Legal Feeds Blog
“As the legal profession continues to evolve, it has become even more important to be able to represent the experience of our membership to government and the Law Society of Upper Canada as they consider changes to the justice system,” says Whitehead, a lawyer at George Murray Shipley Bell LLP in Sarnia, Ont.
Whitehead replaces Michael Johnston in the lead role at CDLPA.
“For the past year and a half, Michael has significantly strengthened our capacity to advocate on issues that affect the practising bar and I will continue to build on this important work,” says Whitehead, who touts her strong roots in Lambton County and notes she’s familiar with many of the issues facing the profession, especially those related to sole and small-firm practitioners.
Whitehead’s practice focuses on civil and commercial litigation, family and collaborative law, and estates matters. Born and raised in Lambton County, she studied law at the University of Western Ontario and went on to article in London, Ont. She later moved to Sarnia and has been a partner at her current law firm since 2006. She and her husband ran the cash-crop and beef operation for 28 years before moving to Sarnia.
Besides her law practice, Whitehead has been active in a number of organizations. She served on the board of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada for six years first as director and later as president. She also served multiple terms as the treasurer and president of the Lambton Law Association.
As well check out the photo gallery of the students from law schools across the country who also participated. It'll be posted tomorrow.
Calgary’s Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP articling students Andrew Kuzma (left) and Brandon Holden (right) did it up right.
The BLG "Mo Bros" show theirs off!
The "Cassels Brock and Stachewell" team featuring (l to r) top: Geoff Breen, Ardy Mohajer, bottom: John McGowan, Lorne Silver, Chris Horkins and Patrick MacDonald.
The dapper team from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Montreal office.
London, Ont.'s Harrison Pensa lawyers show off their moustachioed selves.
Alex Shalashniy of the Regina firm Kanuka Thuringer LLP’s very bold mo.
Our colleague Tim Wilbur, Lexpert Magazine managing editor, sports one for the team.
The team from Mason Bennett Johncox in Whitby, Ont.
Celebrating their ’staches (l to r) are: Ryan Gelbart, Ben Bloom, David Ullmann, Andrew Zinman, Brad Good, Mark Freake and Edward Asmar of Toronto firm Minden Gross LLP.
A sterling mo effort from the team at Norton Rose Canada’s Toronto office. Photo: V. Summerfield.
The Honourable Justice Jamie W. S. Saunders Award is presented in Halifax annually to a Mo Bro or a Mo Sista or a team for their passion for and commitment to Movember. Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Justice Jamie W.S. Saunders presented this year’s to Rebecca L. Hiltz LeBlanc, a partner at Boyne Clarke LLP, and her husband Mitch Hiltz LeBlanc.
Sporting their ’staches at the Movember wrap up event held at the Halifax Law Courts on Nov. 29 are Nova Scotia Court of Appeal justices Peter M.S. Bryson, Pierre L. Muise, David P.S. Farrar, and Jamie W.S. Saunders, and Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Patrick J. Murray.
The Aird & Berlis LLP in Toronto team took their sexy moustaches up a notch, doing it Gangnam Style.
The very smiley bros from Oslers show off a solid set of mos.
Winnipeg law firm Pitblado’s team: Michael Puchniak, Seth Nerman, and Mark Wallace.
Daniel Strickland of Siskinds LLP in London gets a donation from Western University’s law dean Iain Scott.
Jean-Marc Leclerc of Sotos LLP sports his self-described “creepy” moustache.
The proud members of the Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP: (l to r): Kim Ferreira, Danny Nunes, Mark Donald, Kyle Plunkett, and Bob Thornton.
The MoTorys LLP team display their ’staches.
