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Alexandra Darraby of Los Angeles, Calif., and Irma Russell, dean of the University of Montana School of Law at the American Bar Association reception held by Fasken Martineau LLP in Toronto. Photo: Robert Todd
Bill Choyke from Washington, D.C. and Tuscon, Ariz. Judge Leslie Miller at the reception hosted by Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Photo: Robert Todd
(l to r) Bo Landrum, executive director of the Birmingham Bar Association, Nancy Lloyd of Birmingham Al., Jim Lloyd, president of the Birmingham Bar Association, Peter Villani of Fasken Martineau LLP's Montreal office at the reception held by his firm. Photo: Robert Todd
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP lawyers Charetina Lougheed, left, and Christine Fotopoulos at the firm's reception for the American Bar Association conference. Photo: Robert Todd
David Riley of Seattle, Wash., Jonathan Levin of Faskens in Toronto, Pandora Strasler of New York, N.Y. at Faskens' reception. Photo: Robert Todd
Enjoying the Weir Foulds LLP reception are: Back row (l to r): Helene Daniel of Tampa, Fla., Mary Sharp of Beaufort, S.C., Jeanne Collins of El Paso, Tex., Andrea Kramer of Boston, Mass, and Diane Rynerson, executive director of the U.S. National Conference of Women's Bar Associations. Front row (l to r): Heather Segal of Guberman Garson in Toronto, Marjorie O'Connell of Washington, D.C., Rebecca Pontikes of Boston, Mass, and Andrea Carlisle, of Oakland, Calif. Photo: Gail J. Cohen
(l to r) Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza, Ontario Superior Court Justice Andrea Pollak, Ruth Woodling from Atlanta, Ga., and Weir Foulds LLP managing partner Lisa Borsook at the recpetion hosted by her firm. Photo: Gail J. Cohen
(l to r) Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza, Toronto-based adjudicator Patricia de Guire, Rear Admiral Nan De Renzi of the Department of the Judge Advocate General, United States Navy, and Patricia Lane, managing partner of Taylor McCaffrey in Winnipeg at the reception hosted by Weir Foulds LLP for the Association of Women Bar Association's meeting. Photo: Gail J. Cohen
(l to r) Geraldine Roszkowski of Woonsocket, R.I., Alpha Blue of South San Francisco, Calif., Bernice Donald of Memphis, Tenn., Joseph Roszkowski of Woonsocket, get acquainted at the reception hosted by Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Photo: Robert Todd
(l to r) Gerry Stobo and Vince DeRose of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP's Ottawa office, Aaron Silberman from San Francisco, Calif., and Matthew Alter of BLG in Toronto at the firm's ABA reception. Photo: Robert Todd
James Skorich of the U.S. Air Force and Regina Benike of Deloitte enjoy the hospitality at the Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP reception. Photo: Robert Todd
(l to r) Kate Broer of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP's Toronto office and Osgoode Hall Law School's Sonia Lawrence enjoy the FMC reception. Photo: Robert Todd
(l to r) Borden Ladner Gervais LLP lawyers Mukundan Chakrapani from Ottawa and Norman Letalik Manoj Pundit of Toronto at the firm's ABA reception. Photo: Robert Todd
Munish Sharma or New Delhi, India, and Sunny Sodhi of Fasken Martineau in Toronto at his firm's ABA reception. Photo: Robert Todd
(l to r) Sajai Singh from Bangalore, India, and Vivek Bakshi of Fraser MIlner Casgrain LLP at his firm's reception to welcome American Bar Assocation members to Toronto. Photo: Robert Todd
Sanjeev Dhawan of Hydro One Networks Inc., Karen Lorimer, Canadian Lawyer's group publisher, and Paula Rietta of Ford Credit Canada Ltd. at the Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP's reception. Photo: Robert Todd
(l to r) Sean Weir, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP's national managing partner, host American Bar Association president Stephen Zack, Laurel Bellows of Chicago, Il, and Ivo Greiter from Innsbruck, Austria at his firm's party. Photo: Robert Todd
William Sellay of New York, N.Y., left, and Robert Bell of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto meet at his firm's ABA reception. Photo: Robert Todd
Irvin Waller, a professor at the University of Ottawa and the president of the International Organization for Victim Assistance, was a speaker at Justice for All: A Comparison of the Crime Victims’ Rights in the U.S. and Canada, put on by the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice section this morning.
