational charity aimed at addressing Canada’s constitutional democracy launched last week with a conference and reception in Ottawa on June 4.

The charity, Your Canada, Your Constitution, conducts research and hosts educational programs about the history and ongoing development of Canada’s Constitution and governments, according to the organization’s press release.

“I am very happy to announce the launch of Your Canada, Your Constitution and its national education efforts to inform and foster a very public discussion about Canada’s constitutional history and future,” said Carl Turkstra, president of the new organization.

Laurie Pawlitza will wrap up her final duties as treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada this month.

In her final report to Convocation last month, Pawlitza thanked the law society and members of the profession and reflected on her “hectic” but “very exciting and rewarding” term.

“It has been a great honour to serve as treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada,” said Pawlitza.

Thomas Conway, current chairman of the law society’s articling task force, will become treasurer on June 28.    

The results of last week’s Law Times poll are in.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents opposed changing the criteria for judicial appointments to encourage diversity.
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The Superior Court of Justice has quashed an order committing criminal defence lawyer Hal Mattson for trial on a charge of attempting to obstruct justice.

Mattson was accused of trying to influence the testimony of a potential Crown witness prior to a hearing in an attempted murder case in 2010.

The Kitchener, Ont., lawyer was committed for trial following a preliminary hearing that included testimony from Tyson Holmes, the man Mattson allegedly counselled in 2010 during a case that involved five people charged with attempted murder and drug offences.

According to Her Majesty the Queen v. Mattson, Mattson allegedly counselled Holmes to not identify the principal accused in the matter by his street name, Chico.

But Superior Court Justice John Sproat ruled the allegation that Mattson had counselled Holmes would require “impermissible speculation” on the part of a judge.

“Clearly, Mattson knew something about the case against Hinojosa (the man accused along with Holmes of attempted murder in the 2010 case) and others,” wrote Sproat.

“There is, however, nothing in the evidence to suggest he knew about the content of Holmes’ statements to the police and the significance of the name Chico to the prosecution. To draw that inference would require impermissible speculation on the part of the trier of fact.”

Holmes received a one-year sentence for drug trafficking. The attempted murder charges against him were dropped.

Mattson didn’t represent anyone involved in the attempted murder case.
For more, see "Arrested lawyer decries police tactics."

The Superior Court of Justice has sentenced disbarred lawyer Lee Fingold to 14 days in jail for contempt of an order that prevented him from acting as a lawyer or paralegal.

According to Law Society of Upper Canada v. Fingold, Fingold wrote a letter to try to resolve a suit brought by the Toronto-Dominion Bank against his friend, Beau Scott, in 2010.

In the letter, he referred to himself as a paralegal, contrary to an order against him by Justice Cary Boswell that same year that prevented him from acting as a lawyer or paralegal.
“In all the circumstances, I find that a fit and appropriate penalty is incarceration.

A short but sharp jail term is necessary to impress upon Mr. Fingold the seriousness of his contempt and, ultimately, how his contemptuous conduct is further rejected and denounced by the court,” wrote Superior Court Justice Guy DiTomaso.

“Both general and specific deterrence are primary factors in arriving at the appropriate penalty. Court orders are meant to be obeyed.”

Fingold was found guilty of 12 counts under the Provincial Offences Act last year for the unauthorized practice of law. He had been disbarred for misappropriating funds from his real estate practice 14 years prior.


Tax lawyer Bernie Katchen has joined Shibley Righton LLP’s Toronto office as counsel.

Katchen was a member of the firm between 1979 and 1984 before creating tax-related entrepreneurial structures and returning to law in 2001.

“Bernie brings an entrepreneurial background along with extensive legal experience and will be a great addition to our team,” said Sandra Dawe, Shibley Righton’s managing partner.

“While effective tax planning always requires extensive knowledge of the Income Tax Act, Bernie’s experience from the business world will also be invaluable to us.”

The number of cases completed in adult court increased by two per cent in Ontario between 2010 and 2011, a report by Statistics Canada shows.

The report notes the number of cases completed in adult courts declined in British Columbia by seven per cent and by six per cent in Alberta and Quebec. The number of cases in Saskatchewan, meanwhile, increased by five per cent.

Adult criminal courts in Canada completed nearly 403,000 cases between 2010 and 2011.
Of those, 77 per cent involved non-violent offences.

The report notes the courts’ caseload nationally was largely the same as the previous year following three consecutive annual increases.

The Association of Justice Counsel has named Lisa Blais its new president.

Blais, a lawyer in Ottawa for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, won the post by acclamation. She’ll serve in the role for five years.

Others on the association’s executive committee include Ed Bumburs as vice president of finance, Sid Restall as vice president of labour relations, Francis Descôteaux as vice president of communications, and Margaret McCabe as vice president of compensation and working conditions.
Blais succeeds Marco Mendicino in the president’s role.

The Canadian Board Diversity Council has created a diversity database for board of director positions at Canada’s top 500 organizations.

According to a press release by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, senior-level professionals can apply to be in the database before June 22.

The council’s goal is to increase the number of visible minorities, people with disabilities, women, aboriginals, and people from the gay and lesbian community who sit on Canada’s corporate boards.

An information session will take place on June 4 by teleconference.
For more information, see

The number of cases completed by youth courts in Canada between 2010 and 2011 fell in every province except Manitoba, Statistics Canada reports.

The largest decline in the number of cases occurred in Nova Scotia, where they fell by 15 per cent. By comparison, completed cases in Manitoba increased by three per cent from the previous year.
In Canada, youth courts completed roughly 52,900 cases between 2010 and 2011.