Dec. 4 — British Columbia — Ediger v. Johnston
Torts: Cassidy Alexis Ediger suffered severe permanent brain damage during her birth after Dr. William Johnston attempted a rotational mid-level forceps procedure to assist the delivery. It failed. Ediger’s heart slowed in a bradycardia and deprived her of oxygen until she was delivered by Caesarean section and resuscitated 18 minutes later. The trial judge found that Johnston breached the standard of care in attempting a rotational mid-forceps delivery without first checking to see if there was backup available for a C-section. The judge also concluded that the doctor didn’t have the mother’s informed consent to the forceps procedure before delivery. The Court of Appeal allowed Johnston’s appeal and dismissed Ediger’s action. Several questions are being raised in relation to the finding of liability on the issue of causation.
Dec. 5 — Quebec — R. v. Manning
Criminal law: Alphide Manning pleaded guilty to two counts of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. He had similar prior convictions. He was sentenced to 17 months in jail and banned from driving for five years. The Crown applied for the forfeiture of Manning’s vehicle because it was considered offence-related property under the Criminal Code. The Court of Quebec dismissed the Crown’s motion, noting that Manning was unemployed and living on social assistance, and the vehicle was his only property, which he was dependent on. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Crown’s appeal, finding that the judge had not erred in law. In question are the factors a court can consider in deciding not to order the forfeiture of offence-related property.
Dec. 6 — Manitoba — R. v. O’Brien
Criminal law: While in jail, Kelly Joseph O’Brien threatened to kill his girlfriend if she aborted their child. Staff at the jail complained and the girlfriend was called to testify. She said O’Brien’s threat didn’t scare her; he was just being loud and belligerent with her. O’Brien was acquitted on two counts of uttering threats and two counts of breach of probation. The majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the Crown’s appeal. At issue is whether the appeal court erred in assessing the mens rea requirement for the offence of uttering threats and in finding that the evidence of the complainant was the determinative factor.
Dec. 6 — Ontario — R. v. Sanichar
Criminal law: Harry Persaud Sanichar was convicted of rape, indecent assault, buggery, gross indecency, sexual assault, assault, and assault with a weapon in relation to the physical and sexual abuse of his stepdaughter, which allegedly occurred over several years when she was a child. She was in her mid-30s when she testified against him. The majority of the Court of Appeal allowed Sanichar’s appeal and ordered a new trial on the basis that the trial judge failed to conduct a proper inquiry into the reliability of the stepdaughter’s testimony and apply the principles of reasonable doubt to aspects of the evidence that could have been in Sanichar’s favour. The court is being asked to assess the trial judge’s behaviour.
Dec. 7 — New Brunswick — Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd.
Labour law: Irving implemented a new workplace policy in its paper mill that included random alcohol testing for employees with safety-sensitive positions. An employee was tested and found to have a blood alcohol level of zero. Nevertheless, the union filed a grievance challenging the reasonableness of the policy. The arbitration board found that Irving failed to demonstrate that the mill posed a sufficient risk of harm that outweighs an employee’s right to privacy. Specifically, the board concluded that Irving didn’t cite enough evidence of prior incidents of alcohol-impaired work performance to justify the policy, and that although the mill was considered “a dangerous work environment,” it wasn’t deemed “ultra dangerous.” The Court of Queen’s Bench allowed the application for judicial review and quashed the board’s decision, ruling it was unreasonable to require evidence demonstrating a history of alcohol abuse in the workplace once the board deemed the mill a dangerous workplace. The Court of Appeal dismissed the union’s appeal.
|Tech lawyer George Takach has launched a Geeks for George campaign to reach younger voters.|
Takach, who has practised law for 30 years and headed McCarthy’s tech group, has focused his campaign on what innovation can do for the economy and political engagement, earning him a title as the “e-Candidate.”
For Vancouver Crown prosecutor Alex Burton, the race, and possibly a Liberal Party leadership, is about creating jobs.
“I think everything else flows into that,” he says. “If you want to build a just society where people are included and welcome and prosperous and safe, that starts with making sure that they have a future. That means having jobs that can put food on the table, roof over their heads and hope for the future.”
Adding value to raw materials before shipping them abroad is one way to create jobs at home, he says.
