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This Week's Issue

Actions against Cho proliferate

Yamri Taddese - Monday, September 1, 2014

Property buyers who are out $15 million in deposit money are eyeing the Law Society of Upper Canada’s compensation fund as the civil lawsuits proliferate amid lawyer Meerai Cho’s arrest on fraud charges last week.
Cho is facing 75 charges related to fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by fraud, and breach of trust. She says she transferred the purchasers’ deposit funds, which she was holding in trust, to her client, who was the developer of a North York building. She claims she transferred the money to Joseph Lee through an honest mistake due to her inexperience. Police released Cho on a promise to appear in court on Oct. 2 shortly after her arrest on Tuesday.

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Should AG be able to seize alleged drunken sailor’s boat?

If the Ministry of the Attorney General gets its way in a unique civil forfeiture case, an alleged drunken sailor could see his boat taken away by the government.

Report outlines details for clinic mergers

After weeks of discussion, the group leading the reorganization of the Greater Toronto Area’s legal clinics has released its detailed plan for creating five organizations across the region.

Editorial: Boosting public protection

While the arrest of lawyer Meerai Cho last week is certainly a major concern for the property buyers who’ve lost their deposits, the case is a good opportunity to look at options for protecting the public.

Inside Queen's Park: Provincial hydro talks part of bigger trade picture

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne turned a few heads recently when she opened the door to buying electric power from Quebec on a long-term basis.

Letter: CDLPA troubled by duty counsel expansion

The County & District Law Presidents’ Association, representing 46 local law associations across Ontario that in turn represent nearly 12,000 practising lawyers, has been hearing more and more anecdotes from the private bar of a perceived encroachment by Legal Aid Ontario into what has traditionally been the realm of the private bar.
These anecdotes of evidence are too numerous to ignore and signal a troubling trend if true.

Letter: LAO puts new hires in context

In your recent coverage of Legal Aid Ontario’s recent hiring of additional duty counsel (see “CLA concerned about duty counsel expansion,” Aug.18), the Criminal Lawyers’ Association’s comments do not reflect LAO’s role and mandate to provide legal aid services that are responsive to the needs of low-income Ontarians and provide for the effective use of limited taxpayers’ dollars.

Meerai Cho affair a cautionary tale about condo deposits

The recent arrest and Law Society of Upper Canada discipline case involving Meerai Cho is a truly cautionary tale over absconded condominium deposits. Ontario has a statutory consumer protection scheme designed to protect the deposit moneys of prospective purchasers buying preconstruction condominiums. That said, most real estate lawyers believe this deposit protection is simply the $20,000 coverage automatically available for all new construction condominiums from Tarion Warranty Corp. under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

Focus: Privacy class actions on the rise

With the certification of Evans v. The Bank of Nova Scotia, the newly introduced tort of intrusion upon seclusion has become another weapon in the arsenal for the class action plaintiffs’ bar.

Chief justice pushes back against bias claims, insinuations of kangaroo court

ST. JOHN’S — Federal Court of Canada Chief Justice Paul Crampton is pushing back against suggestions of bias in the government’s favour following Justice Marc Nadon’s failed nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada.

CLA concerned about duty counsel expansion

If Legal Aid Ontario has the money to hire more duty counsel, it should also invest in private-bar services through certificates, according to the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.

Inside Story

Monday, September 1, 2014

A recent law graduate who challenged royal succession rules barring Catholics from ascending to the throne has lost his appeal.

Bryan Teskey took his matter to the appeal court after Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland found he didn’t have standing to challenge the royal succession rules.

In a decision last week, the appeal court agreed with Hackland’s finding.

“We agree with Hackland R.S.J. that Mr. Teskey’s application does not raise justiciable issues and that Mr. Teskey lacked standing to bring the application,” the court said in Teskey v. Canada (Attorney General).

“The rules of succession are a part of the fabric of the constitution of Canada and incorporated into it and therefore cannot be trumped or amended by the Charter, and Mr. Teskey does not have any personal interest in the issue raised (other than being a member of the Roman Catholic faith) and does not meet the test for public interest standing.”


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This week's poll question: Is @LegalAidOntario right to expand duty counsel services?

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Law Times poll

Do you agree with Legal Aid Ontario's move to expand duty counsel services?
Yes, LAO needs to find a way to increase services and provide them more efficiently.
No, LAO should be doing more to work with the private bar.