Legal Feeds Blog
Once again in 2015, Legal Feeds has brought our readers Canadian legal news stories that they won’t find anywhere else ranging from timely stories on Supreme Court of Canada decisions to judicial appointments, and even the wacky and weird. Here are the Top 10 most popular stories that ran on the blog in 2015.
- Off-duty officers punishable under court martial: SCC
- Court rules there is a limitation period for 407 ETR going after consumers
- A mass of new judicial appointments
- Sale of Hydro One could breach Electricity Act
- UNB law school in turmoil following departures
- Conditional sentence for gun crime not appropriate: judge
- Sperm is ‘property,’ rules B.C. appeal court
- Document review workers launch class action against Deloitte
- Guergis’ lawsuit against law firm one step closer to trial
- Supreme Court allows warrantless cell phone searches
The B.C. government has appointed three new Provincial Court judges to start in early 2016.
During Jamieson’s 27 years in the legal profession, he has practised in all levels of B.C. courts. After graduating in law from the University of Manitoba, Jamieson earned a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia. His career has included research, teaching and private practice. Since 2002, Jamieson has been legal officer for the office of the chief judge for the B.C. provincial court.
Lee’s legal career encompasses 24 years of experience with criminal, family, and civil litigation, as well as real estate, personal injury, and builders’ lien litigation. After receiving his law degree from UBC, he worked with a number of small- to medium-sized law firms and, since 2001, has been a lawyer with the family maintenance enforcement program in both the Provincial Court and B.C. Supreme Court.
Seagram has practised criminal law in Vancouver, the Fraser Region, Penticton, and Nelson since his graduation from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. In addition to his career as Crown counsel, he has worked in private practice and been a member of the Mental Health Review Board. An active volunteer in his community, Seagram has been involved as a coach, referee and fundraiser for youth hockey, soccer and gymnastics clubs.
The judges will be assigned to locations determined by the chief judge to meet the needs of the court. In 2015, 15 judges have been appointed to address recent retirements and vacancies. B.C. has about 150 provincial court judges who serve more than 80 court locations.
Columns and op-eds really resonated with canadianlawyermag.com readers in 2015, as well as the perennial favourites of the annual Top 25 Most Influential and rankings of regional and boutique law firms. Here are the most popular stories from Canadian Lawyer’s web site.
- Call out the bullies
- Quebec company hit with $1.1-million penalty under CASL
- I failed in law school and you can too
- This election is about Stephen Harper
- The Top 25 Most Influential
- Success at all levels: Canadian Lawyer's Top 10 Insurance defence, Top 5 Tax law, and Top 5 Wills, trusts, & estates boutiques
- The bâtonnière who fell from grace
- Efficiency, flexibility, and focus: Canadian Lawyer's top Ontario regional firms
- The new normal: Canadian Lawyer's top 10 personal injury boutiques, top 10 arbitration chambers, and top 5 aboriginal law boutiques
- LPP year 1
The top 10 most-read stories on lawtimesnews.com in 2015 have a distinct focus on the actions of lawyers and law firms.
- Lawyer disbarred for writing fake orders
- Merchant Law Group under fire in Ontario courts
- Heenan denies partners have gotten capital back
- Law students concerned as firm posts articling job covering a transit pass
- Court rejects attempt to blame articling student for delay
- Ontario’s e-cig law unconstitutional: prof
- Lawyers alarmed at criminal charges in family cases
- Critical rulings show risks of going paperless, lawyer says
- Lawyer convicted in $1.9M gold case
- Appointment of military judge to Superior Court a first
And don't forget to check out Law Times Top newsmakers, stories, and cases of 2015.
The closing of an 80-year-old music store in south Winnipeg opened a door for Darren Sawchuk. The longtime Winnipeg criminal lawyer with a newfound passion for old LPs just happened to be looking for a venue for a new music store.
|‘I have rediscovered what it is like to sit and relax and listen to records,’ says Darren Sawchuck.|
“LPs are coming back in style,” says Sawchuk. “People are discovering the qualitative difference in the sound of an LP as compared to digital music or iPods.”
Now it’s not that Sawchuk, a past president of the Manitoba chapter of the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association, has any plans to give up practising law after 25 years. He says he views law as a helping profession, particularly in criminal law cases. He notes that he has taken on a large number of legal aid over the years and values the relationships that he has established with his clients.
