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Unfilled vacancies threatening court progress

Kabeer Sethi - Monday, September 15, 2014

Despite progress on reducing wait times for civil motions, a lag in filling judicial vacancies at the Ontario Superior Court is a growing concern for the justice system, Chief Justice Heather Smith said last week.
Smith began her address at the opening of the courts ceremony in Toronto on Tuesday by sounding the alarm over the slow pace of judicial appointments to fill the growing number of vacancies. According to Smith, there will be 30 judicial vacancies by the end of the year, with family law judges accounting for nine of them, if current trends continue. The vacancies, combined with a “critical lack of criminal jury courtrooms,” were hampering the judicial process, she said.

“I would urge the minister of justic...

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Sparks fly as Cassels Brock rejects GM conflict claim

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP was “hopelessly conflicted” when it represented the Canadian government in its bailout talks with General Motors of Canada Ltd. in 2009 while simultaneously acting for the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, counsel for dealers who launched a class action over the matter told a Superior Court judge last week.

Move to non-bencher adjudicators lauded

The Law Society Tribunal has boosted the number of non-lawyer and non-bencher adjudicators, a move some observers say creates a fairer process for those facing disciplinary proceedings.

Editorial: Our lumbering justice system

It seems it’s one step forward and two steps back when it comes to progress on resolving issues in Ontario’s court system.


It may usually be appropriate for us to jump on the bandwagon when a fellow Canadian lawyer receives an international posting, but this should not be the case in the appointment of William Schabas as lead investigator by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Speaker's Corner: Choir of voices needed to tackle depression in legal profession and beyond

I am a lawyer and I suffer from depression. I have pondered writing something like this for years.

Strategic mergers back in the spotlight

Competition lawyers are not surprisingly welcoming the return of the strategic merger, as evidenced by such combinations as the $12.4-billion Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart deal, the $12-billion Burger King and Tim Hortons merger, the $5.8-billion arrangement between Sobeys and Safeway, and the host of tax-inversion transactions in the pharmaceutical industry.

Inside Story

Monday, September 15, 2014


Michal Fairburn of Stockwoods LLP has received The Advocates’ Society’s Catzman award for professionalism and civility.

Fairburn, a criminal lawyer, received the award from Ontario Chief Justice George Strathy at the annual opening of the courts ceremony in Toronto last week.

Fairburn is “universally recognized for her persuasive advocacy and for her fairness and civility,” The Advocates’ Society said in announcing the award. Fairburn joined Stockwoods last year after more than two decades with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s criminal Crown law office where she was general counsel.

The Catzman award honours the late Ontario Court of Appeal justice Marvin Catzman. According to The Advocates’ Society, the award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the qualities exemplified by Catzman throughout his career: knowledge of the law, integrity, fairness, civility, generosity of time and expertise, and dedication to the highest ideals of the legal profession through writing and lecturing.


Last week, Law Times reported on law firms and lawyers...

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The Law Times Daily is out! Stories via @LawTimes @MillerThomson @ADodek
RT @LegalFeedsblog: New blog post: Ontario group to examine aboriginal justice issues #cdnlaw #nativeaffairs
Last week's poll results: 58% oppose removal of right to sue for accident benefits
Vote in this week's poll: Is legal profession supportive of lawyers with mental illnesses?
RT @LegalFeedsblog: New blog post: Small estates need better access to probate: law commission #cdnlaw

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Law Times poll

Is the legal profession supportive of lawyers with mental illness?
Yes, there are lots of programs in place.
No, the stigma and pressures of legal practice remain major barriers.