Some of the largest declines occurred in cases of fraud, mischief, and uttering threats. By comparison, the number of completed cases increased in the areas of criminal harassment, breach of probation, and failure to appear, according to the report released last week.

Roughly 60 per cent of completed cases in Canada involved older youth aged 16 to 17, the report noted. Males were involved in three-quarters of all cases. About 57 per cent of youth cases resulted in a finding of guilt.
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University of Ottawa law professor Adam Dodek was one of 16 educators to receive the Capital Educators’ Award on May 17.

Dodek received the award for his contribution to public education and his work as a teacher at a gala this month.

Dodek was the only law professor to receive the award. The Ottawa Network for Education hosts the event in collaboration with 10 participating educational institutions.

Ontario had the lowest rate of police-reported family violence in 2010, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

The report released on May 22 shows Ontarians reported 196 incidents of family violence per 100,000 population to police last year.

Prince Edward Island followed closely behind with 234 reported incidents per 100,000 population. By comparison, Saskatchewan and Manitoba reported the highest rates at 644 and 430 incidents respectively.

The report made the rates of police-reported family violence in individual metropolitan areas available for the first time. It found rates were highest in Saint John, N.B., Saskatoon, and Kelowna, B.C., in 2010.

In Ontario, the lowest rates of police-reported family violence were in Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, the Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo area, and Guelph.

The Law Society of Upper Canada honoured nine members of Ontario’s legal profession last week.

This year’s recipients of the Law Society Medal were Margaret Bloodworth, Bruce Carr-Harris, James Caskey, Mary Fox, Vern Krishna, and Doug Lewis.

The Law Society Medal honours lawyers who have excelled in their particular practice area, academic sphere or other professional capacity.

“Throughout their careers, these nine outstanding individuals have continued to enrich their profession, as well as their communities,” said LSUC Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza.

“They serve as true role models for the province’s lawyers and paralegals and we are extremely pleased to honour them with the law society’s highest awards of recognition.”

Keith Jobbitt received this year’s Lincoln Alexander Award for his commitment to the public and the legal community.

The Laura Legge Award went to Mary Weaver for her work as a woman in the legal profession.

In addition, Brian Lawrie received the Distinguished Paralegal Award for his professional achievements and commitment to the practice of law.

The nine received their awards during a reception at Osgoode Hall in Toronto on May 23.

The federal government has appointed Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP strategic adviser Lawrence Cannon as Canada’s ambassador to France.

Cannon took office on May 16 following the inauguration of French President François Hollande.
Cannon, who served as minister of foreign affairs in the past, joined Gowlings last year.

Dan Caldarone has left the in-house department of Cara Operations Ltd. to join The Second Cup Ltd.

Caldarone will serve as general counsel, corporate secretary, and vice president of human resources in his new role at The Second Cup.

“At Second Cup, there is a senior management team of seven and the general counsel is one of the people that make up the senior management team, so for me it’s not only a step up into a general counsel role but also a step into the executive management team,” Caldarone told Legal Feeds last week.
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Nesathurai & Luk LLP has merged with Toronto law firm Devry Smith Frank LLP.

Nesathurai & Luk is a cross-border boutique law firm that focuses on business law, tax litigation, and Canadian and U.S. matters.

“In this ever more complex age of transnational businesses, it is important to provide small- to medium-size enterprises and individuals transacting business both domestically and internationally with reliable tax, immigration, business, and litigation services.

By merging with Devry Smith Frank LLP, Nesathurai & Luk LLP will be able to offer a greater breadth of legal services to both firms’ ever growing client base,” said Hari Nesathurai, a founder and principal of Nesathurai & Luk.

Following the merger, the firm will continue under Devry Frank Smith name.

The LawPRO board of directors has announced the appointment of Susan McGrath as its new chairwoman.
McGrath will replace former chairman Ian Croft, who will continue as the board’s vice-chairman.

McGrath became a Law Society of Upper Canada bencher in 2007 and has served on several law society committees, including access to justice and government relations.

The Association of French Speaking Jurists of Ontario will host its annual conference in Collingwood, Ont., next month.

The event, to take place June 21-23, will feature training and networking opportunities. Topics of the conference will include harassment and violence in the workplace as well as administrative law.
For more information, see

LawPRO has combined its claims prevention and stakeholder relations’ programs into one department.

LawPRO vice president Dan Pinnington will run the department. It will also include Ray Leclair, LawPRO’s vice president of public affairs.

Pinnington, who has served as director of practicePRO for the past 11 years, will oversee LawPRO’s risk-management efforts and its stakeholder relations portfolio in his new role.

In addition, Leclair will be responsible for LawPRO’s government relations and other outreach activities.

The ADR Institute of Ontario Inc. has created a new training course to help alternative dispute resolution professionals resolve ethical dilemmas during the course of their work.

“As mediation becomes more mainstream, it is important that we raise the standards of the profession,” says Joyce Young, president of the ADR Institute of Ontario.

“The course is intended to make mediators and arbitrators think about what they would do if faced with an ethical dilemma. Mediation is done out of the public eye, so it’s very important that we set the right standards to ensure the process is ethical.”

Elaine Newman, a mediator and arbitrator in Toronto, said the course will also provide participants with a roadmap of potential ethical dilemmas.  

“The objective of ethics training is to provide the practical tools necessary to assist the reflective mediator to increase his or her awareness of the issues in a case,” said Newman.