“We know from the social science evidence that well-organized restorative justice, which includes restitution payments, not only increases victim satisfaction compared to the normal process, but secondly actually reduces recidivism,” Waller said. “There is a real opening here. It’s win-win all around for justice at times of austerity.”
Susan Chapman of Toronto’s Green & Chercover, said judges in Canada are reticent about granting restitution orders, in part because of the historical division between criminal and civil justice.
“There’s also the practical realty. If someone is getting four years in prison, they’re going to be hard-pressed to pay restitution,” Chapman said.
Waller cited changes to the French justice system, which give victims standing in criminal cases to seek restitution from the accused.
In Ontario, the victim surcharge applied to most criminal and provincial offences raises about $44 million a year in Ontario, but most of it comes from traffic violations, and tends to be spent on support services for victims, rather than
Russell Butler, who runs the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Centre, says he has faced similar problems south of the border, where legislation enshrining restitution payments has been circumvented by plea bargains or ignored altogether in sentencing. He said at least partial restitution should be sought by siphoning money from offenders’ earnings when they’re released on parole.
“I’m all for all offenders paying for victim services, but if you have an individual that’s harmed, I think they need to be the first priority in terms of payments from offenders. Otherwise, the government is then revictimizing them by taking the money for itself rather than helping the person along,” Butler said.
|‘The possibilities are exciting,’ says CBA president Rod Snow of the agreement.|
American Bar Association president Stephen Zack noted the two organizations have long maintained a cordial relationship. “The signing of the agreement, on the occasion of the ABA’s annual meeting in Toronto, will formalize our mutually beneficial co-operation that has been in place for the past 80 years,” he said.
The agreement includes provisions for expanded ties both domestically and internationally.
Closer to home, the deal will see the two groups work together to promote legal ethics, pro bono legal work, and legal aid. Issues such as diversity, attorney-client privilege, conflicts of interest, and access to justice will also be examined, as will joint professional development offerings.
On the international level, the deal urges the groups to work together on efforts to promote human rights and the rule of law. The associations’ international law sections, the CBA international development committee, the ABA Centre for Human Rights, the ABA section of individual rights and responsibilities, and ABA rule of law initiative are each expected to play a pivotal role on those efforts.
As noted by the ABA’s president Zack, the pact comes as the U.S. association flocks to Toronto for it’s annual meeting from Aug. 4 to 9, with more than 1,400 programs, events, and presentations scheduled. More than 5,000 lawyers are expected to attend the conference.
The co-operation agreement is expected to survive the formality of an official ABA board of governors vote, before being signed into force at an Aug. 6 ceremony at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory. The ABA’s annual meeting opening assembly will take place immediately following the ceremony, with remarks from Canada’s Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
The ABA is considered the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization, claiming almost 400,000 members. The CBA has about 37,000 members.
“Over a year ago, I identified disaster response and preparedness as an important theme for my year as ABA president,” says president Stephen Zack. “Then the horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan struck, followed by the devastating tornados in Tuscaloosa and Joplin, and the record-breaking Mississippi River flooding and Arizona forest fires.”
The ABA is offering up Christine Crilley as an example of a lawyer whose practice has felt the effects of natural disaster. Floods in Iowa in 2008 destroyed her office’s computers, case files, calendars, and financial and billing records. But closer to home, lawyers in Alberta also suffered during the recent forest fire in Slave Lake. As Canadian Lawyer reported this month, the fires affected the offices of at least two lawyers there, while other members of the bar had damage to their homes.
As a result, the ABA meeting, which is taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, will include resources on how lawyers can prepare for disaster. Besides a new publication and a video, there will also be a session on Saturday, Aug. 6, on the tools for creating a disaster plan.
“Even if you believe that you live where cataclysmic events don’t occur, all lawyers and law firms are at risk of disaster disrupting their practice,” said Zack. “Fortunately, with proper planning, the harm they cause can be mitigated, clients can be served, and law practices may be preserved.”
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Gail J. Cohen