A Quebec judge will not have his day in court after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed his application for leave to appeal last week in a case where he was accused of judicial misconduct.
On June 20, 2007, Claude Provost, a Court of Quebec judge, was presiding over a preliminary inquiry in a case involving assault charges against a police officer. During the hearing, Provost said he didn’t believe the testimony he had previously heard from the complainants. One of the complainants, Roland Plante, stood up and addressed the judge without being asked and thanked him in what the judge considered a sarcastic tone.
Provost had Plante taken into custody but did not cite him for contempt and released him at the end of the hearing. Plante filed a complaint with the Conseil de la magistrature du Québec and an inquiry committee was established. The committee found that the judicial code of ethics had been violated and therefore allowed Plante’s application.
The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a Quebec company that sued the lawyers involved in a tax dispute over gaming machines.
From 1985-1992, Revenu Québec imposed sales tax on the use of gaming machines, such as ones used to play poker.
In 1989, 2731-9359 Québec Inc. was established to receive mandates from the companies distributing these gaming machines. It argued it should be reimbursed for the taxes paid, claiming about $15-20 million, at which time it retained the services of the defendants.
Michael Bruni says he wishes more lawyers would get involved with Hockey Canada at the higher levels of the organization.
The new chairman of Hockey Canada, which represents minor hockey programs and Canada’s national hockey teams, says the largely volunteer organization faces significant issues in the future and could benefit from those who better understand governance and the importance of following through on due diligence.
“We don’t want a lot of lawyers, but we need more lawyers,” says Bruni. “In my history I’ve run mini law firms, done the in-house role, and know that lawyers can provide a real value-add.”
An Ontario Superior Court judge made some interesting remarks on the proportionality rule, lawyers’ fees, and the courts’ stone-age approach to technology last week.
Ruling in Harris v. Leikin Group, Justice David Brown considered the cost motion of one of the defendants, First Capital Realty Inc., following its successful bid for summary judgment. The case centred on a bid process for College Square in Ottawa. The plaintiffs alleged the bid process was a sham and took several parties, including First Capital, to court.
Brown ruled there was no basis for the claim against First Capital, which sought $437,000 in costs, including $333,000 in fees and $62,000 in disbursements. The plaintiffs responded with several criticisms:
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal from the Crown questioning a judge’s decision not to impose a fine on a fraudster who bilked Canada Customs of more than $4.7 million because she believed he wouldn’t pay it.
In R. v. Topp, customs broker John Topp recovered over $4.7 million in taxes and duties from clients owing to Canada Customs and then kept the money instead of submitting it to customs. He was convicted of 16 counts of fraud and attempted fraud under the Customs Act in Ontario Superior Court.
The Crown sought a $4.7-million fine and jail sentence. However, Topp’s defence counsel claimed he was unable to pay the fine and produced a letter from Topp’s wife, which stated the family’s financial situation was moderate.
With an eye to cutting the cost and time of complex arbitration matters, the International Chamber of Commerce has released a revised version of its rules of to better serve businesses and governments engaged in international commerce and investment.
Jason Fry, secretary general of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, was in Toronto yesterday to provide the legal community with an overview of the changes to the rules of ICC arbitration, which come into force Jan. 1, 2012, and outline the reasons for some of the changes.
“The objective was to design a modern set of arbitration rules to meet the needs of the business community and states engaged in international commerce that would serve those needs for the next 10 years,” said Fry, who spoke at a luncheon hosted by Neeson Arbitration Chambers, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and William Horton Dispute Resolution. “There is a strong emphasis on time and cost management and so we have introduced case management procedures to help address those concerns.”
LawPRO will freeze its base rate for 2012, meaning Ontario lawyers will pay $3,350 for professional indemnity insurance.
Delivering LawPRO's report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada Bencher Vern Krishna, also a member of the insurer’s board of directors, said the rate looks good when seen in the longer-term context.
"It's very important to understand that $3,350 is the average level of premiums for the last 15 years. In other words, although we have seen some spikes in those 15 years, this is the average," he said.