“The code of ethics governing members of ADRIO will be strengthened when paired with focused, interactive training of mediators through this course.”

The ethical issues and dilemmas in mediation and ADR course is available online. For more information, see

An Oakville, Ont., lawyer has been targeted in a computer hacking scam.

According to practicePRO, someone who identified himself as Mason Saunders contacted a law firm on the morning of May 11 and asked to speak directly to the lawyer.

The caller, who appeared to be calling from a Florida area code, then told the lawyer he had been asked to create a web site for the law firm. He noted that due to privacy issues, the web site could only be accessed by creating identification numbers for the lawyer.

According to practicePRO, this was a ploy to have the lawyer access an external web site that would download malware. The malware would then give the scammer access to the law firm’s information.

Lawyers Feed the Hungry will hold its annual Bugsy & Ken Charity Golf Tournament next month.

The event on June 13 will raise money for the Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry program and Camp Oochigeas, a camp for kids with cancer.

For more information, see

Three law students are on the list of recipients of the Trudeau Foundation Scholarship.

The three are Kerri Froc of Queen’s University, Lisa Kerr of New York University, and Michael Pal of the University of Toronto.

Every year the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation presents the doctoral award to 15 students. It supports students focused on researching and sharing innovative ideas aimed at solving issues of importance to Canadians.

“This group of students demonstrates a remarkable engagement and an immense curiosity for the current state of the world,” said foundation president P.G. Forest. “The Trudeau scholarship will enable them to act upon their lively interest.”
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The Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ontario Human Rights Commission have reached a settlement that will require police in the nation’s capital to begin collecting race-based data on traffic stops.

The settlement requires Ottawa police to begin collecting data for a minimum of two years. At the end of that two-year period, Ottawa police will share the information with the commission.

The commission will study the data and make recommendations to Ottawa police if necessary.
“This is another exciting step forward in our work with Ontario’s police services and is truly groundbreaking,” said Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the commission.

“Data collection allows organizations to measure what they do and then manage appropriately. People in every community need to feel confident in their police services. And collecting data can help police operate with transparency so that they can maintain trust in the communities they serve.”

The settlement stems from a human rights complaint launched by Ottawa resident Chad Aiken. Officers pulled him over in 2005 while he was driving his mother’s Mercedes-Benz. Aiken alleged they stopped him because of his race.


Lawyers are getting ready to take to the stage at the Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs next month.

This year’s instalment of the The Lawyer Show takes place June 7-9. It will feature 35 Toronto-area lawyers and legal professionals performing William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Tickets are $55 and include a partial tax receipt. For more information, see

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has named George Dolhai deputy director of public prosecutions.

Dolhai had been acting deputy director of public prosecutions since December 2006. He began working with the Department of Justice in 1992 after an earlier posting with McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
Nicholson appointed Dolhai to the post last week.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has named Toronto paralegal Brian Lawrie the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Paralegal Award.

The award recognizes paralegals who have contributed to the development of the profession, have a history of community service, and excel professionally.

Lawrie will receive the award on May 23 along with other honourees of the Law Society Medal, Laura Legge Award, and Lincoln Alexander Award.

The University of Toronto Faculty of Law has created a free LSAT preparation course for low-income people.

The course, which runs once a week from June to October, includes workshops on the admission process and offers a breakdown of what law students can expect from their degree.

“Law schools need to be more sensitive to certain demographics; we need to proactively identify these groups and find out why they are not applying to law school,” said Alexis Archbold, assistant dean of students at the faculty.

“We know that students who don’t have familial support or any familiarity with second-degree programs find the application process daunting. That’s why some don’t bother applying or don’t seem to do so successfully.”

The program is part of the school’s efforts to level the playing field, says Archbold.
For more information, see
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The Ontario Court of Justice is implementing new criminal rules as of July 1.

“The Ontario Court of Justice hears the vast majority of all criminal matters in Ontario,” said Ontario Court Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo.

“The court constantly looks for ways to be more responsive to the needs of our modern society and to increase accessibility and demystify the criminal justice process.

These new criminal rules will clarify the court’s criminal procedures and provide clear, simple, consistent, and relevant direction to everyone involved in criminal proceedings in our court across the province.”

The existing rules date back to 1997. There are a total of five new rules and three new forms. For more details on the new rules, see


LawTechCamp will take place at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law this week.

The event on May 12 will include several speakers who will discuss topics ranging from digital legacy to knowledge management in law firms and the role of technology in the legal workforce.

For more information, see

Norton Rose Canada LLP chairman Norman Steinberg is the new group chairman of the Norton Rose Group.

Steinberg's new role is part of the global management of the Norton Rose Group.
“Having a Canadian group chairman is a reflection of the globalization of the practice.

With his significant management and client relationship experience, Norman is a natural choice for this position,” said Peter Martyr, the Norton Rose Group’s group chief executive.

“He will continue to build our international practice as his predecessor, Stephen Parish, did. I would like to thank Stephen, who has significantly contributed to our success in becoming a truly international legal practice.”

Steinberg will continue in his current role with Norton Rose Canada.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has suspended Aurora, Ont., lawyer David Peirce for acting in a conflict of interest and failing to account for money held in trust.

According to the law society’s disposition, the lawyer acted for a client on his 1998 and 1999 investments in a company that Peirce had an interest in and failed to make sure his client’s interests were protected through adequate disclosure and independent legal representation.

Peirce also personally guaranteed a loan and couldn’t account for $6,500 of his client’s money that was being held in trust, a hearing panel found.