A former assistant district attorney in New York, Burton sees many overlaps on the job descriptions of a prosecutor and politician.
“As a Crown prosecutor, you have to be able to take complex cases and make them simple to juries and judges,” he says. “You have to be able to advocate, you have to develop the skill of listening to other people. . . . I think that’s important for politicians and we don’t do it often enough.”
A career in law also connects you to the right people you’ll need in politics, says Takach.
“I know all the players, I know how to get collaborative projects done and I bring that directly into politics,” he says.
For starters, Takach wants “superfast Internet” throughout the country. He says Canada’s is simply not up to speed on the web.
“It’s starting to hold us back,” he says. “I’ve got clients who can’t do the things they want to do in terms of collaboration and working with partners around the world because our Internet is just not where it needs to be.”
On his agenda is also what he calls a digital bill of rights. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has to be updated to speak to the online world, he says.
Takach adds encouraging innovation will mean clean oil sand technology, more new start-ups every year and greater connection to the rest of the word. But tech also flows into engaging youth in politics, he says, and that’s why he’s launched the Geeks for George campaign.
“We estimated there are about 1.5 million computer gamers in this country, [who are] 18 to 35, and most of them currently don’t vote. They’re not interested,” he says. “So we’re going to reach out to them, we’re going to talk to them about a superfast Internet, we’re going to talk to them about a digital bill of rights,” he says.
Candidates with law background also include David Merner, Deborah Coyne, David Bertschi, and former MP Martha Hall Findlay.
Crown asked by WorkSafeBC to probe sawmill explosion, Vancouver Sun
Sri Lankan army deserter testifies to torture of civilians at refugee hearing, The National Post
Court documents show elections Canada obtained phone records from across the country in probe, Calgary Herald
Top court to decide privately if it will review gay marriage cases, Reuters
Civil rights group files suit against Arizona's denial of benefits to immigrants, Reuters
Egypt's new constitution raced through, igniting more protests, Reuters
U.N. court ruling over maritime territory not OK by Colombia, Reuters
Photos: Heather Gardiner
McCague Borlack LLP associate Sandra Monardo (left) and Ellyn Law LLP senior associate Evelyn Perez Youssoufian.
Heenan Blaikie LLP associate Jackie VanDerMeulen (left) and Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP lawyer Shannon Beddoe.
Guests placed bids on items in the silent auction, with proceeds going to The Writers' Trust of Canada.
Amanda Lang, co-host of The Lang & O’Leary Exchange on CBC Television and senior business correspondent for CBC News, was the keynote speaker. She discussed her new book, The Power of Why.
Glorie Alfred, associate counsel at the Toronto District School Board, (left) and Maud Murray, legal counsel at the Procurement Law Office Professional Corp.
Representing Moodie Mair Walker LLP (l to r): articling student Jeanette O’Sullivan, associate Bronwyn Martin, and associate Taylor Casement.
It was not only women who came to show their support. McCarthy Tétrault LLP associate Daniel Wolski (left) and Robert Deckelbaum, vice president of Eat It Up Media, were a couple of the men who attended.
Urmi Chowdhury, a lawyer at Xtreme Labs Inc., (left) and The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Esther Nwator.
Mike Malloy (left) and James Vause represented TransPerfect Translations International Inc., a sponsor of the event.
Young Women in Law board of directors (l to r): Danielle Traub, Jessica Catton, Stephanie King, Kellie Gray, Erica Young, Adrian Walrath, and Heela Donsky.
Quebec anti-corruption police charge former SNC-Lavalin CEO with fraud, The National Post
Alberta premier accused of awarding lawsuits to husband's firm, Calgary Herald
Second person in Salvation Army theft charged, Chronicle Herald
PETA sues California restaurant in first lawsuit to enforce state ban on foie gras, Reuters
Son of slain U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy sued by two nurses for assault, Reuters
British press awaits inquiry's ruling, Reuters
Kosovo ex-premier cleared by United Nations court of war crimes for the second time, Reuters
|New legislation will allow electronic documents to be created and filed in Manitoba’s Provincial Court. (Photo: AJ Batac)|
Swan said the move would increase the speed of court processes compared with the predominantly paper-based current system.
“Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. We want to ensure that we use all the tools available to us to make the justice system more effective,” Swan said in a statement. ”We want our police to spend less time on paperwork and more time keeping our communities safe.”
Kathy Bueti, a senior partner at criminal defence firm Bueti-Wasyliw and Associates, is the designated defence counsel for a pilot project that plans to take advantage of the amendments, and says she can’t wait to get going.
“We’re hoping it’s going to expedite things, and save a lot of time in the filing of documents. Instead of sending someone out to the courthouse, to stand in line and file the documents with the staff, you’re going to be able to do it electronically from your desk,” says Bueti. “This is a project that’s been in the works for 10 to 20 years, with the aim of getting a paperless courtroom. We’re finally entering the endgame, where some of the ideas are getting implemented, so it’s exciting times.”
The pilot project is in association with Legal Data Resources (Manitoba) Corporation (http://www.ldrc.org/), a non-profit established by the Law Society of Manitoba, which previously led an effort to install Wi-Fi systems in courts for lawyers.
“The documents go to the court’s central registry, just as they would if you went there in person,” says Bueti. “It’s exactly the same document, except it’s getting there in a different way. The first filing was done in the last couple of months as a test.”
B.C. Supreme Court to hear woman's case for right to know her sperm-donor dad's identity, Vancouver Sun
Rights bill making discrimination of transgender people illegal split on Conservative support, Calgary Herald
Ex-Olympic head sues Georgia Straight paper over abuse allegations, Toronto Star
U.S. Defense Department sued by ACLU and 4 servicewomen over ban on women in combat, Reuters
Judge rules major tobacco companies must fund public advertising campaign on dangers of smoking, Reuters
Swiss prosecutors' Russian mafia whistleblower killed in mysterious circumstances, Reuters
Religious schools exempt from headscarf ban: Turkish government, Reuters
|A Ministry of Labour prosecution hasn’t resulted in the imprisonment of a corporate director for several years. (photo: Shutterstock)|
In fact, a Ministry of Labour prosecution hasn’t resulted in the imprisonment of a corporate director for several years.
The six companies owned and operated by Steve Blondin include Steven’s Inc. of Orangeville, Ont., Axcea International Inc. of Toronto, Automotive Containment Solutions Inc. of Concord, Ont., Automotive CSI Inc. of Richmond Hill, Ont., Automotive CSI — Alliston Inc., and Automotive CSI — Newmarket Inc.
Between March 2007 and October 2009, 61 employees from the six companies operated by Blondin filed claims with the Ministry of Labour for unpaid wages. An investigation by the ministry found wages were owed to all 61 employees.
Between February 2008 and April 2010, an employment standards officer issued 113 orders to the six companies and Blondin to pay over $125,000. None of the orders were paid.
However the penalties levied shouldn’t get company directors in Ontario concerned that the ministry necessarily has its sights set on them.
“This doesn’t mean it is open season on directors,” says Jason Beeho, a partner at Rubin Thomlinson. “There have always been provisions in the act for director liability and penalty. I think the sheer number of employees involved and the number of orders suggest the ministry was taking this very seriously.”
Nikfarjam says a director can be guilty of an offence if he or she fails to comply with an order to pay is issued by the Ministry of Labour. If guilty, a director can face monetary fines of up to $50,000 per offence, as well as imprisonment for up to 12 months.
Blondin and each company pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the ministry’s orders.
In addition to the jail term and fines totaling $280,000, the Ontario Court of Justice ordered Blondin and his companies earlier this month to pay the wages owing to the employees along with a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.
The sentences were imposed by Justice of the Peace Vladimir Bubrin in Toronto.
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Gail J. Cohen