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News

Police liable for breaching informer confidentiality
Law Times
In a legal first, a Superior Court judge has ordered the Durham Regional Police Service to pay $345,000 in damages for releasing the identity of a confidential informant who faced her neighbours' wrath and harassment for speaking to police.


Prof praises legal advice pilot for sex assault victims
Law Times
A pilot program to give victims of sexual violence free legal advice is the most promising part of the Ontario government's new plan to stop sexual violence from the justice system's perspective, according to a Dalhousie University law professor.

Judge rules protection should apply to common law couples
Law Times
If married couples cannot be compelled to testify against each other in criminal matters, the same privilege should apply to common law partners, an Ontario Court judge has ruled.



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Handful of bencher candidates represent in-house perspective
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
While almost 100 lawyers have put their name forward to run for bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, only a handful of those are in-house or public sector lawyers.


Toronto facilities for civil trials a 'disgusting hole'
Law Times
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice's facilities for civil trials at 393 University Ave. in Toronto are a "disgusting hole," says a veteran civil litigator.

LSUC awards announced
Law Times
The Law Society of Upper Canada announced the recipients of its annual awards last week. Click
here to read more of this story and other news tidbits in this week's Inside Story.



LSUC

Commentary

Two worthy justice efforts
Law Times, editorial
It's nice to see two fairly enlightened efforts at improving the justice system — one on sexual violence and assault and the other on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder — coming from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Our voice, our solutions
Canadian Lawyer InHouse, online
In his In-house Coach column, Fernando Garcia writes that, unfortunately, for many racialized students, law students, articling students, and legal professionals, the barriers for entering into the profession and establishing a successful legal practice remain today.

The great research debate: paper or pixels
Canadian Lawyer, online
The legal profession is often criticized for its archaic structures and inability to "get with the times," writes Kristal Bayes in her Trial by Fire column. Yet, the easy accessibility of information on the Internet has drastically changed the way lawyers perform at least one of their tasks: conducting research.

Make it happen
Canadian Lawyer, online
"Do you have a formal diversity and inclusion strategy?" Twila Reid asks in her column, The Twila Zone. Sixty-six per cent of Canadian CEOs surveyed by PwC report having a diversity and inclusion strategy in place, and gender imbalance often falls within the mandate of D&I.



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Commentary

A not unbiased look at Russia under Putin
Canadian Lawyer, online
In his Law Library column, Damian Penny reviews the gripping book Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice. The book relays the story of Venture capitalist Bill Browder, who lived and worked in Russia during the chaotic 90s, witnessed the rise of Putin up close, and eventually found himself on the Russian president's enemies list.

I failed in law school and you can too
Canadian Lawyer 4Students, online
Law school graduate Ivan Mitchell Merrow notes that failure is felt quickly and often in law school. Anyone familiar with the grading system knows that actual Fs are uncommon, but ask any law student and the feeling of failure is rampant.

The inherent client conflict of interest caused by hours-based billing
Canadian Lawyer, online
Legal executive Ralph Baxter writes about the potential conflict of interest that hours-based billing causes between the lawyer and the client.

The best time to pursue energy M&A may be now
Lexpert
With an uncertain price outlook for crude and challenging capital markets, it will be critical for energy companies to maintain liquidity through cost reductions, operational efficiencies or M&A, writes Jamie Avey in this month's Accounting column.

Time to debate overhaul of legal education
Law Times
Confronted by a law school donation request, social justice advocate Kathy Laird argues that it's time we acknowledge that socioeconomic status does in fact limit what promising young students, who face annual tuition costs of $30,000 per year, can do.



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Canadian Lawyer Legal Fees Survey — Closes March 30
The annual Canadian Lawyer Legal Fees Survey is back and we needs your input! The survey's aim is to accumulate data about the fees law firms charge for the most commonly services in order to create a comprehensive picture of the average costs. Information about yourself and your firm will be kept strictly confidential and results will only be used in the aggregate. The survey closes on March 30 and results will be published in the June 2015 issue of Canadian Lawyer.

This week's Law Times poll
A Law Times story this week noted some lawyers' concerns about the court facilities for civil cases in Toronto. Are you happy with the civil court facilities in your area? Click here to have your say in the weekly Law Times poll.

Is the Law Society of Upper Canada doing enough to address equity and diversity issues in the legal profession?



Bencher Election

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Keep up to date with Canadian Lawyer's online Moves and Shakes section. Send your announcements of new hires, lateral moves, mergers, breakups, award winners, appointments and any other news about yourself or your firm to moves.shakes@thomsonreuters.com. Click here to read what your colleagues are up to. It's updated daily.



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Calendar of Events

Have a legal event coming up in your neck of the woods? Get it listed for free on the Law Times/Canadian Lawyer calendar of events. Send your information to moves.shakes@thomsonreuters.com.

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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