The LSUC has suspended Peirce for four months. He must also pay $8,000 to complainant V.D. and $20,000 in costs to the law society.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is publicly backing MP Parm Gill’s proposed criminal organization recruitment act.

The private member’s bill, which would create a new indictable Criminal Code offence prohibiting recruiting or encouraging a person to join a criminal organization, would come with a maximum sentence of five years in jail and carry a mandatory minimum penalty of six months if the person recruited is less than 18 years old.

“Our government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe, which is why our government will vote in support of this private member’s bill,” said Nicholson.

“I applaud Parm Gill for his efforts to help protect youth from the threat posed by organized crime groups.”

The bill follows a number of reforms to the criminal justice system, including the hotly contested Safe Streets and Communities Act and the Tackling Violent Crime Act.
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Legal Aid Ontario is launching consultations this week on discretion requests for additional compensation above the regular hourly tariff.

From May 1-25, LAO will seek feedback from criminal, family, and refugee lawyers on the process for discretion requests. They apply in exceptional circumstances involving vulnerable clients or complex cases.

The goal, LAO noted, is to make the process clearer for lawyers and, ultimately, streamline the system.

LAO received about 15,000 requests for discretion a year. Just under 10 per cent of certificates involve discretion payments.

LAO will provide dates and locations for the consultations on its web site at this week.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson plans to change the Criminal Code in order to make victim surcharges mandatory for all offenders.

“Our government is delivering on our promise to double the victim surcharge and make it mandatory in every case, without exception,” said Nicholson.

“This legislation will ensure that victim support services receive the funding that they require and deserve.”

Nicholson made the announcement April 24. If passed, the act would double the victim surcharge that offenders must pay and automatically apply it in all cases.

Under the proposed act, victim surcharges would amount to 30 per cent of any fine imposed or $100 for summary convictions without a fine. It would also impose a $200 surcharge for conviction on an indictable offence without a fine.

Currently, offenders who can prove undue hardship may request a waiver of the victim surcharge under the Criminal Code. The changes would eliminate that option.

“Canadians deserve a justice system that sentences offenders in a way that reflects the severity of their crime and respects victims of crime,” said Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

“By doubling the victim surcharge and ensuring that it cannot be waived, our government is sending a signal that offenders must pay for the harm they cause to victims.”

The Canada’s Top 100 Employers project of Mediacorp Canada Inc. has named Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP one of the country’s greenest employers for 2012.

“It is a great honour to be recognized as one of Canada’s greenest employers,” said John Rider, FMC’s chief client officer. “We are very proud of everyone at our firm who is involved in our environmental initiatives.”

FMC was the only law firm in Ontario to receive the honour this year. The project recognized the firm for its environmental efforts, success in reducing its environmental footprint, and employee involvement.

“In addition to FMC’s corporate environmental policies, our green committee has worked to establish grassroots initiatives that contribute to the sustainability of the firm’s offices across Canada,”

said Karen Tuschak, FMC’s director of professional development and practice support and a member of the Toronto green committee.

“The committee meets frequently to determine priorities in sustainability and works to educate and motivate all firm members to move toward green practices.”

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has found legislation requiring people to have surgery before they can change the sex designation on their birth
registration to be discriminatory.

Writing in XY v. Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, HRTO vice chairwoman Sheri Price found the requirement reinforces the stereotype that transgendered persons must have surgery in order to live in their felt gender and adds to the disadvantage and stigma they feel.

“Transgender people’s rights are human rights,” said Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which intervened in the case. “This decision is a welcome step forward in recognizing and promoting the dignity and equality of trans people.”

Price’s order gives the government 180 days to revise the criteria for changing the sex designation on a birth registration.

“My client and I are delighted at the careful consideration the tribunal gave to both the lived reality of transpeople’s lives and the legal arguments with respect to the Vital Statistics Act’s discriminatory impact on that community,” said Susan Ursel, counsel for XY.

“We need to do so much more to build our understanding of this community’s issues and how we can better respond to their legitimate call for self-actualization without oppressive treatment by others. This decision is an important step along that journey to

Miller Thomson LLP has signed an affiliation agreement with French business law firm FIDAL in a bid to secure a stronger foothold in Europe.  

“This affiliation agreement is the latest in a series of strategic steps designed to extend and deepen Miller Thomson’s offering and reach,” said Gerald Courage, chairman of Miller Thomson.

“France is a major investor in Canada and our relationship with FIDAL gives us a substantial foothold in Europe.”

“This alliance reflects our firm’s desire to support the global activities of our clients by providing access to the legal expertise of top-flight multidisciplinary and independent local firms,” said Jean Gousset, chairman of FIDAL’s executive board.

“Miller Thomson and FIDAL share the same values and high standard of service quality, making our affiliation a natural development.”

For more, see "Victim surcharges needed change."
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A Law Society of Upper Canada panel has determined disbarred Thorold, Ont., lawyer Dennis Gross isn’t of good character and has dismissed his application to practise once again.

Gross’ licence was revoked more than 10 years ago following his conviction on five counts of defrauding various members of the public and was disbarred for misappropriating funds from multiple clients.

During his hearing before the LSUC panel last year, Gross admitted to taking the home he and his mother co-owned and live in through a series of mortgage transactions.

He used the money he took to feed the expensive tastes of his younger girlfriend, the hearing panel heard.

“With great respect to Mr. Gross and his very helpful presentation to the panel, and while recognizing the strides he has made in leaving behind the serious misconduct he committed more than a decade ago, we have concluded for the reasons outlined above that he has not satisfied this panel of his good character as of the time of this proceeding,” a three-member hearing panel wrote in the reasons for its decision.

