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Editor’s Note

It's been another busy year in the legal profession and Law Times' annual Top News, Newsmakers, and Cases gives a taste of what our editorial team picked as the most outstanding stories, people, and rulings of 2011. They include decisions such as the SCC's rulings on Vancouver's injection sites and libel and hyperlinks as well as a look at the big problem of Ontario's articling shortage and the federal omnibus crime bill.

For your viewing pleasure, you can click here to read the digital edition of the Law Times supplement. We look forward to hearing readers' thoughts on what you think were the top stories and cases of 2011.

Gail J. Cohen
Editorial Director
Canadian Lawyer/Law Times



BC

News

Summary judgment ruling sparks debate
Law Times
One of the parties involved in a landmark Ontario Court of Appeal case on Rule 20 of the Rules of Civil Procedure will be seeking leave to appeal from the Supreme Court of Canada, his lawyer confirmed last week.

Tax class actions against two firms raise key questions
Law Times
A recent ruling from the Ontario Superior Court and a new class action settlement, both involving Bay Street law firms, have raised questions about lawyers' liability in matters involving charity-based tax opinions that several experts say could open a Pandora's box of legal issues.

Dal law students pass resolution opposing Bill C-10
Canadian Lawyer 4Students, online
Dalhousie law students decided to take a stand against Bill C-10, The Safe Streets and Communities Act. On Dec. 5, students voted in favour of joining the Canadian Bar Association in opposing the bill.

Peter Milliken returns to his roots
Law Times

Before entering politics in 1988, Peter Milliken was a partner at Cunningham Swan Carty Little & Bonham LLP. He began his career in 1973. Milliken is back there now serving as the firm's counsel.


Interpreters consider rotating strikes
Law Times
Ontario's court interpreters are considering rotating strikes at courthouses across the province if the government doesn't address long-standing demands, says the president of the Court Interpreters Association of Ontario.

Video: Ontario Legal News Update
Law Times, online
Get the latest news in the Ontario Legal News Update for the week of December 12 with Law Times editor Glenn Kauth.

Toronto lawyer's licence revoked
Law Times
The Law Society of Upper Canada has disbarred Toronto lawyer Paul Slocombe. Click here to read more of this story and other news tidbits in this week's Inside Story.

Commentary

Key legal issues for the new year
Law Times, editorial
It was the year the articling issue developed into a full-blown crisis. Among the stories you'll see in Law Times' top news, newsmakers, and cases supplement this week is a review of the articling shortage, an issue that became top of mind for the profession this year when the Law Society of Upper Canada revealed that 12.1 per cent of applicants in 2011 were unable to get a position within their first year of eligibility.

Look for creative solutions to external legal bills
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
Do your own insecurities, biases, and risk tolerances cost your company money in external legal fees? That's a question Cheryl Foy has been mulling over ever since hearing the managing partner of a non "seven-sister" firm suggesting that in-house counsel pay too much because they insist on going to the big firms for matters that smaller firms can do just as well and much less expensively.

In the Flesch: Summary judgment year zero
Canadian Lawyer, online
Throw out the law that has been piling up since Smells Like Teen Spirit charted in 1991. Never to be heard again from the mouths of litigators are the names Pizza Pizza, Irving Ungerman, and Aguonie. And consign the cases under the new Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 20 decided in 2010 and 2011 to the dustbin of history, writes Trials & Tribulations guest columnist Andrew Lewis.

Court should take more active role over religious disputes
Law Times
As with their secular counterparts, disputes aren't uncommon in religious organizations and may take different forms, writes Nikolay Chsherbinin in his Labour Pains column.

'Tis the season to practise charity law
Canadian Lawyer 4Students, online
With the holiday season before us, many of us are moved to open our hearts and wallets to the numerous causes that are supported by charities and not-for-profit organizations, writes articling student Christine Kellowan.

Verbal threats as workplace violence
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
An arbitrator has rejected the grievance of an employee who challenged her dismissal for uttering a death threat towards a co-worker in one of the first awards to consider the impact of Bill 168 on how parties must deal with workplace violence, and specifically verbal threats, writes Justin Tetreault.

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Case law

Case Law is a sample selection from the weekly summaries of notable unreported civil and criminal court decisions published in Law Times newspaper.


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