But one could describe Sawchuk as a free spirit — an individual with numerous other interests. For 16 years, for example, he filled much of his free time coaching local hockey teams.
And he has long been involved in music. While still at university, he played trumpet in a professional jazz band. While in law school, he learned to play guitar. And for the past 10 to 15 years, he has been the singer and lead guitarist for the band 59 Divide, which plays benefits and other bookings.
“We do about 10 gigs a year,” he says.
Sawchuk rediscovered the joys of vinyl last spring. He recalls that he had retired from coaching hockey and had time on his hands. He found some old records in the house and decided to play them on an old record player he still had. Impressed by what he heard, he began regularly listening to the LPs with his girlfriend, Loralie McKelvey, and collecting more.
“I started buying other people’s collections,” he says. “My collection had grown to about 1,000. Then in August, I made contact with a guy in Saskatoon who was selling his collection of 25,000 records. Loralie and her daughter and I rented an U-haul, drove to Saskatoon, and brought back all the records. That’s when I started thinking about opening a record store.”
But Vinyl Revival is more than just a record store. Sawchuk’s new enterprise also offers an open mic on Wednesdays and music lessons (guitar, bass, piano, vocals, and drums), in a rock band setting, with University of Manitoba faculty of music students as instructors.
Sawchuk reports that the response to his new venture has been tremendous.
“People who come in love the atmosphere here,” he says. “I am meeting a lot of talented musicians and I am enjoying jamming with them.
“The Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, and Led Zeppelin are among the records that are most in demand.”
Vinyl Revival doesn’t interfere with Sawchuk’s day job as the place is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
“The place almost runs by itself,” he says. “I may be the face of Vinyl Records, but my girlfriend and my son [Jordan] basically manage things.
“I have rediscovered what it is like to sit and relax and listen to records,” he says.
Police investigate discovery of two bodies in Labrador home, Canadian Press
- Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba have launched a consultation paper on regulating legal service providers
Law societies in Canada’s Prairie provinces are joining hands to charge ahead toward entity regulation in 2016.
|Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are working together on entity regulation consultations.|
“We are a large geographic country with a small population and, compared to other jurisdictions where regulatory reform is occurring, we have relatively few lawyers. This reality means that our resources are limited and it is strategically wise to share them,” the law societies said in the consultation paper.
They added: “It is also our view that a diversity of perspectives from different jurisdictions will achieve better, more effective outcomes. For these reasons, the law societies of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are doing this work together. We are also keeping a close eye on developments across the country, particularly in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia where work is ongoing.”
Law societies across Canada are considering a shift from a regulatory system that focuses on individual lawyers to one that looks at the collective lawyers work in, whether that’s a law firm, an in-house legal department, or a legal aid organization Unlike the current regulatory model, which takes reactionary steps whenever lawyers engage in wrongdoing, regulators are considering a more proactive model that should help prevent transgressions in the first place.
If approved, the new approach would be goal-driven — the regulator would set of a set of desired outcomes and organizations can devise their own way to get there.
“We’re throwing it out there to the public and the profession and we’re looking for input from them,” says Schonhoffer.
Part of the reason for the collaboration between the Prairie provinces is also to harmonize whatever changes may come, he adds.
Schonhoffer says law societies feel emboldened by the Canadian Bar Association’s Futures report, which encouraged legal regulators to reimagine how the profession is governed in hopes of improving access to justice.
“They made these recommendations to the law societies and said, ‘You ought to have a look at this’ and so we take that very seriously,” Schonhoffer says.
In the consultation paper, the Prairie law societies say there are numerous benefits of compliance-based regulation, including an incentive to be innovative in the delivery of legal services. But there are also some concerns.
“The principal concern is that as compliance-based regulation is focused on outcomes rather than rules, there is more ambiguity and less certainty for firms as to what they must actually do to achieve compliance,” says the consultation report. “Generally, lawyers prefer to know exactly what they are required to do rather than figuring it out by themselves.”
Want to know more about entity regulation and what it means? Check out Canadian Lawyer’s “Entity regulation — whaaaat?” cover story from October.
Marijuana crimes up as Liberals prepare to legalize, Canadian Press
Assault charges dropped against former MP Julian Fantino, Canadian Press
Lac-Mégantic disaster settlement is fully funded, Canadian Press
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