The panel found Gross’ efforts at rehabilitation weren’t strong enough to warrant reinstatement.

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers will hold its gala at the Hart House Great Hall in Toronto on May 8 to celebrate the achievements of the Asian-Canadian legal community.

“It is the biggest night for the Asian legal community,” said Julia Shin Doi, general counsel at Ryerson University and FACL president.

“We look forward to celebrating FACL’s fifth anniversary and recognizing the many achievements of Asian-Canadian lawyers.”
For more information, see

The provincial government named a new judge to the Ontario Court of Justice last week.

Alain Perron will become the court’s newest judge on April 25 and will hold a bilingual position in Parry Sound, Ont.

Perron was called to the bar in 1994 and began serving as a deputy judge in the Small Claims Court in 2004.

He also worked as managing partner at Wallace Carr Klein & Trenker. During his time at the firm, he focused on criminal and family law.

Perron has also acted as a standing federal Crown for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and has been a part-time prosecutor for the Ministry of Transportation in the district of Nipissing.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced several changes to the temporary foreign worker category last week as part of a series of sweeping reforms to Canada’s immigration policy.

Under the changes, temporary foreign workers applying for permanent residence will see their work experience requirements significantly reduced.

Currently, temporary foreign workers seeking status under the Canadian experience class must have 24 months of full-time work experience within the last 36 months of their application for permanent residence.

Under the proposed changes, that requirement would shrink to 12 months of experience.
“Thousands of highly skilled foreign nationals are working successfully in Canada on a temporary basis,” said Kenney.

“Expediting their transition to permanent residence would help Canada retain bright and talented people who already have Canadian work experience and the ability to communicate in English or French. In many cases, they already have a job lined up. Such newcomers are set for

Last year, about 6,000 people immigrated to Canada under the Canadian experience class, an increase of more than 50 per cent from 2010.

This year, the government expects 7,000 permanent residents to come in through that category.

In-house counsel feel they’re highly respected and valued but would like to devote more time to big-picture ideas, a survey by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP revealed last week.

According to the survey, almost 97 per cent of in-house counsel in Canada were likely to recommend corporate practice as a career path to friends or colleagues.

Many cited a better work-life balance.
Similarly, 93 per cent of in-house counsel surveyed reported feeling their organizations value their work.

The 2012 In-House Counsel Barometer Survey focused on the attitudes and opinions of Canadian corporate counsel throughout Canada.

“The survey provides a unique and valuable window into the in-house counsel experience in this country,” said CCCA chairman Geoff Creighton.

“It is noteworthy that respondents ranked the most important challenge facing in-house counsel as ‘the day-to-day workload leaves little time for big-picture thinking or the development of initiatives which would benefit the organization as a whole.’

The survey is of immense importance for CCCA in developing products and services that assist our members with keeping the ‘big picture’ in mind, while they address their day-to-day responsibilities.”

The CCCA released the survey results during its spring conference last week in Montreal.

A Call to Action Canada will host its fourth annual conference on May 8 at the Sheraton Hotel on Queen Street West in Toronto.

Conference speakers include Joseph West, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and former prime minister Paul Martin.

For more information, see

Halifax general counsel Robert Patzelt is the recipient of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s 2012 Robert V.A. Jones Award.

“Robert Patzelt has been a member of the Canadian Bar Association since his first week of law school, and a member of the CCCA since its founding in 1988, the same year he took on his first job as in-house counsel,” said Geoff Creighton, CCCA chairman.

“Over the past decades, Robert has volunteered in a multitude of capacities within the CBA and CCCA — including as head of CCCA — always giving 100 per cent for the benefit of the organization and the in-house counsel community.

It is particularly fitting that Robert is awarded the Robert V.A. Jones Award since, in his early years as chair of the corporate counsel chapter in Nova Scotia, he worked closely with (Robert) Bob Jones.”
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Alan Sweatman, founding member of Winnipeg law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, has died at the age of 91.

Sweatman joined Thompson Dorfman Sweatman in the 1970s after returning from naval service in 1945 and developing a successful business practice in Manitoba.

During his time at the firm, Sweatman served on the boards of several national corporations and developed a large commercial law practice.

He was known for his intelligent and hardworking approach and eternal curiosity that Thompson Dorfman Sweatman partner James Ripley says was the key to his success as a lawyer.

“His principles set him apart,” says Ripley. “He had very high principles and was totally fearless when it came to defending something that he knew in his heart was right.

But he didn’t do it in a sanctimonious way. He was a card-on-the-tables type of guy who had a remarkable ability to peer into the future.”

Sweatman also believed lawyers should develop a broad view of the world and understand things beyond the practice of law, Ripley adds.

“He was a very accomplished skier and sailor and a great reader. Even very close to the time of his death, he was reading everything from bestselling novels to Homer. He even skied until he was 80. Alan really influenced a lot of lawyers at our firm over the years.”

Sweatman, a Winnipeg native, retired from Thompson Dorfman Sweatman in the 1990s.
A funeral service will take place April 16 at 1 p.m. at the Westminster United Church in Winnipeg.

Miller Thomson LLP, Ryerson University, the Ryerson Students’ Union, and Pro Bono Law Ontario are teaming up to offer pro bono legal services to students.

The services will be available to full- and part-time students through a monthly legal clinic and will focus on business startups, employment law, personal tax, and consumer issues.

