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Canadian Lawyer
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:00

Judge steps into role of soccer referee

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A Divisional Court judge found himself quite literally in the role of a referee when he decided the winner of a recent under 16 Ontario Cup soccer match.
Legal Aid Ontario has more than doubled the number of hours family lawyers can spend on child protection proceedings and more good news is coming with the provincial government expected to make an announcement soon about expanded eligibility for legal aid.
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:00

Editorial: Wake-up call for mental health at work

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Shortly after the Ontario Human Rights Commission released its policy on mental-health disabilities earlier this year, along comes a Divisional Court decision that offers some useful guidance on the issue.
In a case that once again demonstrates the lack of international legal protections, a civil suit filed against Tahoe Resources Inc. alleges the Vancouver-headquartered mining company is liable for injuries sustained by seven Guatemalan men at a protest in April 2013.
I had an opportunity to read Alan Shanoff’s article on abolishing civil jury trials in Ontario in the Sept. 22 edition of Law Times.
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:00

Letter: Lawyer puzzled by Meerai Cho case

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Who is Meerai Cho?
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:00

Bar divided over CBA withdrawal

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Even with the Canadian Bar Association dropping its planned intervention in the Chevron Corp. matter at the Supreme Court of Canada, the question around the appropriateness of its initial plan remains divisive with some lawyers celebrating the last-minute withdrawal while others say it would have been helpful if it had continued with the case.

There’s growing frustration among patient advocates over the depth of misunderstanding in the medical system regarding the prior capable wishes of patients who now require others to make their decisions for them.
Bennett Jones LLP litigator Jeffrey Leon has received the Ontario Bar Association’s civil litigation award.

The award goes to a litigator who has made exceptional contributions through outstanding advocacy skills, professionalism, integrity and civility, and teaching. Throughout his 25-year career, Leon has “generously given back to his profession and the community it serves,” according to the OBA, which recognized Leon’s efforts as chairman of Pro Bono Law Ontario, a mentor, and a contributor to law school courses.

“Jeff Leon personifies everything this award is meant to recognize. His outstanding advocacy skills are matched only by his integrity and civility,” said Chris Jaglowitz, a partner at Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP in Toronto and chairman of the nomination and selection committee.

Mervyn Abramowitz, a partner at Kronis Rotsztain Margles Cappel LLP and chairman of the OBA civil litigation section, praised Leon’s work as well.

“Jeff Leon is the consummate professional. He has given back to the profession through his involvement in the OBA and countless other endeavours, including chairing the board of Pro Bono Law Ontario. He is a tribute to civil litigation and to our organization,” said Abramowitz.

Leon received the award on Oct. 16.

The Law Union of Ontario has been asking members to resign from the Canadian Bar Association amid the controversy arising out of the CBA’s now-reversed decision to intervene in Chevron Corp. v. Daniel Carlos Lusitande Yaiguaje at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Although the CBA was seeking to be a neutral intervener in the multinational oil company’s legal battle with a group of Ecuadoran indigenous people, some members had told Law Times they were considering giving up their memberships with the organization because of the position it was taking in the Supreme Court matter.

In a letter to the CBA, the law union said: “Your intervention flies in the face of any concern for the environment; your stated commitment to access to justice; your own members’ objections; and our profession’s ethic requiring us to act in the public interest, unless acting for a party to litigation.”

The CBA had said its intervention would relate to foundational corporate law principles, specifically the corporate veil, and denies its action amounted to backing Chevron.

The thrust of the case against Chevron is that the company had caused extensive pollution in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador. The villagers had obtained judgment for $9.51 billion in a local court against Chevron and they’re now seeking to enforce that decision against the company’s assets in Ontario.

As Law Times reported on page 1 this week, the CBA announced on Thursday its decision not to proceed with its intervention in the case.

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

According to the poll, the majority of respondents aren’t too eager to sign up for a dot-lawyer domain name for their web sites.

Eighty-three per cent of poll respondents said a domain name with the word “lawyer” on the right side of the dot is a cash grab that won’t do much for them.

The new generic top-level domain names like dot-lawyer and dot-attorney will be available only to those who can prove they’re lawyers, according to Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Lawyers can also preregister for domain names like dot-law and dot-legal that will become available later.     
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