Lawyers from Miller Thomson will also oversee teams of Ryerson commerce students who will provide advice to student entrepreneurs.

“Many students face uncertainties surrounding the legal implications of money, taxes, and employment,” said Gerald Courage, chairman of Miller Thomson.

“This effort will provide important guidance for students working hard to keep their studies on track and supports young entrepreneurs. Offering legal services to students on a pro bono basis is part of our overall effort to support this country’s future business and civic leaders.”

The clinics take place on the third Thursday of each month.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson made two appointments to the Ontario Court of Appeal last week.

Superior Court Justice Edward Ducharme, regional senior judge for the southwest region, and Justice Sarah Pepall are joining the appeal court bench.

Ducharme replaces Justice Michael Moldaver, while Pepall takes the spot of Justice Andromache Karakatsanis. Moldaver and Karakatsanis moved to the Supreme Court of Canada last year.

Other appointments include Justice James Turnbull, who becomes regional senior judge for the Superior Court’s central south region as of April 30. He replaces Justice Stephen Glithero, who now becomes a puisne judge of the Superior Court in Simcoe, Ont.

Lastly, Siskinds LLP lawyer Denise Korpan joins the Superior Court’s family division in London, Ont. She replaces Justice M.E. Marshman, who became a supernumerary judge last year.

York University won’t proceed with plans to establish a program in international law through a partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

York vice president Patrick Monahan made the announcement in light of the university’s conclusion that it couldn’t establish the program without the “necessary support” of faculty.

Over the past several months, York and CIGI worked on a partnership agreement to set up a graduate program in international law along with 10 chairs and funding for 20 students.

Several members of the university’s faculty had spoken out against the corporate partnership due to concerns over the impact on academic freedom.

“We know for this initiative to be successful, however, it required broad support from the university, including Osgoode Hall Law School,” said Monahan.

“The outcome of the Osgoode faculty council meeting today indicates that the necessary support is not present and, accordingly, we cannot proceed.”

The Canadian Bar Association is calling for nominees for its John Tait Award of Excellence.

The award recognizes the accomplishments of a public-sector lawyer or law office that has made significant contributions to social justice and community affairs.

The deadline for nominations is April 30. For more information, see

The annual real estate law summit takes place this week at the University of Toronto.

The two-day program will cover issues related to small developers, business owners, buyers and sellers of residential and recreational property, mortgage lenders, and borrowers.
For more information, see
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One of the founders of Bereskin & Parr LLP, Richard Parr, died last week following a battle with Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses he lived with for almost 10 years.

“He continued to work hard until the end,” the intellectual property firm noted on its web site last week. Parr died on April 2.

“For us, Rick’s wisdom and moral character have shaped our firm in innumerable ways,” the firm noted. “His values live on and are his enduring legacy.

We are indeed privileged to have had him as a partner, mentor, and friend for over 45 years.”

The Sault Ste. Marie courthouse has resumed all proceedings after a fire caused significant damage to the building last year.

The fire broke out in the east end of the courthouse’s basement last August in offices used by the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police, according to a press release by city police Sgt. Lisa Kenopic. Authorities, who have yet to determine the cause of the fire, classified it as suspicious at the time.

The courthouse has undergone seven months of renovations and repairs since then, with court cases moved to several downtown locations in the interim. Court services officially resumed on April 2.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has revoked Windsor, Ont., real estate lawyer Kevin Fanick’s licence after the regulatory body found he had engaged in professional misconduct related to a conviction for tax offences last year.

Last June, Fanick pleaded guilty to evading more than $23,000 in taxes. The LSUC had indefinitely suspended Fanick’s licence since 2011.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP     will host a fundraiser for the Shakespearience Performing Arts this month.

The event on April 23 will benefit the group’s literacy programs for at-risk kids and will feature actors Colm Feore, Jennifer Dale, and Ted Dykstra, members of the cast of the musical War Horse, a live auction, and artistic-themed prizes.
For more details, see

Organizers hoping for strong participation in this month’s bowling fundraiser for the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program got their wish.

The fourth annual law firm bowling challenge raised $140,000 this year, surpassing its original goal of $125,000.

“This event remains an important component of the overall fundraising efforts of the program because it brings Toronto lawyers together in the spirit of charity, fun, and renewal of our sense of community and commitment to helping this city’s most vulnerable,” said Joseph Neuberger, co-chairman of the event.

The Ontario Bar Association has announced the winners of its 2012 awards.
Former Superior Court chief justice Patrick LeSage of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP will receive the President Award for his contribution to the advancement of justice in Ontario and elsewhere.

The Linda Adlam Manning Award goes to Mark Berlin for his volunteer activities with the OBA.
In addition, the OBA is honouring Patricia DeGuire, J. Alex Langford, J. André Marin, and Jamie Trimble with its Award for Distinguished Service.

The OBA will honour the recipients at its awards gala on April 26 at the OBA Conference Centre.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have laid charges against a Windsor, Ont., lawyer after she allegedly counselled individuals to misrepresent themselves to the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Sandra Zaher and her assistant Diana Al-Masalkhi are facing one count of counselling misrepresentation, one count of misrepresentation, and one count of fabricating evidence.

“The RCMP is committed to pursue charges against those responsible for the fraudulent abuse of Canada’s immigration system,” said Sgt. Steven Richardson of the RCMP’s Windsor Detachment.

“We want to ensure that the integrity of our national programs are maintained.”
Zaher and Al-Masalkhi will appear in court on April 26 in Windsor.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP has reached a settlement for $1.25 billion on behalf of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. following a dispute over its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As part of the deal, the parties agreed to settle all outstanding disputes related to three mining properties in the country on April 3.

“This outcome demonstrates Fasken Martineau’s ability to advance a multidisciplinary and international approach to meet the client's needs,” said John Turner, leader of Faskens’ global mining practice group.

The Law Society of Upper Canada will host a program on employment law and social media this month as part of its 2012 special lectures series.

The program will feature practical advice on how to advise clients on matters related to social media and the workplace. It takes place April 25 and 26 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Speakers include Adrian Ott, CEO and founder of Exponential Edge Inc., and lawyer, blogger, and author Nicole Black.
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The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association will hold two back-to-back conferences in Montreal this month.

The 2012 CCCA World Summit will take place April 13-15 just prior to the CCCA national spring conference on April 15-17.

Speakers will include author Richard Susskind and lawyer Lucien Bouchard on April 15. Ernst & Young Global leader and partner Trevor Faure will speak on the same day.

In addition, Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu will speak on April 16.

Each conference will involve plenaries and concurrent sessions on a range of topics, including discussions about what the global economic crisis means for business in the European Union.

The event will also feature the announcement of the recipient of the Robert V.A. Jones Award for excellence in corporate counsel service.

Both conferences will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Montreal.

Aird & Berlis LLP has donated one million Aeroplan miles to the Air Canada Foundation.

The new foundation, launched Feb. 29, will use the firm’s donation to provide flights to children and their parents who need medical care at pediatric hospitals such as the Hospital for Sick Children.

“We are grateful to Aird & Berlis LLP for their generous donation of one million Aeroplan miles to the newly launched Air Canada Foundation,” said Priscille Leblanc of the Air Canada Foundation.

“These miles will directly benefit the hospital transportation program which uses donated Aeroplan miles to transport ill children and a parent to centres offering medical treatment unavailable in their community.”

The program uses Aeroplan miles to send people to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada.
“At A&B, we are committed to making a difference in the communities in which we live and do business,” said David Malach, a partner and member of the firm’s executive committee.

“Our lawyers and staff are passionate about being able to help those who are less fortunate, particularly children who are in need. We are delighted to have the opportunity, thanks to Aeroplan and the Air Canada Foundation, to donate our Aeroplan miles and know that they are being used for such a worthy cause.”

The federal government introduced amendments to the Criminal Code targeting nuclear terrorism last week.

The changes would create a number of new offences, including possessing or trafficking nuclear or radioactive materials or devices; committing an act against a nuclear facility with the intent to compel someone to do or refrain from doing something; committing an indictable offence to obtain access or control of a facility; and the threat to commit those offences.

“This bill would improve our existing approach to counterterrorism by punishing those who aspire to commit acts of nuclear terrorism,” said Sen. Raynell Andreychuk, who introduced the amendments on behalf of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

The Ontario government has announced that former Federal Court of Appeal justice Allen Linden and professor Kent Roach are the recipients of the David Walter Mundell Medal.

Former attorney general Ian Scott created the award in 1986 to honour exceptional contributions to legal writing. The attorney general awards the medal on the recommendation of a selection committee led by Chief Justice Warren Winkler.

In announcing the honour, the government noted Linden’s many books and articles, including Canadian Tort Law. It also noted Roach’s work as a “prolific author.” His most recent book examined counterterrorism efforts around the world.

“Each exemplifies the depth of understanding, lurid analytical thinking, and ability to convey sophisticated concepts simply, that are the hallmarks of the award,” Attorney General John Gerretsen said of the two recipients.
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The Lawyers International Food Network will host a live musical variety show to raise awareness of and funding for child poverty in Africa.

The show will take place at the Lula Lounge in Toronto on May 24.
Featured bands will include the Tokyo Giants, The One Shot Band, Mo Vista, Notorious Road, and Quammie aka Greybeard.

Tickets are $100 with a tax contribution made to either World Vision or the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  

Founded in 2010 by Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP partner Malcolm MacKillop and Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP litigator Jonathan Lisus, the network aims to address poverty among children in sub-Saharan Africa by raising awareness and funds among fellow lawyers and judges.

Osgoode Hall Law School professor Stephanie Ben-Ishai has been named the OHLS LCO scholar in residence for 2012-13.

Ben-Ishai will conduct research related to her work on the debt-relief industry in Ontario and will focus on debt regulation and non-profit credit counselling organizations.

Ben-Ishai will also conduct consultations and organize a symposium during her research and hopes to produce background and final papers with law reform proposals.

The Ontario Bar Association has created a task force on justice sector effectiveness and is seeking input from the bar.

The task force will focus on cutting spending and increasing revenues in the province’s justice sector and will provide advice to the government on potential savings.

The task force will conclude with a report to Ontario’s attorney general later this year that will detail the OBA’s and participants’ ideas.

Members of the bar will have the option of being on the list of report participants if the task force uses their idea.

To submit an idea, e-mail with a description of a cost-saving idea and an explanation of how it will save the province money. For more information, see

Legal Aid Ontario has extended the expiry time for its online certificates.
Starting March 18, LAO is extending the certificate expiry period to 180 days from 90 days from the date of issuance.

After 180 days have passed, unacknowledged certificates will automatically expire and a notice will be sent to the client. The case will be closed the following day.

The Law Society of Upper Canada is asking paralegals, paralegal students, and representatives of paralegal organizations and associations to join its equity advisory group.

The group provides advice to the law society on equity issues and is responsible for identifying, reviewing, and reporting on diversity matters in the legal profession.

The law society is seeking applicants with a background in issues related to, among others, aboriginals, racialized communities, and women.

The group meets each month in person or by teleconference.
For more information, contact the LSUC’s equity initiatives department.

The Ontario Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association are holding a conference in two countries this week.

The event will take place on March 28 in Toronto and March 29 in Buffalo. The agenda includes programs related to mergers and acquisitions, immigration, employment law, child support, estate planning, tax law, health-care data privacy, and alternative dispute resolution.

Speakers include New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler during a plenary session on professionalism and access to justice on Wednesday afternoon in Toronto.

For more information, see
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Nearly two in five lawyers plan to hire full-time legal staff during the second quarter of 2012, a quarterly Robert Half Legal survey shows.

That translates to a 37-per-cent net increase in hiring activity compared to the first quarter of this year.

The most in-demand positions were lawyers, legal secretaries, and law clerks.
Of the lawyers interviewed for the survey, half of them expect no change in staff levels over the next three months, while one per cent of them anticipate reductions.

More than three in four lawyers also said it was a challenge to find skilled legal professionals.
“Hiring is expected to remain active this quarter with many law firms adding full-time positions to pursue business development opportunities and bolster growth,” said John Ohnjec, division director of Robert Half Legal in Canada.

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking a suspended Ontario lawyer in connection to an alleged multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted William Wise last month along with Jacquline Hoegel, 55, for conspiracy and mail and wire fraud following allegations the pair had operated an extensive Ponzi scheme in the United States and Canada, the Toronto Star reported.

U.S. authorities allege that Wise, 62, and Hoegel marketed and sold more than $126.5 million in fraudulent certificates of deposit to nearly 1,200 people in Canada and the United States, according to the Star. None of the allegations have been proven.

According to an agreed statement of facts filed with the Law Society of Upper Canada in November 2007, Wise hasn’t been in Canada since 2006 and currently lives in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Wise has also been known to work in Raleigh, S.C., where he operated a bank he allegedly used to defraud investors.

The law society received a complaint from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in 2006 that alleged that Wise’s financial group was fictitious or unlicensed. The LSUC conducted an investigation into Wise shortly thereafter.

During the investigation, the law society requested several documents and records linked to Wise’s financial group. But according to the agreed statement of facts, Wise refused to produce the records.

Wise argued that because he was no longer practising law, held no money in trust, wasn’t properly advised of the allegations against him, and had no trust accounts, the law society’s requests were irrelevant to the allegations against him and he couldn’t reasonably produce the documents. He also denied any wrongdoing.

“Continuing your investigation in the face of Mr. Wise’s clear denials of wrongdoing will put him in the impossible position of having to submit to an open-ended investigation based on vague allegations to preserve his membership in the law society while at the same time being entitled to preserve his rights in the face of a threat of criminal prosecution,” Wise argued.

The law society suspended Wise in July 2008 for a period of one month and indefinitely thereafter until he co-operated with its investigation. That suspension is still in effect.

Wise argued he had provided materials within his control, had answered the law society’s request for documents to the best of his knowledge, would submit to written interrogation, and had co-operated with the investigation.

Wise unsuccessfully appealed the LSUC suspension in 2009.
A year later, the law society also issued an interlocutory suspension against Wise after it found there was reasonable suspicion to believe he was a risk to the public.

“In 2010, after additional information came to our attention, in particular with respect to the proceedings initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the law society sought and obtained an interlocutory suspension to protect the public,” says LSUC spokeswoman Susan Tonkin.

Wise is currently at large with a warrant out for his arrest. Hoegel, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty and is out on a bond.

Norton Rose Canada has appointed four new partners at its Toronto office.

Kevin Ackhurst practises in the areas of antitrust, competition, regulatory law, business ethics, and anti-corruption.  

Suzana Lobo, meanwhile, handles asset-based lending, corporate and commercial matters, and debt financing.

Marc Kestenberg works in the areas of administrative and public law; arbitration and alternative dispute resolution; business ethics and anti-corruption; class actions; litigation; and product liability.

In addition, Jennifer Teskey focuses on administrative and public law, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution; class actions; energy; litigation; and product liability.

In Ottawa, Wayne Yan becomes counsel in the areas of intellectual property law, mining and resources, and patents.

“It’s exciting to welcome our new partners to Norton Rose Canada. They add depth to many of our key practice areas and demonstrate our new reach as a truly global law firm in Canada,” said John Coleman, managing partner of Norton Rose Canada.

“They are leaders who will continue to help our clients grow domestically and around the world through our commitment to client service excellence. We are very proud to welcome them to the partnership.”

Besides the Ontario appointments, the firm also named four new partners in Calgary; one in Caracas; and two in Montreal.

Statistics Canada has released a study that looks at the number of older Canadians victimized by crimes in 2009.

The study found two per cent of people aged 55 or older were the victim of a violent crime in 2009. The study also found older Canadians reported the lowest rate of violent victimization. They reported at about one-tenth the rate of those aged 15 to 24.

Older Canadians often experienced the same type of victimization as their younger counterparts but reported the incidents more often to police, the report noted.

The rate of household victimization for older Canadians was also less than half of the rate reported by younger households. At the same time, theft of household property was the most common type of non-violent crime reported by both younger and older Canadians.

Still, the study found 91 per cent of older Canadians said they felt satisfied with their personal safety from crime. That rate fell to 83 per cent among older Canadians who had been a victim of violent crime during the past year.
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